Students in Service and Leadership at Harvard

Back Story -- Literature Review

Universities function as a hub for social networks, a location where people from different backgrounds can come together to plan, create, and share. Within these institutions, different forms of relationships exist due to the wide variety of actors at play: students, faculty members, staff, administrators. Some of the most salient and complex relationships tend to be between student leaders and administrators due to the juxtaposition of their positions on the campus. Yet, while this relationship can be strenuous, it can also prove fruitful in bringing change to universities, such as a starting a new pre-orientation program. The relationship, however, often burdens students from marginalized backgrounds as they carry the burden of needing to bring change to their campuses. 

The literature review will proceed as follows: first, I will broadly discuss the power dynamics between student leaders and administrators and the different types of partnerships that exist. Then, I will review the impact that pre-orientation programs have on fostering a sense of belonging at a university and the role of student leaders. Ultimately, I will conclude with how my research hopes to fill the void in the literature regarding student leader-administration partnerships that often burden student leaders from marginalized communities.


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