Learning on the job: My Year as Secretary of the Campus Ministry Student Forum


When I ran for the position of Secretary on the Campus Ministry Student Forum, I was completely out of my element.

I had a limited understanding of  the purpose of a board, and as it turns out, what I did understand was pretty flawed. But, I ran anyway. I wanted to be more involved with my faith community and with other communities on campus.

Although, the learning curve was steep, I was lucky it was fairly easy. I began to understand that the board was there to oversee faith organizations, ensure smooth communications and transitions, support the presidents of each community, and serve as a resource for the various technical aspects of the job.  

Eventually, I could articulate our mission, and discovered that by joining the executive board I was part of  a wonderful working community.  There were six members on the board, including myself. We had a fantastic working and social dynamic in which we could be vulnerable and trusting with each other while working as a team. This cohesive environment ensured that we were able to perform our duties in supporting our faith communities and their leaders.

Although the year was not without its challenges, we were able to fulfill our mission successfully.  The board helped student presidents reflect on their role as faith leaders in new ways. We facilitated chaplain-led discussions on important topics such as mental health, and oversaw training for future student leaders of our faith communities.  We also collaborated with our student government when reforms were introduced and with the faith communities when the federal government threatened our students. On the more technical side of things, we facilitated meetings for interfaith leaders, ensured best practices for treasurers and transitions, and helped promote events to the broader campus community.

Although I am only allowed to serve one term as Secretary, I am confident the CMSF will continue to grow. Joining an advisory board is a good learning experience. I learned about balancing the responsibility of an advisory role with the autonomy student organizations need to run themselves. My hope is that next year’s executive board continues to find new ways to support student leaders by providing them and their organizations with new tools and a reflective and practical space for student faith leaders to grow.  

Our faith communities can only flourish when their leaders do, and helping that happen is the purpose of CMSF.

Written by Piyusha Mittal, F’18

Student Organizations