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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 UVA 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 at the end of August and in early September, with elections occurring soon afterward. You run to be a part of either the First Year Council or your Association Council. You will be elected by your peers (from your respective residential community) based on demonstrated leadership potential. For more information about FYLE elections, see the elections timeline.

All 7 elected members will attend a leadership retreat on Sunday, September 13, 2015. 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!

Can I get more detailed information on the campaign process?
Please see the document used in the Information Sessions for campaign rules, regulations, and a general outline of how campaigning works.

What positions are available within the program?
In each association, you will either run for the four Association Council positions, or the three First Year Council positions. Each member of First Year Council will additionally serve on their respective Association Council, attending the first AC meeting of each month. As a liaison, all FYC members are responsible for bringing updates back and forth between the two organizations in order to support communication and transparency between all of FYLE.

Association Councils have four distinct positions, which work in tandem to serve the residential community: president, vice president, publicity chair, 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 First Year Council. 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.

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/Suite Rep or getting involved in one of the many other leadership opportunities across Grounds.

What if I live in a Residential College?
First Years living in the residential colleges can still be a part of FYLE! You run just like everyone else and are immediately designated as a member of the First Year Council. In addition, you will serve as an overall representative of the First Year class and get the opportunity to collaborate with other designated members on the FYLE Executive Board.

Interested in getting involved with the First Year Leadership Experience? Come to an info session!
August 30, 2015: 7:00 p.m. in Ern Commons
August 31, 2015: 7:00 p.m. in Newcomb Theatre
September 1, 2015: 5:00 p.m. in Newcomb Theatre
September 2, 2015: 5:00 p.m. in Runk Green Room

In order to run for FYLE, interested candidates must attend an information session.

If you have questions or want more information, you can also like us on Facebook or contact us at the email addresses below:

Andy Petters
Assistant Dean of Students, First Year Areas

Kyle Johnson
Program Coordinator for Council Leadership Development, Housing & Residence Life