By Moises Hernandez, Pinelog Staff
The SFA Way, an embodiment of shared values leading to shared success, has been spreading around campus like wildfire. Syllabi include it, faculty members are having students write about it, and it’s only getting more popular as an increasing amount of organizations are beginning to epitomize it.
Yesterday, the plaza of the BPSC became a site for many student-organized services which included Omega Delta Phi’s “Shoes for Lost Souls” and Kappa Delta Chi’s “Raffle Table.” Among these organizations was SGA’s “SFA Way” booth, which allowed students to receive raffle tickets for a single pass to the upcoming Battle of the Piney Woods in exchange for their promise to uphold the SFA Way.
Junior Sen. Ryan Dietrich, an active participant at the booth, explained: “Students come up to the booth, and we ask them if they believe in the SFA Way. If they say yes, then we’ll ask them to sign the SFA Way pledge card. (It) is a physical representation and confirmation of the ideals and beliefs that we have in ourselves.”
The SGA representative described how the SFA Way stems from its five main principals. “The five main principals of SFA Way are respect, caring, responsibility, unity and integrity. It’s a way for students to reaffirm their morals and actions.”
These values are being reinforced by not only faculty but by other staff members as well. Dr. Adam Peck, dean of student affairs, commented on how the SFA Way can make a difference in a student’s life. “We knew that if a student would strive for personal excellence in everything they do, they wouldn’t violate their personal values and they wouldn’t violate our values,” he said. “They couldn’t help but be successful. That ultimately was what the SFA Way was all about.” Peck said the SFA Way is not another value system created by SFA faculty, but rather it came from the student body.
“We used the work we did in Reflection Week last year where we asked students what they thought the values of SFA were. We used those to design the five root principals,” continued Peck.
“In particular, the strongest value was unity. The way we structured unity then was that no matter what brought you here, when you come to SFA you are a Lumberjack. All of us have that in common. We are all Lumberjacks, and we all have a stake in helping each other succeed.”
After reviewing the responses from Spring 2010 Reflection Week, both the faculty and SGA decided to try their hands at creating an honor code to help the student body succeed. “Student government brought me their draft of the honor code, and it was the first thing to have the words ‘striving for personal excellence in everything we do,'” Peck said. “That line was written by Aaron Good of the SGA. It was non- judgmental, inspirational and it was about what we want to become.”
Even if they didn’t have a chance to get a raffle ticket, all SFA students are encouraged to try the SFA Way out and see if it works for them. Dietrich explained how well the SFA Way has helped students so far, even in its first semesters in action.
“This has helped students reaffirm their morals and essentially gave them a pillar to build themselves up on,” he said. “We’re hoping that this will make the students of SFA make better life choices.”
Peck said there is another way to look at the SFA Way.
“The ‘way’ in the SFA Way refers to a couple of different things,” he said. “One, it’s the way that we do things, but the second thing is that it’s a path, a way, to achieve what you want to achieve. If you follow the SFA way it will lead you to success.”