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Kelci Lynn Lucier

Kelci's College Life Blog

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Campus Highlight: Emily Stott at Brandeis University

Tuesday April 8, 2014

You know how you are surfing the web, reading things here and there, and then you suddenly stumble upon something absolutely stellar? Even though you can't remember how exactly you found it? That's how I came across this week's Campus Highlight.

Emily Stott, a student at Brandeis University (Waltham, MA), wrote an excellent piece discussing the need for students to practice an ethic of care -- including self-care -- during their time in school. Even though the stress of being in college can be overwhelming, she believes that "it's up to individuals to make a small difference every day, checking in on their friends and students, to change a culture of working harder to one of working smarter." She notes that the I'm-so-stressed-out college culture can often perpetuate itself, and that everyone has a responsibility to curb, when possible, that kind of frenzied normalcy.

I love her piece so much because it embodies so much of what can often become lost amidst the hustle and bustle of college life: Empathy. Compassion. Citizenship. Sure, it helps to be dedicated to your studies, to aim for a high performance, to even use competition as a motivator. But it's also important -- incredibly important -- to take care of each other, and yourself, along the way. Thank you, Ms. Stott, for reminding us of that in such a beautifully written piece.

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Campus Highlight: Students at Northampton Community College

Monday March 31, 2014

Spring Break always has its ups and downs: you might not have had the experience go exactly how you wanted, but at least you got some form of a break, right? Sadly, the answer might be "no" if you are a student at Northampton Community College (Bethlehem, PA).

The school cancelled -- yes, cancelled -- its Spring Break this year because so many classes had already been missed due to "excessive snow days." In an effort to turn the mood around, however, a small but powerful cohort of students set up a mini, tropical Spring Break in the food court. Summer wear and a tiki bar made an appearance, as did the college president.

I love this story because it shows how students can take things seriously (their need to attend class) while also finding the humor in unexpected situations (like a cancelled Spring Break). Nice work, everyone!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Are Student Athletes Also College Employees?

Thursday March 27, 2014

There's been some interesting news developing about whether or not student athletes qualify as college employees. First, some background: Football players at Northwestern University have filed a lawsuit, claiming that the amount of hours they work (among other factors) qualifies them as employees of the university. Their attempts at collective bargaining are done with the goal -- as excellently reported by InsideHigherEd.com -- of "increasing scholarships and coverage for sports-related medical expenses, minimizing the risk of traumatic brain injury through measures like reduced contact in practice, improving graduation rates with help from an 'educational trust fund,' and securing due process rights."

On Wednesday, the regional National Labor Review Board issued a ruling on the situation, "finding the Grant-in-aid scholarship football players are employees under the NLRA."

I have no problem voicing my opinion that student employees are often exploited and not adequately compensated or treated fairly by colleges and universities. I'm cheering for Northwestern's students in this case and am eager to see what happens next.

What about you? What are your thoughts? Should student athletes be viewed and treated as employees? If so, why? If not, why not?

Sigma Alpha Epsilon Bans Pledging

Tuesday March 11, 2014

I first noticed this story in my Facebook feed, as a friend of mine is involved with the larger organization and announced the changes once they were official: the Sigma Alpha Epsilon fraternity is banning pledging in lieu of what they are referring to as a new "True Gentleman Experience."

As the organization notes in its press release, "the concept of pledging did not exist" when the organization was founded; it is now being removed "in order to protect Sigma Alpha Epsilon's future and to eliminate a class structure between our new members and our active members."

This is a major change, to say the least, and it will have a large impact not just on ΣAE but on the larger fraternity and sorority landscape. What do you think? Is this a good idea? What will be the long-term consequences for students?

Campus Highlight: Boise State University Students

Monday March 10, 2014

For this week's Campus Highlight, I'm casting the spotlight on my home team (I'm located in Boise, Idaho). With all the stress and chaos of college, it's important to remember that there can be some amazing opportunities for plain old fun, too.

