Feb 052004
 
Authors: Kyle Endres

Civic engagement may be a new term for some people, but for the

members of two offices at CSU, it will be a big part of their

future.

The Office of Service Learning and Volunteer Programs and the

Office of Leadership and Diversity Programs will be merging at

summer’s end to form the Office of Student Leadership and Civic

Engagement.

The two offices will retain their entire staffs, except SLVP

Director Victoria Keller, who will be retiring March 30 to spend

more time with her family. The merged office will have one director

selected from a nationwide search.

Michael Ellis, executive director of the Lory Student Center –

where both offices are located – said the merger is not a

cost-cutting move. The move is more about eliminating overlap

between the two offices and improving efficiency and recognition

for the new office.

In addition to a new director, the merged office will also have

three assistant directors or coordinators, one of whom will be

Glenn DeGuzman, currently assistant director of Campus Activities

for Leadership and Diversity Programs.

“We’re creating a potential to become a very large resource

center for the entire campus,” DeGuzman said.

The new center will have four broad program types, according to

a December draft proposal from Ellis. These include connecting

academics and service, developing student leadership, engaging with

communities and community-based research.

Annalyn Cruz, a graduate assistant in the Leadership and

Diversity Programs office, said the new office will bring more

recognition to her office’s programs, but she does have one

concern.

“The one thing that I personally feel worried about is the lack

of the word diversity in the name, and I hope the programs that we

still do here that are about diversity will still be around next

year,” Cruz said. “And that’s something that I’ll personally push

for as one of the graduate assistants in the office.”

And this staff effort, DeGuzman said, will be the key to

maintaining the program’s emphasis on diversity.

“I think the challenge is, anytime you remove a very key word

from something like that, the staff needs to work hard to one,

believe in diversity and the positive impacts of it, and (two)

demonstrate it,” he said.

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