CSI: Council for Student Involvement
Published: Wednesday, September 26, 2007
Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 13:02
The Council for Student Involvement, a new organization on campus this year, was recently modeled after the Bonner Program. However, instead of serving the outside community, which is what Bonner does, CSI serves the Stetson community. "CSI's goal is to integrate all aspects of Stetson life," said sophomore international business student DJ Deaton. The program is broken down into twelve different areas of involvement on campus. Students who were already originally involved in specific organizations on campus were chosen to come together to form CSI. These students help to facilitate other student involvement. "It's about true student empowerment. We hope to equip the CSI members to be able to speak with other students about all organizations on campus," said Associate Dean of Students, Rina Tovar. CSI serves to help all organizations to be able to give their input on each issue that arises at the university. "We're trying to defeat the dynamic of people working in isolation. The idea is that we create a really effective web of student resources," said CSI director Shelley Wilson. Similar to the Bonner Program, CSI members are able to earn up to $2400 in scholarship money. They earn this money just like work study students by working approximately ten hours per week. They have the option of taking home a check or having it go directly to their tuition costs. One of the twelve positions within CSI includes SWAT, another new organization this year. SWAT branched away from the Council of Student Activities. SWAT now provides all the audio and media equipment to students free of charge, which allows CSA to focus on their larger projects throughout the year.
The members of CSI do not have any authority to tell organizations what to do. Each of the members reach out to very different areas at the university and they feel that they are able to meet all students' wants and needs. CSI is able to take different entities on campus and connect them in a variety of ways because of their effective methods of communication. The student chair for Communications and Marketing, Britany Stark, will be working with all the members of CSI to get each of their section's messages out to the student population by using the bulletin boards around campus, advertising in The Reporter, and one day they hope to incorporate digital arts. The Academic Connections student chair, Will Daly, will work directly with the faculty in helping to promote attendance to guest lecturers who have been asked to come in and speak by professors. "Every student has to belong somewhere before they can belong everywhere," said Wilson. She feels that students are much more likely to be successful when they are involved and that is the underlying motive of CSI. They will also look at what is available and what is unavailable to students and have committed themselves to improving customer service. "You can sense the lack of communication on Stetson's campus and now this organization is trying to correct that. My goal is by next year's orientation to be able to tell students if they want to get involved in an organization, they can come to the CSI office and I'll be able to give them contact information, applications, etc.," said Deaton. Tovar's hope is that the members will become student involvement experts and they will know exactly what students can do when they come into the CSI office.
The CSI office is located in the Hollis Center Classroom and is currently being renovated. Their hope is to soon have the walls covered in student organization information. "We specifically asked certain students to join based on our knowledge of their ability to create an organization," said Tovar. From now on however, there will be an application process. The applications will be reviewed and chosen by the students already working within CSI, as positions open. This will begin in January of 2008.