Student members are in charge of organizing housing events
Community Council is a volunteer-driven group of students who live at IU South Bend’s River Crossing housing. The main purpose of the group is to plan housing events as a way to get students living on campus more involved.
Member and former Vice President Christopher Boylan describes it as “basically like a housing version of the student government.”
According to Boylan, each building is allowed two representatives who communicate to the council what students living in their building would like to see in terms of housing events.
“Kind of the focus of it is to get specifically students that are already in housing more engaged and more involved by allowing them to kind of participate and plan their own events,” he said. “Building representatives can talk to their other peers in the building – it instills in them a little bit more of a sense of leadership speaking for their whole building.”
Boylan added that some students involved in Community Council have a good chance of becoming resident assistants in the future due to the leadership skills gained from the experience.
Community Council President Sirena Barrell agreed with Boylan.
“As far as leadership skills, students who participate in Community Council are able to develop leadership skills through planning and putting on events,” Barrell said. “I think the structure and understanding how to go about programming on campus allows them to problem solve and come up with programs that work within our system.”
While the Student Government Association (SGA) is funded by the student activity fee included in tuition, Community Council receives no funding. The group brings in money by fundraising efforts.
The council also allocates space for other clubs wishing to use the building for events.
While the council is run exclusively by students who live at housing, the events planned by the group are open to the whole campus.
“Community Council offers students a great outlet to build their community,” Barrell saud. “They are given an opportunity to create and plan their own events and bring students together, creating a well-knit community to thrive in. The only downfall is that Community Council is still in the early stages and so not as well-known as it should be. We are continuing to build its repertoire and this year has been the best so far. Getting our name out there and telling people what we do is the best way to get word out.”
The Community Council can be found online at http://www.facebook.com/IUSBCommunityCouncil.