It is Student Life’s role to help ensure that each of our DCs enters the professional world with a foundation of the values of Lasting Purpose, to fulfill the vision of creating a brighter future for humanity.
It’s been fun collaborating with the Student Life team and other colleagues to figure out what these ideals mean in a very practical, concrete way. How do we infuse the daily activities of Student Life with Lasting Purpose? How do we walk the talk of giving, doing, loving and serving? As I look forward, how will we incorporate the strategic plan initiatives of building a campus culture that embraces diversity and inclusion, and develop a culture of service within and outside the college? These are the strategic initiatives that most incorporate the work of the Office of Student Life.
It’s easy to think about a culture of community service since Life West already has a robust culture of giving. One of Mamma Jackie’s final pieces of advice to the student body before her retirement was “never suppress a generous thought.” Throughout her career at Life West, Jackie created a legacy of generosity. From participation in the annual Creekside Community Church Valentine’s Day Dance for adults with disabilities, to the annual backpack and toy drives, to the yearly fundraising drive for the Oklahaven Have-a-Heart campaign, generosity has been a hallmark of the student experience at Life West.
How do we improve what is already outstanding?
Like light and shadow in a photograph, the next steps are highlighting what is already beautiful, not improving it. Student Life will be creating systems to communicate the service opportunities for students as well as using technology to market and celebrate student giving. We will also be defining what service means on our campus. Give, do, love, serve from abundance means that there is always an opportunity to extend oneself in the service of others, be it our local Hayward and Bay Area communities, the student community, the faculty and staff of Life West, or the chiropractic community. There will be venues for every student’s generous thought, along with expanded opportunities for recognition of that generosity.
Diversity and inclusion are also strategic initiatives of the college that align with the mission and purpose of Student Life. The Life West community is rich in its diversity. With students from all over the United States and the world, a myriad of cultures and traditions comprise our community, yet the generosity of spirit and passion for healing that each student brings to our campus and to their study of chiropractic is what connects us. Student Life will ensure that all students have equitable access to our programs, as well as ample opportunity to celebrate and appreciate the incredibly beautiful diversity of our community, both on campus and off.
Students doing good
Opportunities for service are a big part of student life at Life West. Here are a couple of recent examples:
- One Warm Coat: Student Erin McGonigle collected dozens of coats during the winter months. She says many of the coats were dropped off by members of the community, as bins at the front of Life West, at the entrance to the Health Clinic, were overflowing. They were dropped off at the Homeless Youth Alliance in San Francisco.
- What Did She Say? Students Riley Gerlinger and Alison Gratz collected women’s clothes for teen girls, which were distributed at an event for Bay Area teen girls in a partnership with non-profit organization 1Closet. Gerlinger said the goal was to empower teen girls with a new outfit and advice from bold women, given during a panel at the event.