Classroom learning is only one aspect of a college education. The Bryant experience provides many opportunities for students to discover their talents and develop their abilities outside of the classroom setting through a wide variety of activities. Most campus social and cultural events are planned and implemented by students.
Through these experiences, students develop valuable interpersonal and leadership skills. In fact, many Bryant graduates report that their involvement in student activities and programs contributed significantly to their career success.
CENTER FOR STUDENT LEADERSHIP AND INVOLVEMENT
MISSION and CHARGE
The Center for Student Leadership and Involvement (CSLI) maintains and supports a diverse array of co-curricular programming, student organizations, community engagement initiatives, and leadership development opportunities. These essential campus resources, along with the advisement and support from CSLI staff, promote inclusive opportunities that foster personal and professional development, innovation, and global thinking. CSLI works to create a comprehensive college experience that emphasizes the importance of linking on-campus collaborative learning environments and social development with off-campus real-world connections, community engagement, and active citizenship. CSLI strives to develop and empower students as they meet Bryant’s mission to “discover their passion and become innovative leaders with character around the world.”
The CSLI team uses patient and thoughtful advisement, industry best practices, and organizational development to successfully manage and support the above-mentioned services and opportunities. Located on the 3rd floor of the Fisher Student Center, the CSLI team works to create an adaptive framework of transparent policies and procedures that allow students to explore and develop in a way that is sustainable and efficient while also remaining tailored to their individual needs or interests. Students who work with CSLI will be challenged in a way that balances their passion with critical thinking and a grounded set of systems that will help them move from concept into reality. Through the promotion of collaborative learning, inclusive practices, leadership development, and community engagement, CSLI’s goal is facilitate opportunities for students to develop their many identities as individuals, team members, leaders, innovators, and professionals.
FOUR PILLARS OF CSLI:
CSLI manages a variety of programs, events, partnerships, and positions that provide students with leadership development that unpacks a variety of core competencies and fields.These opportunities come in a variety of forms including experiential roles, training, lectures, networking, and developmental/facilitated programs. Examples from the 2019-2020 academic year include:
- The First Annual E-Board Leadership Summit
- Day-long leadership training series for current student leaders
- 300 to 400 Leadership Positions
- Active positions that exist within CSLI and our student organizations
- Regular Leadership Development Training Opportunities
- More than 50 special guests, training, and sessions open to all students and offer a variety of perspectives and strategies that underscore core leadership competencies. Examples include: conflict management; goal setting; empathetic leadership; and time management.
- The SOLID Series
- This series of trainings, targeted to student organization leaders, teaches students about a variety of core fundamentals including communication, managing large groups, organizational development, marketing, finances, and recruitment.
- Leadership Incentive Programs
- Students earn points and prizes for building leadership skills and positions.
- Co-curricular advising from staff and peers offered to all student organizations
- Student Presidents' Advisory Council monthly meetings
Student Programming and Campus-Wide Events
Events and programs in CSLI fall into three core areas:
o Student Programming Board - CSLI oversees and advises the Student Programming Board, the body of undergraduate students who provide meaningful programming to enhance students’ Bryant experience both on campus and in the surrounding community. They strive to serve Bryant students through a number of specified committees that offer a wide variety of alternative, professional, entertaining, cultural, and intellectual programs. Through this programming, SPB hopes to foster friendship, develop leaders, and promote undergraduate student involvement while creating everlasting memories. Examples include:
- Special Weekends (Big B, Spring Weekend/Concert, and Winter Weekend)
- Annual Lectures (Examples - Danny Amendola, John Quinones, Dennis Eckersley)
- Consistent Programming (weekly, bi-weekly, monthly)
- Trips (Examples - theater shows, sporting events, seasonal trips, and recreation
o Student Organization Events and Programs - CSLI supports other student organizations in the planning of large-scale campus events as appropriate. A large percentage of these events are handled through the organizations. However, when an event rises to a certain level because of scale, partnerships, liability, or importance, the event or program moves from being solely driven by the club and becomes re-focused as a collaboration between the overall department and the sponsoring student organizations. The goal is for these events to remain majority led, managed, and owned by students, and for students. Examples include:
- St Jude Up ‘til Dawn
- BUNEEC ( Pronounced "be unique." The Bryant University Northeast Entrepreneurship Conference is organized by Bryant's chapter of the Collegiate Entrepreneurs' Organization.)
