The department of Student Activities held the semesterly meeting for recognized student organizations on Feb. 12. Director of the Career Center Rocky Campbell and Director of Inclusion and Multicultural Engagement (IME) Angela Gintz relayed the relevant findings from last semester’s student engagement surveys and focus groups to the students in attendance. They also announced a new event happening on Feb. 22: Spring Fling, a dance party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in Fields Dining Hall with a beer garden and food trucks. This event is organized by IME, the Black Student Union (BSU) and the Senior Experience Committee which aims to develop a more robust nightlife at LC.
According to Gintz and Campbell, the data from the student surveys showed a desire among LC students for more campus-wide events where they can socialize more freely. The surveys also identified Watzek Library as the most commonly used space on the undergraduate campus for students to gather and socialize
“We were like, is that defeating the purpose of trying to be academically-focused in the library?” Gintz said. “You can definitely blend both, but there’s definitely a need for a social space that’s pretty unstructured.”
The data is primarily being used to inform Vice President of Student Life Robin Holmes-Sullivan’s plans to renovate Templeton Student Center and other spaces around campus. However, Holmes-Sullivan, Gintz and other stakeholders wanted to address the gaps that the surveys identified right away. This inspired the creation of Spring Fling.
“The information that we gathered from the campus engagement survey was quite clear across all three campuses and constituents: we should encourage our students to cultivate more late-night activities that attract community members from all age groups in order to build a more vibrant campus atmosphere and a stronger sense of community,” Holmes-Sullivan said via email. “The spring fling activities will hopefully demonstrate the ways in which students can conceive and plan activities that are fun, edgy and exciting while also demonstrating that our students are fully capable of engaging with one another in responsible ways.”
During the student organizations meeting, Mikah Bertelmann ’21, the student organizations coordinator, announced new changes to the Student Organizations Committee (which operates within the Associated Students of Lewis & Clark) budget allocation process for Fall 2020.
“The major changes were the supplementary questions and the process by which organizations’ applications will be reviewed,” Bertelmann said via email. “There are more focused questions that aim at getting organizations to be more intentional in their requests for funds, and in particular, how their organization reflects the values ASLC SOC finds important.”
These values are listed in a rubric that was sent to all student organizations. According to the rubric, excellent organizations “demonstrate a clear effort to create opportunities for members to participate in quality, enriching activities” and “make a clearly intentional effort to create an inclusive L&C community by creating inclusive spaces for its members.”
ASLC and the department of Student Life are demonstrating increased financial support for organizations to plan events that foster a greater sense of community.