Students See “Bigger Picture” at Campus Compact Regional Symposium

By Hilary Sullivan, Associate Director, Service and Community Partnerships, Northeastern University

On May 19, eight students and staff members from Northeastern University’s Center of Community Service attended Campus Compact’s Regional Engagement Symposium, Beyond Service & Service Learning: The Next BIG Steps for Community Engagement in Higher Education. The symposium was an excellent way to expose involved Northeastern students to the higher-level conversation happening across the region and the country about higher education’s role in fostering community engagement.

The students who attended all work in the Center of Community Service and have participated in our programs. Despite their experience, several expressed surprise at the breadth of the conversation happening at multiple levels across so many campuses. This exposure was great for them, allowing them to connect their work to the bigger picture. They came up with suggestions for engaging more of their peers in service, talked about sharing ideas and learning with other campuses, and discussed ways to continue elevating engagement across the university.

Attendance at the symposium also complemented the Practitioners Summit we participated in earlier in the day. This sequence allowed students to start out thinking concretely about enhancing programs and activities, and then transition into thinking about the greater purpose of the programming they create and participate in.

These Campus Compact events were terrific for both staff and students, giving us a fresh setting in which to share, network, and learn from one another and from our colleagues across the region.

Photo: Northeastern University students and Center of Community Service staff at the Campus Compact Regional Engagement Symposium, where they gained fresh insight and shared ideas with colleagues.