The Colgate Scene
November 2003

In the thick of things

[Photo by Timothy D. Sofranko]

After years of being tucked in a dark corner of the Student Union, out of students' daily traffic pattern, the Office of Student Activities has moved right into the thick of things, in a suite of offices in O'Connor Campus Center in what used to be a part of the university bookstore. In addition to new digs, the department has a new name that more appropriately reflects its mission, as well as a new director.

The office that provides mentorship to students as they build valuable skills through managing their own organizations ("Advice and counsel," January 2003) is now known as the Center for Leadership and Student Involvement (CLSI).

In July, Corey Landstrom became CLSI's new director, replacing Marisela Rosas, who left Colgate to attend graduate school. Landstrom has a range of student affairs experience at highly selective liberal arts colleges. Most recently, he was director of student activities at Reed College in Portland, Oregon, and he previously worked in student activities at Hamilton College and Grinnell College, where he also worked in the residence life area. A graduate of the University of Minnesota, Duluth, he holds a masters degree in counseling and student personnel from Minnesota State University, Mankato.

Landstrom said he was attracted to Colgate for the chance to be "in a vibrant community where students are really engaged and leadership is part of the experience. I also really enjoy what varsity athletics brings to the community." In addition, he and his wife, Ann, who joined the staff in career services, liked the pace of life in Hamilton for raising their daughter, Sydney.

The department's staff, which was expanded to support the ever-growing number of student organizations, will spend this year helping groups refocus their missions and goals and strengthen their programs.

Julie Featherman, who has been assistant director for three years, sees a big improvement. "Students are in and out of the office all day long, so we are able to support the student organizations in ways that we have not been able to before," she said. "There is also more intention behind what we are doing. It is not just about helping groups plan programs; we're helping them understand the underlying things that they should be thinking about like collaboration, diversity, and focusing on the educational component of what they're planning. The lessons that come out of that are so important, and are inherent in the name change."

"One could think of student activities as all fun and games, but what we're really focusing on what's going on underneath the surface -- the deeper meaning of why we do things," said Landstrom. "Hopefully that transfers to students' lives after Colgate in a sound, productive way."

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