- Special Olympics
- Large-Scale Greek Life Initiatives
Sorority Formal Recruitment (Jan), Fraternity Recruitment (Feb), Greek Summit (Nov), Greek Week (Apr), Derby Days (Apr)
- Fall Concert (WJMF Radio)
- Relay for Life
o Departmental Programs - CSLI, as a department, is responsible for organizing or supporting the student components of several other initiatives on behalf of the University. Examples of these events include:
- Involvement Fairs (September and January)
- Blood Drives (September, November, February, May)
- Student Leadership Banquet (May)
- CSLI After Dark – Consistent Nighttime Programming (all year)
- Annual Leadership Summit
- Weekly Leadership Development programs
- Community Service and Nonprofit Engagement Initiatives
A variety of more than 110 student organizations, including:
o Partnering Organizations - Partnering organizations serve as recognized representatives of the undergraduate student body to the University administration, and are advised by paid University staff dedicated to serving in this role. These organizations include The Archway, Commuter Connection, International Student Organization, Multicultural Student Union, Panhellenic Council, Interfraternity Council, Student Government, Student Programming Board, and WJMF Radio Station. These organizations have specific functions and obligations delegated to them by Bryant University. They serve the University at the systemic level and support important areas such as managing campus systems, programming major events, governing, and representing key subsets of the student community.
o Greek Life - Bryant and the CSLI host several social Greek organizations on campus. Overall, there are four fraternities, four sororities, two governing bodies, and two additional awareness and leadership organizations. These organizations play a vital role in the ongoing development of both the Bryant University campus and individual students who participate. Greek Life provides leadership, philanthropic, social, and service opportunities to students. Bryant’s Greek organizations use a deferred recruitment system, meaning that first-year students must wait until their second semester to enter the recruitment process and potentially accept a bid from a fraternity or sorority.
Managing groups include:
• GAMMA (Greeks Advocating for Mature Management of Alcohol)
• Order of Omega - Greek Leadership Honor Society
• Interfraternity Council - governing body for fraternities
• Panhellenic Council - governing body for sororities
• Delta Chi
• Delta Kappa Epsilon
• Sigma Chi
• Tau Kappa Epsilon
• Alpha Omicron Pi
• Alpha Sigma Alpha
• Delta Zeta
• Sigma Sigma Sigma
o Additional Categories: Additional organizations fall under the following areas:
o Affinity/Identity/Religious Organizations
o Arts/Performing Arts Organizations
o Common Interest Organizations
o Community or Political Engagement Organizations
o Professional Development Organizations
o Recreation Organizations
CSLI is working to expand and enhance the level of community engagement opportunities that are available to students at Bryant. The focus is on the development of campus-community partnerships, the expansion of entry-level service opportunities, the creation of a volunteer “clearing house,” and the formation of long-term placements and special programs that intersect with other outcomes of the department (leadership development, experiential opportunities, inclusive practices, collaboration, etc.). Additionally, CSLI works to support the efforts of recognized student organizations that have a focus on community engagement and service, including Special Olympics, Relay for Life, Habitat for Humanity, Big Brother Big Sister, and the Community Activism and Leadership Organization (CALO). Some examples of CSLI's commitment to community engagement include:
- AmeriCorps VISTA: Bryant CSLI proudly hosts and AmeriCorps VISTA grant that places a full-time staff member on campus with the goal of enhancing the level of external leadership and community partnerships that exist on campus.
- Leadership and Community Engagement Fellowship program
- Special training on community concepts. Topics have included: advocacy, awareness, and responsible/ethical service.
- Social Impact Requirement: All 110-plus student organizations are required to demonstrate at least one instance of social impact throughout the year
- Nonprofit Networking Event and National Service Panel
ADMINISTRATIVE SUPPORT AND ADVISEMENT
As a department that works closely with a large population of students, CSLI also serves as an adviser and guide for new and emerging ideas. Students can come to the CSLI to explore new ideas and initiatives that they are interested in or to discuss gaps they see in the offerings that are provided to the campus. A student who is interested in expanding their co-curricular portfolio or simply getting more involved can work with both professional and student staff in the CSLI to receive wrap-around services that help them navigate the landscape of involvement on the Bryant campus. Staff can help unpack their interests and connect them with recommended areas of involvement and long-term leadership goals.
CSLI also works closely with various stakeholders across the campus to manage and develop policies and procedures that allow student initiatives and opportunities to function and thrive. The full listing of policies and procedures that CSLI manages and expects student organizations to follow can be found in the CSLI Manual for Recognized Student Organizations.
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