COLUMN: Communication key to effectiveness

On two occasions this week, I was able to actively realize the importance of communication. On Tuesday, I was among student leaders and university administrators discussing the likelihood of incremental pay increases for students employed on campus and various ways of promoting better Muncie community involvement by Ball State students.

On Wednesday, I was again presented with the opportunity to engage in active dialogue while meeting with President Brownell and other students of color to address issues that pertained to us.

In both instances, I was amazed at how much information sharing and problem-solving could be achieved with simple, open, unrestricted communication.

Many historians will concur that the innovation of spoken word facilitated the advancement of human civilization. With the ability to speak, humans were now better equipped to effectively exchange information, maintain historical oral traditions and gain influential knowledge. The same holds true today.

As the vice president of the Student Government Association, I have almost been forced (in a more positive connotation) to learn the inner-workings of communication. I am responsible for the actions of 60 senators to approximately 18,000 constituents. Therefore, it is my responsibility to effectively articulate specific duties and initiatives to student senators, in compliance with SGA's mission, goals and objectives.

In essence, if the senators fail to do their jobs, I have ultimately failed in doing my job. As a leader, I am bounded to the accountability that is embedded in communication.

So how does this relate to you? I want to implore the reader, whether a Ball State student or faculty member, to experiment with the possibilities of communication. Say hello to a fellow student while walking to class. Engage in intelligent conversation with a professor. E-mail an administrator and voice your concerns or simply appreciate their role at Ball State. Whatever the situation may be, explore the possibilities of communication via any mode. You will be surprised at how much you will gain and how quickly issues can be resolved. But, there is a caveat. Hopefully, all the talk will lead to a desired action.Write to Tolu at


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