New programs aims to reward student leaders

It’s up to the students to give their peers the recognition they deserve, as the “I Am Brave” campaign takes action for the first time this year.

The “I Am Brave” campaign is a leadership award modeled after Grand Valley State’s campaign, “I Am Grand Valley,” where Director of Student Activities and alumnus Tom Coy used to work.

Junior and campaign coordinator Cody Lonigro said the leadership award idea came about last year.
“It’s meant to recognize leaders in groups that aren’t given official titles, the kind of person that you can always pull to the side and ask questions, and they’ll always be able to help you out,” Lonigro said.

There was a lot of talk last year among the members of the Lewis J. Burger Center (LJB) to start a program that awarded “unsung heroes,” he said.

Last semester, Lonigro was the LJB Center Student Senator. Coy approached Lonigro, along with junior and Campaign Coordinator Matt Sullivan about the idea.

“We really want to try to recognize as many leaders on campus that aren’t always given the recognition they deserve,” Lonigro said.

Sullivan said what makes Bradley great is the willingness of students to do more than what is asked of them.

“We want all of the people that put in hours of extra work for their club or any other program to receive recognition,” he said. “If these people get noticed, we can continue to build school spirit.”

“We kind of decided that it’s not really up to us to decide if somebody we don’t know is a leader, so we want to leave it up to the students,” Lonigro said.

The forms for the campaign came out Oct. 1, and nominations for the award will be accepted until the end of the semester.
A banquet will be held for winners in February.

Lonigro said he hopes for a large number of nominees.
“We want to have an initial start up of 500 people or more to win the award this year,” Lonigro said. “We’re hoping to see it grow over the years to where it is a recognized award by the university, where everyone knows about it and can look forward to nominating their peers.”

Lonigro said the campaign is a way for students among campus who feel like they aren’t being noticed or recognized for how hard they are working, to get that attention.

“It’s just a way for people in the organization to say ‘I see what you’re doing, and I like it,’” he said.
The “I Am Brave” campaign relates to the Rise of the Red campaign as well, in that part of the focus is to raise school spirit, according to Lonigro.