During the summer, we have welcomed a number of new staff members including Brian Quinlan, the new Director of Student Involvement. Brian comes to us with more than 10 years of
experience in higher education.
Like many others who work here, Nichols appealed to Brian
because it offered him the opportunity to have a big impact on a small institution. (Of course having a new student center doesn’t hurt either!)
In fact, for the 2012-2013 academic year, the Center for Student Involvement plans on making the new student center the central HUB for Nichols College. Using the multiple programming spaces in the building, they will be able to create a new campus culture and give students (and staff & faculty) a place to call their own.
Staffing a separate Student Involvement office demonstrates Nichols’
commitment to helping our students develop “beyond the classroom.” As a result, the activities available to our students are comparable to those at campuses three times our size. The opportunities range from clubs for students with very specific interests (such as Paint Ball and Poetry), to community service activities, to Student Government.
Other activities are designed to create a sense of community on campus among the students, staff and faculty. Bison Day takes place in early April and is a spring kick-off for students to enjoy themselves. Thunder Thursdays are held on the last Thursday of the month to promote Bison pride and thank the Nichols College community for their support.
When students participate in outside activities, it helps them develop as much as their classroom-related experiences and activities. Through involvement in clubs, organizations, and activities, students can develop important skills and abilities, such as leadership and teamwork. It also enables them to interact with others that they may not otherwise encounter in their campus life.
In addition, students tell me that they tend to be more effective when they have a busy schedule. So, involvement also enables students to focus more on time management and ensure that they allocate an appropriate amount of time for all of their responsibilities.
Of course, the overall goal of the Center for Student Involvement is to improve the student experience at Nichols and better prepare them for life after college. Through their involvement in organizations and Student Government-sponsored events, we hope to create an environment where students can excel.