First Year Leadership Experience
The First Year Leadership Experience is an opportunity for First Year students to help foster growth in their residential and class communities through the core values of academic rigor, diversity and multiculturalism, health and wellness, honor, public service and student self-governance.
Run collaboratively by Housing & Residence Life and the U.Va. Alumni Association, FYLE helps students develop a well-rounded set of practical leadership skills, interact with faculty and staff from across Grounds, and work with motivated student leaders dedicated to serving the needs of their class.
FYLE is one overarching program made up of two organizations:
- Association Councils:
An Association Council (AC) is a representative body made up of students from each set of associated First Year residence halls. The AC is advised by the association's Senior Resident, a student member of the Resident Staff who lives in the residence hall along with the First Years and other Resident Advisors. Students join Association Council to make the residence hall feel more like home by organizing fun social programs, community service opportunities, and developing a strong residential community. Association Councils also collaborate with each other to program for groups of residence halls and with First Year Council to bring the whole class together.
- First Year Council:
First Year Council (FYC) is the representative body of undergraduate students in their first academic year at the University. It is made up of representatives from each set of associated residence halls as well as First Year representatives from the Residential Colleges. As a "special status" organization, FYC acts as an agent of the University and has a direct reporting relationship to the Alumni Association and the Office of the Dean of Students. FYC is charged with bringing the First Year class together in ways that build class identity. FYC must also build long-lasting affection directly for their class, the University, and by extension the Alumni Association. The First Year Council has its own constitution, officers, members and agenda that are separate from the University-wide Student Council.
Frequently Asked Questions about the First Year Leadership Experience
What is the process for participating in FYLE?
Information sessions take place in early September, with elections occurring soon afterward. You run to be a part of the whole First Year Leadership Experience, not for a specific organization or position. You will be elected by your peers (from your respective residential community) based on demonstrated leadership potential. All 7 elected members will attend a leadership retreat on Saturday, September 14, 2013. At this retreat, you will participate in team-building and self-exploration activities, leadership training, and goal-setting for the year. It is a fun way to get inducted into the program!
What positions are available within the program?
You must first be elected by your peers (respective to your residential community) to be a part of the First Year Leadership Experience, then you will be able to select the organization in which you want to participate. There are seven FYLE members per residential community or association. At the retreat in September, you, your co-members, and your Senior Resident will decide who will serve on the Association Council and who will serve on the First Year Council. Four members per association serve on AC, two members per association serve on FYC, and one member serves as a liaison between the two organizations.
Association Councils have four distinct positions, which work in tandem to serve the residential community: president, vice president, secretary and publicity coordinator, and programming and events coordinator. You will decide your position collaboratively with your AC after the retreat in September.
First Year Council has a president and vice president who are elected by the entire First Year class. In order to run, you must first be elected into FYLE and then selected to be one of the two FYC representatives from your residential community. If you are a FYC representative, but not the president or vice president, you will serve on a committee (such as service, multiculturalism, event planning, etc.) and will have other leadership opportunities within the organization.
The liaison attends both the AC and FYC meetings and is responsible for bringing updates back and forth between the two organizations in order to support communication and transparency between all of FYLE.
What's the expected time commitment?
As with any leadership position, what you get out of it depends on what you put into it. Association Councils typically meet once a week and host a program once every couple of weeks. First Year Council meets biweekly and hosts several events a semester. If you hold a leadership position in either organization, you will be expected to attend additional executive meetings and one-on-ones with your advisors.
What additional opportunities are there for FYLE members?
After you are elected and have attended the retreat, you will have the opportunity to attend leadership workshops and specialized community service events. These events will be based on the student experience core values listed at the top of this page. They wil feature guest speakers, hands-on activities, great conversations, and sometimes even food!
What if I run for election... and lose?
It happens! But don't worry, your Association Council and First Year Council will welcome your support throughout the year. Speak with your RA about becoming an Association Council Hall Rep or getting involved in one of the many other leadership opportunities across Grounds.
Watch this page for more information about Info Sessions that will be taking place this fall. A fun FYLE promo video will be coming soon as well!
If you have more questions or concerns, come find us at Summer Orientation or contact us at the email addresses below:
Assistant Dean of Students, First Year Areas
Program Coordinator for Council Leadership Development, Housing & Residence Life