Effective Campus & Community Relationships
1. LA-Term Faculty
While working in LA-Term, I had the opportunity to work with faculty members on a regular basis in and out of the classroom. I would travel to the on site visits with the class and help lead discussions in order to facilitate student learning. Also, in collaboration with several professors, I have used the recently-built website as an opportunity for students to continue learning outside of the classroom. We have done this by posting recent reflections and papers from site visits onto the website, and encouraging discussion to take place by students commenting on others’ writings. Being able to work so closely with faculty is something I realize most student affairs professionals are not able to do, so I have made it a priority to continue fostering similar relationships in future positions.
While working in Communiversity, we created an end of the year event for the entire campus called Shenanigans. In order to plan for this event, I needed to work with several other offices on campus, as well as many community businesses. After several meetings with department heads on campus, we were able to combine resources such as funding, access to campus space, and staffing in order to make the event happen. We then contacted and worked with several off-campus vendors to rent and buy jump houses, cotton candy and churro stands, concert stages and a small petting zoo. It was definitely a hectic planning process because of all of the different people and offices involved, but after accomplishing all of our goals for the event it was nice to have so many new connections around the campus and the city.
3. Off-Campus Site Visits
During LA-Term, the students would often go on site visits into the community to see different religious churches or temples, non profit organizations and other points of interest around Los Angeles. Each of these visits required coordination from the graduate assistants with the site the students were visiting in order to set up a time and place to meet, and often a point person or guide to give the class a tour. It was often my job to call or email these locations, set up appointments and follow up with them after the site visit in order to maintain a relationship with these community members.