At the Nexus of Inquiry and Action
What does it mean to be an “engaged university”? Does it mean to engage in civic inquiry or civic action? Does it mean to invest in traditional forms of community engagement (e.g. direct service initiatives housed in the Center for Social Concern) or does it mean to support faculty and students in disciplines traditionally associated with civic-minded work (e.g. sociology, anthropology, etc.)? Or is the problem not where we invest, but instead the question itself?
A Canned Response
Although space management and logistics, financial systems, human resources, inventory and use practices were a lot of moving parts - they eventually came together. As this process continued on, we were able to think a little deeper: are they additional ways we can facilitate learning, action, and agency around food insecurity?
Have You Heard About Pluto?
In high school, and in their undergraduate work, as students begin to form their own perspective on so many issues and the world as a whole, they have a much higher potential to be misled from facts and then have these concepts reinforced. Today, no matter what you believe in, whether it be climate change, a flat earth, ghosts, or bigfoot, you can search the web and find a group of people that believe in the same thing, and reinforce the belief despite possible facts; leading each student to have their own version of the same reality. Add to this the constant message we have given youth to stand up for what you believe in, and we quickly have a problem: students that will dig their heals in and fight like hell for beliefs based potentially in mistruths, misinformation, and propaganda.
Civic Action: Divergent Interests for a Common Good
This fall, Patrick Buckley ’19, a student ambassador in the Geneseo’s Center for Inquiry, Discovery & Development (CIDD), launched a new initiative to bridge college and community called “The Discovery Café.” The Discovery Café is based on the "Science Café” model, which originated in Europe as an effort to break down barriers between the science community and the general public. As implemented by Buckley, the model has been a wonderful vehicle for addressing public skepticism about current scientific theories in the local community. According to Buckley, “the events allow individuals to have face-to-face interactions with scientists about their research and they can break down misconceptions about scientists or science in general.”
Nudging in Student Affairs: Key Concepts and Applications
College students can face a combination of logistical, financial, and psychological stressors that can potentially drive them off-track and lead them to make decisions that may not be in their best long-term interests. Students struggling to adjust to college and feeling like they “just don’t fit in” may stand to benefit most from being nudged into co-curricular engagement activities across campus or student support services, such as career counseling or advising. In this post, NASPA Research and Policy Associate Alexa Wesley discusses how, through intentional delivery and framing of information, student affairs professionals can promote the uptake and effectiveness of programs that will help students manage their competing priorities, build meaningful social connections, and improve overall health and wellbeing. This blog is the first in a series of posts that will discuss various applications of behavioral science in the context of higher education and student affairs.
Developing Campus Partners to Enhance Community Service
The Borough of Manhattan Community College’s (BMCC) volunteer program, BMCC Academy of Leadership and Service: Student Partners Lending Universal Support program (Student PLUS), has seen immense growth and expansion over the last four years. The program has primarily focused on creating off-campus partnerships with local non-profits that help students connect with opportunities to serve their communities. At the same time, we have provided on-campus support for a multitude of department’s programs and services by providing volunteers to assist with these initiatives.