The one stop shop for leadership and volunteer experiences at CSU — the SLiCE office.
The SLiCE (Student leadership, involvement and community engagement) office brings together student organizations, student leaders and student volunteers under one banner and provides the link between students and the surrounding communities, according to their website.
“Whatever your passion is, we want to help you figure out how to get involved with that,” said Addy Rastal, SLiCE student outreach coordinator.
With 425 registered student groups through SLiCE, there is a large variety of ways for students to get involved, but the office’s staff is always willing to figure out new ways for students to get involved.
“We are very interested in the individual person,” Rastal said. “We have a lot of programs right now that meet the needs and niches of certain passions, but the staff is super welcoming. We will all sit down and have a conversation about what you’re passionate about and help make it happen.”
Some programs are around for only a year, and others may stick around for longer. Students, faculty and staff are welcome to take part in a volunteer opportunity that has been around since 1986 – Cans Around the Oval.
“What makes (Cans Around the Oval) special is that is a program that was started by a student here 27 years ago,” said Jenn Rieskamp, Cans Around the Oval coordinator. “We are still doing it and supporting those around the community that are food insecure.”
SLiCE doesn’t only focus their volunteer efforts on the CSU campus, many programs reach out into the Fort Collins community and provide students a way to get involved outside of the university.
Pamela Norris, SLiCE Director, said that Fort Collins has a large number of non-profits to volunteer for, but that it can be overwhelming to figure out how to get involved.
“We can talk you through the opportunities that work for you,” Norris said.
SLiCE also helps students reach beyond Colorado or outside the USA with their program Alternative Break.
The trips take place during fall, winter, spring and summer breaks at CSU and include students from all different areas of campus.
“It’s an incredible opportunity for meeting other students and friends. People apply from all areas of campus and you can meet friends you may never have otherwise,” said Sam Clusman, Alternative Break coordinator. “It’s like a study abroad experience, but a lot cheaper.”
The trips revolve around what students want — the trips are proposed by students, and led by students.
“We aren’t just doing service and then going out and partying at night,” Clusman said. “We sit down at the end of the night and really talk about what we did, why we should be here, or maybe why we shouldn’t be.”
The weeklong trip helps students get a full understanding of the issues in the area where they are serving in. Alt Breaks are one of the more popular programs in SLiCE according to Norris, and Rastal agrees.
“My favorite part of SLiCE was probably Alt Breaks. I went on two, once as a participant and then I went back on the same trip as a site leader,” Rastal said. “It is a really awesome opportunity for students to meet people with the same interests and passions.”
Norris said that SLiCE is helping to transform CSU’s highly active student body to transform the world by helping to maximize student potential through all the opportunities available.
“The people are wonderful, the experiences are wonderful,” Rastal said. “It’s a really great way to connect with the community and grow throughout your collegiate experience.”
Collegian Senior Reporter Corrie Sahling can be reached at email@example.com.