Changes Made to OSI Program Series in Response to Student Input

By Sarah Wallace, Arts and Entertainment Editor

OSI Event Staff Marquise Griffin working the rock climbing wall at K Fest.

From left to right, the OSI''s 2013 interns: Roderick Vogel, Kari Paine, Nichele Abst, Amanda Mancini and DeAngelo Glaze (Photo by Kate Yancho)

When entering the Hicks Student Center, signs and banners about Wind Down Wednesday, Tuesdays With…, The Stress Free Zone, and Zoo After Dark flood our vision. The Office of Student Involvement (OSI) has recently added changes and improvements to this weekly series.

The Assistant Director of Student Involvement, Kate Yancho, and Graduate Assistants Mark Campbell and Christina Fritz have been working closely with the OSI’s interns on the series. They have welcomed suggestions on how to really involve the students.

Using these suggestions, OSI has made specific changes to the events.

Tuesdays with…, a film series shown by certain student organizations, is focusing more on a discussion component that comes after the film.

“We’re not just showing the films, but making it connect to that organization – just getting that discussion going – so we’ve been working to make that a richer, more engaging experience,” Yancho said.

The Stress Free Zone has had the most changes. Many students previously commented on the location of the event. They said that the Banquet Hall was not ideal for dance classes because of the lack of mirrors and space.

OSI has taken these comments into consideration. They have moved this event from the Banquet Hall of Hicks to the dance studio in the Anderson Athletic building.

“This quarter, we moved the date, time and location of the Stress Free Zone,” said Yancho. “Making these changes has gotten a lot more regular comers for Zumba, yoga, and belly dancing. We’re also recruiting some new classes for winter quarter.”

We can see some specific changes to the events, but most are hard to find. OSI relies on student organizations to co-sponsor events, such as Tuesdays with… and Wind Down Wednesdays.

One overall goal of OSI has been to help the co-sponsors come up with new ideas that display the mission of their organization. They want to attract a variety of students.

One of the interns, Nichele Abts ’10, partly in charge of Wind Down Wednesdays, described the overall changes she has seen.

“I have noticed a heightened involvement between all different types of students,” said Abts. “I’ve seen a better sense of pride in the Hornet community,”

The OSI is pleased with the numbers of people who attend the events, but doesn’t rely on this indicator as success.

“Each event has a bit of a different definition of success. I do feel like the students are benefiting more from the events this year,” Yancho said.

There are five OSI interns this year who work on the series; more than there have been in the past years. Their focus is on getting the students’ point of views in terms of how these activities should be run.

The OSI encourages any suggestions. They have been extremely responsive so far. If you have a comment, voice it. Do not hesitate to talk with any of the interns about the OSI’s programs.

The interns this year include: Amanda Mancini, Nichele Abts, DeAngelo Glaze, Kari Paine, and Roderick Vogel.