ASCOCC, Student Life branch out

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Eliot Collins, director of student affairs, ASCOCC. Photo by Anna Quesenberry, The Broadside.

Branch campuses are often not included in on-campus events, according to Eliot Collins, director of student affairs at Associated Students of Central Oregon Community College.
Collins believes the reason branch campuses have not been involved in the past is due to the small student representation.
“Unfortunately the nature of the beast has been to focus on Bend,” Collins said. “[But] you can’t exclude a small demographic because of their size.”
As of spring term, the ASCOCC council has been seeking to bring more events to the Redmond, Madras and Prineville campuses, according to Collins.
“[They] didn’t get forgotten about, their voice just isn’t strong enough yet. It’s always been ‘let’s wait until they start saying something,’ well they’re not saying anything,” Collins explained. “[We] thought ‘let’s get out there and make them louder.’ ”On April 25 ASCOCC sponsored a pizza and movie night for Prineville students and their families.
“Everybody had a good time,” Collins said. “We were able to say, this is where we are going to start at branch campuses, and we took notes on what to do differently.”
Twelve students attended this event, according to Collins.
“We got a lot of information just from those 12 people,” Collins said. “They gave us a lot of feedback on what we could do better.”
Events and student involvement are important at the branch campuses, stated Gordon Price, director of student life, during the ASCOCC council meeting on April 5.
“ASCOCC and more student life presence is important,” Price said.
Collins also believes student events are important to help unite the campuses and support students.
“The focus is campus-wide cohesiveness,” Collins explained. “The more cohesive the campus is as a whole, the more networking options students will have when they walk out into that big world.”

Clubs encouraged to expand to branch campuses
Student clubs that are mostly coordinated on the Bend campus are being encouraged to expand to branch campuses, according to Collins.
“Right now we see these thriving groups all over campus,” Collins said. “We want to get them to widen their reach. How do we get as many people involved in these clubs and thereby campus events as possible?”
One of these clubs is the Criminal Justice club, Collins explained.
“[There are] CJ classes out in Redmond, it serves to reason that the next logical step is to have the club out there,” Collins said.
Clubs serve to create a “family” atmosphere within the group of students, according to Collins.
“I’m sure that if we do enough research and poll enough people, we’re going to be able to get that same dynamic out on the branch campuses,” Collins said.
Part of encouraging clubs to expand is to increase student involvement and pride in the school, Collins explained.
“We want to turn this into something where people love to wear the COCC colors and like going to these events,” Collins said.

–Molly Svendsen

The Broadside

(Contact: msvendsen@cocc.edu)

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