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University of San Diego Student Priorities

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How might we expand existing changemaking opportunities in a way that builds community?

Connect a network of motivated students

Connect a network of motivated students interested in innovation to be the student representatives for our USD Changemaker Identity. USD Thread: Our idea is to model a component of the nonprofit organization called Thread at our university. Students would apply to the program both as current student leaders and incoming first year students. 100 students would be selected into the program. Every month a group of 10 students randomly assigned to a different group every month would meet to discuss a specific topic related to social justice, innovation, and the USD sense of community both on campus and off campus. After 10 dinners and discussions with a new group of 10 people, we will have a large dinner with all 100 participants of USD Thread to discuss their ideas and findings with the administration. As a sociology major I know that tackling most social justice issues starts with a conversation and informing people of different perspectives. This idea of Thread is to connect a diverse student body to identify with our changemaker identity. We have prototyped a similar model to Thread with a Changemaker event called "Dinner with Strangers". The discussions have always been very engaging and the students feel very connected after having the space to talk about important issues. I think expanding this event with more structure and purpose would greatly contribute to building connections among a diverse student body.

Provide concrete opportunities to engage in the ideas behind changemaking through the Changemaker Student Committee

Through the Changemaker Student Committee, interested students will have the opportunity to learn the ideas behind Human Centered Design through taking action on the exisiting projects within the Chanegmaker Hub (i.e: My Story). Students will build community with other passionate individuals as they go through the process of planning and implementing a project that meets a need on our campus. In addition, the Changemaker Student Committee serves as a space for students who are not familiar with changemaking or social justice issues to come and explore different options to help them discover what they are most passionate about.

Connect student leaders

To connect student leaders we have decided to create a Changemaker Student Core. This Core allows leaders of Student run organizations with similar mindsets to work together and encourage collaboration and increased involvement. With student leaders working together we can ensure that social innovation and entrepreneurship events are better publicized and also better attended. With a shared calendar we can make sure that events do not overlap allowing students to get involved with as much as possible on campus. We will also work with Associated Students to make sure student voice is heard. We will make sure there is a strong connection between associated students and the Changemaker Hub as both can strongly benefit from each others support.

Roadmap for Student Involvement

Market to students through an independent forum discussing opportunities that students can get involved in. Students will be able to promote, discuss, and actively engage in conversation about meaningful passions and common interests with other students on campus. This will help promote and navigate the opportunities on campus and allow students to engage in what they are looking for. It will reduce the clutter. Connect students with other innovators across other university campuses.

In order to expand opportunities on and off campus we will reach out to other universities interested in social innovation and social entrepreneurship. These events will include, hackathon, social innovation competitions and design thinking bootcamps to engage with the issues in our community.

Expand Social Change Corps Program

The Social Change Corps (SCC) supports students wanting to explore changemaking opportunities by providing financial support and mentoring. This initiative promotes students’ understanding of social issues and social justice as they actively participate in a community-based or social enterprise experience, locally or abroad. The 2017 SCC offers $500 during a semester for a team of three to five students to explore who they are as Changemakers and to develop their skills in framing social issues and creating innovative approaches to addressing them. All the SCC teams receive mentoring from the start.

Utilize the First-Year Living Learning Communities (LLC's) to expose new students to USD's changemaker identity

At the University of San Diego, we have Living Learning Communities to help first-year students get accustomed to college. This program places students who live in the same residence hall in a class together once a semester to discuss a topic unique to their living community. Currently, these LLC's are underutilized so we are working to ensure that this program better meets the needs of the students. While we are analyzing the program, we plan to utilize this great opportunity that all first-year students get to be apart of and incorporate changemaker topics within each class. We hope to expose all students to our Changemaker identity as a University as it is an honor and a privilege.

As fellows, we will be working with the administration to 1.assist faculty in creating meaningful assignments/experiences that link to each LLC theme, 2.provide students meaningful experiences that connect their first-year experience to their community, and 3.provide a consistent/steady involvement of students/faculty/staff for our community partners in ways that are beneficial for their needs/development/growth. This is a great opportunity that will have a great benefit on the students and also on the local community and we look forward to tailoring the LLC program so that it is in the best interest of the students.

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