The Gustavian Weekly

Center For Student Leadership: Looking Ahead to 2013-14

By Chelsea Johnson Features Editor | April 26, 2013 | Features

The Habitat for Humanity group for 2012-13 gathers together for a picture during Act! Speak! Build! week.

The Habitat for Humanity group for 2012-13 gathers together for a picture during Act! Speak! Build! week.

The Center for Servant Leadership at Gustavus is offering many volunteer opportunities for students for the 2013-2014 school year. With 45 coordinators, the center houses four main areas of volunteer opportunities. More than half of Gustavus students are actively involved in at least one CSL group.

Outreach (Church Relations and Community Engagement) 

With a mission to strengthen the presence of the Church at Gustavus and the presence of the College in the church, the Outreach group holds a place for Gustavus students, alumni, faculty, and staff to search for alignment of the inner and outer life. This area of the CSL values a life lived in service to others as a life well lived and the objective of education itself. The opportunities held by the Outreach group range from vocational reflection, service, and liberal arts learning to a variety of off-campus constituents.

Vocation/ Reflection/Integrative Learning

Deriving from the Gustavus Mission Statement, the Vocation group strives to reflect on each individual’s callings to live out their distinctive gifts, passions, and senses of faith and meaning to benefit their communities and help address the needs of the world. This area of volunteerism has three tiers that students can choose from. Apprentices is an opportunity for first-years to be involved in, while ambassadors are aimed for sophomores, and partners are geared towards juniors and seniors. Through programs such as retreats, workshops, and course offerings the goal is to reach into every aspect of campus life-intellectual, physical, emotional, social, and spiritual. This area works across campus with academic departments, the Chaplains’ Office, International Education, the Diversity Center, and student organizations to coordinate existing programs as well as integrate new initiatives.

The Big Partner Little Partner coordinators of the 2012-13 year.

The Big Partner Little Partner coordinators of the 2012-13 year.

Community Based Service and Learning

With goals of maintaining excellence in service and leadership, the Community-Based Service and Learning group works to enhance students’ critical understanding of public issues, supporting their academic and civic development, and encouraging a life-long commitment to citizenship, public contribution, and capacity in local communities.  This area of CSL prides itself in strengthening students’ capacity to serve well to others through the development of leadership skills, an ethic of service, and a meaningful partnership with the community to deliver shared goals with a mutual benefit. The Community-Based Service and Learning challenges students to reflect in themselves through experiences with elders, local students, and peers to find meaning in service and recognize how their specific gifts and talents can be used to create a better society both locally and globally.

Career Development

The Career Development group gives students a place to go to gain support and gain clarity, confidence, and connections to find which career best suits them. With opportunities to assess individual interests, explore careers, and gain experience through internships, interviews, and job fairs, this group works specifically with students to implement individual career goals and lead students in the right path to their dream-career. This area gives those students the chance to be involved with the Mayo Scholars Program specifically aimed towards those students interested in a health profession, where they are able to volunteer in a local emergency room to gain experience in the field.

There are many other special interest student-lead groups available through the CSL:

Middle:  Andrew Hirschey Gustavus student and his little partner dress up for halloween.

Middle: Andrew Hirschey Gustavus student and his little partner dress up for halloween.

T.A.G:  The Trips and Activities Group (T.A.G.) is an after school program for St. Peter youth that gives students the opportunity to be active through games like soccer, basketball, capture the flag, and nature hikes.

STUDY BUDDIES: Study Buddies is a CSL group in which students help children in the St. Peter school district strive for academic achievement by helping them with their homework and overall educational experience.

GUSTIE BUDDIES: Gustie Buddies pairs Gusties with developmentally delayed youth and those who are typically marginalized in society to foster friendship and growth in the community.

BIG PARTNER LITTLE PARTNER: Big Partner Little Partner works with students in the St. Peter school district to develop and increase social skills through interactions and activities.

YOUTH MENTORING: Youth mentoring is also available at the Hoffman Center, where students interact with teen boy juvenile sex offenders to support rehabilitation and provide themes of healing and forgiveness.

OTHER GROUPS: Other groups integrated into the CSL include, Pound Pals, which gives students the opportunity to work at local pet shelters and advocate for animal rights, and Habitat for Humanity, where students build homes for people in need and advocate for affordable housing.