10 Things You Didn’t Know About The Student Leadership Workshop

Have you ever thought to yourself “Gee, I wonder who came up with the idea for Charger Change, The Source, or the outdoor amphitheater?” Although many believe College admins come up with all of these improvement projects, in reality a lot of them are generated from our student leaders. Notable changes made to improve your college experience are initiated right here at the Student Leadership Workshop.

Now what exactly is the Student Leadership Workshop (SLW), you may ask. SLW is kind of like Hillsdale’s own version of America’s Best Dance Crew, only without the awesome group stunts, coordinated outfits, and lighting effects. Yep, you heard that right, we’re going back to when Randy Jackson gave up on finding the next American Idol and everyone wanted to be like Channing Tatum in Step Up. Students are put into teams and face off in a furious dance battle, and their banners fall to the ground until the last team remains standing…Alright, that’s not exactly true, but Chief’s activities look pretty similar.

Calm before the team challenge storm.

In reality, students are offered opportunities to identify their individual strengths, learn effective leadership skills through team challenges, and develop relationships with classmates they might otherwise never know. The biggest challenge they’re asked to resolve is how to make Hillsdale College the best college in the nation.  They spend all week brainstorming ideas and developing a strategy to make it come to life. Through this exercise, they learn about themselves as influential members of campus and they form friendships with leaders from other areas of campus.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “There’s no way students are really responsible for huge improvements to campus.  The administration never listens to us!”… but you’re WRONG! In only eleven years of existence, SLW has produced dozens of student lead plans for change and implemented many of them. Here’s a list of the top changes you probably didn’t know came from SLW:

  1. Bon Appetit
  2. Improving Intramurals
  3. Online Class Registration
  4. Outdoor Amphitheater
  5. Charger Change
  6. Addition of Block Meal Plans
  7. Restructuring the Source
  8. Troop 1844
  9. Adopt-a-Charger
  10. Freshmen Dean’s List Dinner

Although dozens of strong ideas come out of each class, it is physically, financially, and logistically impossible to implement so much brilliance in one year (sad)… Thankfully, we keep those unused ideas safe and locked away in our vault for another day. Often times, other groups revisit similar ideas, which gives the proposed problem and solution more validity, eventually leading to change.

Ultimately, everyone here shares a love for Hillsdale College and a passion for making it great. These qualities naturally make an ideal think tank to create ways to become the best college in the nation. Now that you know what we do here, make sure you keep your eyes peeled for what future SLW teams come up with!


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