In the midst of the flurry of new classes and opportunities this fall, two UT organizations are already extending opportunities to get students involved in the early stages of this academic year.
The Center for Leadership and Service (CLS) and the Central Program Council (CPC) both provide essential resources to the university and give students the experience needed after graduation that can be hard to get in a classroom setting The CLS is home to many programs and classes that strive to "educate and engage all students to lead and serve the global community," according to the center's mission statement. "Without the Center for Leadership and Service, I think freshmen students, especially, would suffer," Brooke Bowman, a senior in nursing, said. "They would not have a support system entering the university. They would not be provided with easy ways to get involved."
Ignite, a three day retreat for upcoming freshmen, is one of these programs. Due to positive feedback from previous students, Ignite expanded to include six total programs, according to Bowman, who also serves as Ignite student co-director.
Bowman also took part in the alternative fall break trip to Louisville, Ky. and said that the leadership developed and service provided through these CLS programs help uphold the Volunteer name. "CLS really creates these strong bonds and without that, I think there would be a lack of unity within people on campus," Bowman said. CLS also teaches classes on leadership skills and selects student ambassadors, such as Kristin Kennedy, senior in history and political science, to take leadership positions within the CLS office.
"It's important for us as college students to look outside our time on campus," Kennedy said. "The Center for Leadership and Service has given me a way to connect with my fellow students in order to fulfill a bigger picture.
"Being influential on campus is part of the CPC mission, which acts as the umbrella organization for six committees on campus, such as Film Committee, Cultural Attractions Committee along with four others.
These committees include the Campus Entertainment Board, Cultural Attractions Committee, Film Committee, Issues Committee, Visual Arts Committee, All Campus Events and Women’s Coordinating Council.
Some events hosted by these committees include Welcome Week, Volapalooza, All-Sing, various film viewings and Homecoming.This number is expected to grow, said Alexandra Chiasson, press secretary for the CPC.
“It was sort of an answer to a lot of chaos,” Chiasson said, junior in English. “There are multiple committees at UT and the CPC makes sure everything is running smoothly with each one.
”Students are able to select an individual committee to join, and later, apply for the Central Program Executive Board, said Chiasson, who originally joined the Issues Committee. She said a big part of the CPC is learning what the students want and catering to that.
“[The CPC] is a huge part of campus life,” Chiasson said. “Concerts, movies, speakers, comedians, dance acts. Especially for younger students who need a way to connect with other students and make friends.”
The Center for Leadership and Service will hold an interest meeting Wednesday, Aug. 21 at 5 p.m. The Central Program Council will hold an interest meeting Thursday, Aug. 22 at 4:30 p.m. All students are welcome to attend.