W Leadership teaches students it's OK to say no

Takeisha King


Members of The W Leadership Program presented “It’s OK to Say No” in Cochran on Oct. 4. 

“It’s OK to Say No” was designed to reach out to students who are taking on more than they can handle in school and let them know that it’s OK to say “no” sometimes. Organizers of the event said that at a small university such as The W, students tend to be more tight knit than at larger universities and more likely to say “yes” whenever a classmate or friend invites them to join a new organization, add a class or take on a new project. This urge to overcommit can cause negative effects on a student’s well being.

Bayleigh Herron, a senior at The W, helped organize the event. Herron told students at the event that one of her lowest points at The W involved being an officer in six of the 11 organizations that listed her as a member while also being a full-time student and working full time.

“I’m still learning to say no,” said Herron.

Students were invited to participate in a balloon activity to represent the stress of trying to juggle too many things at once. Each student was given one balloon and asked to keep it from hitting the ground. After a short time, a second balloon was added, then a third and so on. The balloons represented their majors, home lives, social activities, jobs and more. Organizers hoped that this would prove to students that even though some can handle more than others, everyone should know their limits and when to say “no” to additional tasks.

A Power Point presentation was also shown to those in attendance. The presentation featured five signs that students might be over-involved on campus, such as lack of time for sleep and having a planner with no blank spaces in it. Everyone was invited to share personal experiences with each symptom of over-involvement. 

Ciara Peoples, a senior at The W, shared her experience. Peoples recently decided to focus more of her time on graduating from The W instead of all the things she could do while at The W.

“I had to learn to say no to different organizations,” said Peoples.

The W leadership program aims to help students be the best leaders they can be in their chosen fields. Students can learn more about the leadership program, its members and upcoming events at www.muw.edu/leadership.