Alexis Weston | Staff Writer
The Student Leadership Program (SLP) and the Student Recruitment Team (SRT) of Hampton University both have a great deal of important responsibilities on campus. SRT focuses on things like Honors Visitation Weekend, High School Day and weekly tours for campus visitors. SLP focuses on events that current Hampton University student participate in such as Homecoming, mentoring freshmen and New Student Orientation week. The debate of which organization is better arises each year as the applications open.
The Student Recruitment Team is often the first impression incoming students have of the university. In fact, for many of Hampton’s current students, SRT is the reason they chose their Home by the Sea. “They helped me decide to come to Hampton,” said Kelley Smith, a third- year in the five- year MBA program from Cerritos, California. Smith serves as the head of SRT. She said she chose to do SRT because she went to Honors Visitation Weekend.
“I wanted to give back and give people the same experience I had,” added Smith. “I get to help other rising college students in one of the biggest decisions of their young adult life.” She also felt that being surrounded by people who share similar goals and being a representative for the university are some of the biggest perks of being a member of SRT.
“It’s a fantastic organization to be a part of; SRT culture is one of inclusion. We all want to make sure that people have the best experience that they can,” said Smith.
Bradley Via, a member of the Student Leadership Program and a sophomore international studies major from Fayetteville, North Carolina, talked about his own reasons for becoming a part of the program. He said that he, “hadn’t decided to do SLP until the day of the interest meeting,” and that, originally, it wasn’t something he could see himself being involved with. For many the horror stories about SLP week makes students reluctant to apply. Leadership does not have anything to do with waking up at 5 o’clock in the morning to workout or taking a 150 question test on every office of Hampton; however, Via’s decision to join was justified.
“I realized I wanted to get myself more involved on campus and that I’d slacked on that….I thought about how SLP had been involved in Homecoming, NSO week, Black History Month,” said Via. “My whole purpose for joining SLP was just so I could get more involved on campus and give back more.” When asked why he didn’t choose SRT, Via said he, “has a lot of love and respect for SRT,” and went on to say that the two organizations were, “two different sides of the same coin.” But, he just knew that SLP was the best fit for him.
Via stated that the benefits of SLP are not only in the connections, but also in the family environment. When it comes to freshmen, Via believes they should become a part of SLP because, “you can be the reason why [someone] enjoyed their time at Hampton.”
Of course, no one can discuss SRT and SLP without mentioning the feud between the two. Smith remarked, “There is no feud. As far as I know, there is no reason for there to be one. We do completely different things. SRT does a great job of bringing students in and SLP does a great job of keeping them here.”
Via commented that, “we do have a little bit of friendly competition between the two, but it’s not like there is a genuine [disagreement] with the groups.”
“SLP and SRT get along just fine. We both just work hard to get people involved,” Via continued. At the end of the day, SLP and SRT are completely separate entities. As Smith explained, SRT brings students to Hampton and SLP makes them want to stay at Hampton. So, when choosing which organization is right for you, the question isn’t which has more of an impact, but what kind of impact you’d like to make.