Student Voices is a WOA blog feature that presents the experiences and viewpoints of current Arts students. Through their posts, you’ll experience the creativity and passion of our students as they present glimpses into student life. The views and opinions expressed within these posts are solely those of the authors.
As a student taking a Community Service-Learning component in a class, you become focused on your relationship with your community partner and the project you’re completing for them or the work that you’re doing with them. You devote a lot of time to these projects – at least 20 hours – and they become important to you. Students become committed to the work because they believe in the work and cause of their community partner. Essentially, a student’s experience with CSL is almost exclusively with their class and their community partner.
Most students, however, don’t think about CSL beyond their class and project. This is completely normal, given their exposure. Students are able to focus on their project because there are no administrative processes to worry about at the same time. The entrance into a new placement is so smooth that they never have to wonder how everything came together for them to start their project.
As a well as being a CSL student, I’ve been the intern in the office since August. Now that my internship is ending, I am able to look back at all of the cool things that I’ve done and everything that I’ve learned. The best experience that I’ve had in CSL is telling other students, and especially new or prospective students, about the program and how they can get involved. So many students already love to volunteer; showing them around this program that taught me so many things has brought me great pleasure.
I’ve had the distinct pleasure of meeting the people whose hard work is the reason I have been able to complete my certificate and engage with my community. I’ve met the partnership coordinators who matched the community partners I’ve worked with, with the classes I’ve taken.
I’ve worked with the program coordinator who ensured that I completed my certificate properly and who works to make sure that students are aware of CSL and how it will benefit them. Working with everyone at CSL has been an eye-opening experience, to say the least.
My work here is varied, whether it is creating a video or a bulletin board, or sending emails to students, but I now fully appreciate the yearly work that goes into making this program great and running it smoothly for students in a CSL component. I have enjoyed interacting with students, instructors and community partners alike to raise awareness of CSL and showcasing the people in our community who are doing their best to empower citizens of Edmonton. The Faces of CSL project has allowed me to meet and get to know passionate people with a penchant for social change and justice.
While my internship is coming to an end, I look forward to completing my last CSL course next semester. Working on the administrative side, especially while I am also doing a placement, has changed the way I see the program. I am humbled by the amount of work these staff members have put into my academic career and my experiences here at the U of A.
Thank you CSL.