It was just officially announced that, last summer, Boise State University students set a world record for "longest distance traveled on a slip and slide in one hour." How fun is that?! Over 250 people attended the event, which was sponsored by the Student Involvement and Leadership Center. And just so you know, "more than 150 students slipped and slid a combined 103,650 feet in one hour" to set the new record. Nice job, Broncos!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Campus Highlight: Ceramic Art Guild at the University of Wyoming

Monday March 3, 2014

It's no secret that students are extremely busy both in and outside of the college classroom. And it's important to note that, while academic and cocurricular involvement are separate, they ideally are also complementary.

This week's Campus Highlight focuses on the Ceramic Art Guild at the University of Wyoming (Laramie, WY). The Guild "provides a structure where students interested in ceramics work together to raise funding to offset travel expenses to the annual NCECA (National Council for Education in the Ceramic Arts) conference. The NCECA conference is an invaluable experience for all interested in ceramic art." Proceeds raised from their upcoming Cup and Bowl Sale on March 6 will help the group with this lofty endeavor.

I wanted to highlight the Ceramic Art Guild because they are doing what so many other campus groups are admirably doing across the country: bridging what they learn in the classroom with cocurricular involvement and experiences; advancing their understanding of a discipline; working together; planning programs; and overall looking to expand themselves. This is what college should be all about, and it's great to see it happening on the ground, day after day, by students and faculty. Keep up the great work!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Where to Get Help with a Paper

Thursday February 27, 2014

Writing college papers is hard. Even if you're amazing at writing papers and can do so at the last minute, it's still hard. And while there is an expectation in college that you should be able to write a solid, well-argued, well-structured paper, there's also an expectation that you'll seek help if you need it with your writing.

Asking for help with a paper (or any other college assignment, really) sometimes has a taboo associated with it, which is positively ridiculous. If you need help, are in school to learn, and are paying tuition and fees to your school, why on earth would you not get help to become a better writer? If you aren't sure where to go, consider the following:

  • Your professor for the class.
  • Another professor with whom you connect well.
  • A peer writing adviser.
  • A faculty writing adviser.
  • A friend who is a strong writer.
  • A mentor.
  • A TA.

Lastly, it should be worth mentioning that you can be one of your best assets when writing a paper. Not waiting until the last minute is an easy step to take so that you'll have plenty of time to revise and improve on any major writing assignment.

Campus Highlight: Phi Theta Kappa Inductees at West Virginia Northern Community College

Monday February 17, 2014

Students at four-year institutions may be familiar with Phi Beta Kappa, the honorary society. This week's Campus Highlight, however, focuses on the ten students at West Virginia Northern Community College who were recently inducted into Phi Theta Kappa, the academic honorary society for students at two-year colleges.

Academic honor societies have a long and distinguished history in higher education, and getting into one is no easy feat. So congratulations to the WVNCC students who recently made Phi Theta Kappa -- and to all the students across the country who are diligently working hard and performing at the top of their academic game. Way to go!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Campus Highlight: Students Involved in Gonzaga's "Alice" Production

Monday February 10, 2014

I always enjoy snooping around online or asking colleagues for suggestions as I search out each week's Campus Highlight. But this week's feature was particularly fun: the students involved in the "Alice" production at Gonzaga University (Spokane, WA).

Let's just call a spade a spade here: "Alice," which is a theater production based on Lewis Carroll's legendary "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland," sounds downright amazing. It's being produced by four seniors and has a steampunk theme. Those who purchase their tickets in advance will be entered into a drawing for a tea party with some of the characters; additionally, at the end of each show, "one patron will leave with their own Mad Hatter's hat stuffed with souvenirs from Wonderland." Awesome!

This production looks like a great example of the vibrant arts and culture scene that thrives at many college campuses -- often as a result of student initiative, drive, and hard work. Additionally, the creativity of this production sounds especially engaging. Break a leg!

(Each Monday during the academic year, I feature a "Campus Highlight": a unique, interesting, and noteworthy student organization, program, or initiative that demonstrates the amazing things college students do each and every day across the country.)

Valentine's Day and Long-Distance Relationships

Thursday February 6, 2014

Valentine's Day -- which arrives next week -- can be especially challenging for students who are in long-distance relationships. Your partner might be back home, at another college, working somewhere, stationed somewhere, or even studying abroad. No matter the details, though, being apart for Valentine's Day can definitely be difficult.

Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to help make the distance feel a little less ... well, distant. Check out the following articles that can help you as Valentine's Day rapidly approaches:

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