Student involvement at Clarke has been at a significant low for a couple of years. The students on Clarke’s campus are rising in number, but that doesn’t mean that student involvement is gaining any traction. By boosting student involvement, it’s possible that students would be more willing to consider the campus home.
Sydney Eustice, president of the Clarke Student Association, says that “One of the goals of the CSA is to help student organizations get more students to attend events.” She believes that, as a campus, “We need to get rid of the stigma that student athletes don’t have time to join in the student organizations events or other sporting events. “ Sydney also mentioned that the Clarke Student Association has meetings every other Sunday hold discussions regarding campus life and the steps CSA can take to help improve it. She says that all students are welcome to join these meetings to present new ideas.
Roane Hand, primary contact of the Spanish club, agrees, stating that “Giving students somewhere to go makes them want to come, which can up the stakes of encouraging them to join.” Roane elaborated on how she, as a club leader, gets word out about student organizations like the Spanish club. “The only real way to get more students involved is word-of-mouth or face-to-face. It’s a lot harder to tell someone no to their face. If they do say yes and then they don’t show up, you know their face, so when you see them in the hall it can create an awkward situation.”
A resident assistant, Lexi Wenz, had plenty to say not only on student involvement, but the overall environment of Clarke University. Wenz said of the school that “Last year, it felt like this school was a suitcase school. Students lived here during the week, but then left on the weekends. I guess that in my first two years, the Clarke Activity Board had events every weekend or they were more planned out. The chalkboard in the tunnel between Mary Ben and Mary Jo always had weekly events.” As a resident assistant, Lexi gets a different opportunity to get students involved. Lexi says she normally tries to update her residents by letting them know when and where events are happening on campus or in the city.
Every week, campus engagement also sends out an email covering the weekly events taking place on and off campus. Most students find this to be helpful, allowing them to plan their schedules accordingly with the addition of events they’d like to attend. In regards to how else to get the word out about campus events, students have been pushing to better utilize the chalkboard in the tunnel between Mary Ben and Mary Jo.
While the university doesn’t make the student, the students definitely make the university. Clarke for a few years now has had a significantly low rate of student involvement, which has impacted the overall environment of Clarke University. Hopefully, over the next couple of months, students will become more aware of what opportunities Clarke has to offer, both on and off campus.