College of Education leadership class creates #StandUpBU project

Collegian file photo.


Project #StandUpBU will be taking over Star Fountain from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on April 6.

The project was created in a College of Education class called Our Perspectives in Leadership. The class is a collaboration between two professors, Debra Lecklider and Ryan Flessner.

The goal of #StandUpBU is to unite the Butler community by showing how students are both similar and diverse in what they stand up for and how they stand up for it.

Kaylin Pellegrini, a senior marketing major and student in the class, further explains what #StandUpBU means to the Butler community.

“What’s unique to Butler is that so many people have different backgrounds and beliefs, and we all stand together for something different but we unite as Butler students,” Pellegrini said. “We are encouraging people for what they stand up for.”

The class was given vague criteria for the project. Some criteria included that it must impact campus and it must be inspirational. In addition, the students had to use their passion and the project should create a movement of some kind.

The students in the class were split for about three weeks on the topic before coming up #StandUpBU. Some ideas included a wellness day and a cultural awareness day.

A lot was put into the project, including a marketing committee, an outreach committee and a committee in charge of logistics.

At Star Fountain, there will be a banner where anyone can come stamp a paw-print and write what they stand up for.

The professors in the class stressed that it does not take a lot of money to lead or have a voice and tried to keep spending to a minimum.

The student do not pay out of their own pocket for the project. A fundraising committee has been working to find sponsors to pay for the event.

A white board will be at the event where people can take pictures and share on social media using #StandUpBU in order to spread awareness.

Pellegrini is also working with social media in regards to the project.

“We decided that it would be best not to create our own [social media] account,” Pellegrini said. “We are asking people through their own accounts to post pictures of the whiteboards, and hopefully it will gain attention on Twitter. People are more likely to look at a personal pages than an official promotional page.”

At the event, there will be pamphlets on topics that people may be passionate about. Topics such as women’s rights or diversity awareness. The pamphlets will provide steps on how to get in touch with state senators in order to make change.

“We are giving you tools you need to contact senators, and to stand up for issues on a bigger scale,” Pellegrini said.

Lecklider said when she created the course five years ago, she and four other colleagues designed leadership opportunities within the course.

“[The students] don’t take quizzes, they don’t take tests, we just create experiences for them to take leadership responsibilities and experiences,” Lecklider said.

She also said the class does, however, have guest speakers come in addition to reading articles and watching videos.

“We get them thinking about what type of leader they are or who they want to be,” Lecklider said. “This project is designed to serve several purposes. We want to teach them how to work together and collaborate.”

Flessner expands on the idea that everyone is a leader, whether they know it or not.

“Sometimes, we just need to understand our roles in different situations,” Flessner said. “Too often, leaders are seen as the people who are in charge. We want students to understand that leadership takes many forms.”

Flessner also said that the most important thing about #StandUpBU is that it helps everyone in the Butler community understand that we are all passionate about something.

“Maybe you’re interested in homelessness or cancer research or women’s rights, whatever drives you is what we want to encourage,” Flessner said. “We’re hoping to show people that we’re all working for something, and we hope that #StandUpBU will shine a light on what Butler students, faculty and staff truly care about.”

Patrick Baker, a senior management information systems major, is also part of the #StandUpBU project. He said he would not change anything about the project.

“We started off so split up at first but then came together to form one idea, and I think that’s what made the project work so well,” Baker said. “Friendships have been created through this. I think it will be very successful and were all very passionate about it.”

Baker said it is always important to have a leader.

“Whether it’s a crisis, or if everyone is looking to you, or you need to take control of the situation or get someone to believe what you’re selling, leadership skills are important,” Baker said.

Both Lecklider and Flessner agree on the importance of leadership roles and believe that #StandUpBU will be a huge success.

“I will be honest, I think this is one of the most clever movements the students have come up with,” Lecklider said. “I hope someone continues with it afterwards.”

Flessner said he looks forward to see how the project turns out and thinks the class has put a lot of time and energy into designing an event that builds on their passions in order to make an impact on their community.

“If everyone on campus was willing to stand up for one thing and take action on that topic, think what we could accomplish as a community,” Flessner said. “That would be powerful.”

If the weather is bad the day of the event, it will be moved to the Fairview Community Room.