Learn about student-led initiatives that have been making an impact at Adelphi.
Imagine yourself building a roof and erecting walls for a home in Uniondale, New York, then painting the interior and laying down its floors.
That’s what Cause to Achieve Leadership, Intelligence, Brotherhood, Excellence and Respect (CALIBER ) volunteers do each year with Habitat for Humanity of Nassau County.
“It’s an extremely fulfilling and gratifying experience. It was incredible to see a truly deserving family get the opportunity to own a home,” said Kristen Sylvan ’14, who also volunteered in her junior year.
Imagine yourself suggesting changes to Adelphi’s Fresh Air policy aimed at sharply reducing secondhand smoke.
That’s what a senator in the Student Government Association (SGA) did, and that suggestion resulted in “Smoke-Free Campus Committee Recommendations,” voted upon in April 2013 by the Faculty Senate—where Ruth S. Ammon School of Education Professor Devin Thornburg, Ph.D., emphasized that this proposal came from an Adelphi student.
Fast-forward to this fall, when Fresh Air Adelphi is being promoted to students and the general AU community. That kicked off with an introductory September 8 campus event. Smoking, previously limited to 25 yards away from buildings, is now allowed at five on-campus sites.
Those are just two examples demonstrating that student voices can make a difference and help bring about change. Numerous other students have their own stories to tell about how their participation made something happen.
Sylvan, very active in CALIBER during her Adelphi years, said, “As a transfer student [from Marist College], I was very nervous that I would never find my niche. But CALIBER was actually the first club I signed up for—and where I found exactly what I was looking for.” She rose from secretary in sophomore year to vice president as a junior and president as a senior.
Now pursuing a master’s in school psychology at the Gordon F. Derner Institute of Advanced Psychological Studies—“where I first discovered my love for psychology and for supporting students with learning and developmental disabilities”—Sylvan added, “I was proud to host Jesse Saperstein, an author and motivational speaker who spoke about autism spectrum disorder and his life as an individual diagnosed with Asperger’s syndrome.” CALIBER collaborated with many on that March 2014 lecture, including Bridges to Adelphi, “where I interned in senior year and will continue to work as a graduate student,” she added.
Other CALIBER events in which she is “proud to have had a role in planning,” Sylvan said, include serving the hungry and homeless via the Youth Services Opportunities Project; working at a CARe Wash that raised $500 to buy school supplies for underserved children; organizing an annual Adelphi’s Got Talent event that raised $500-plus for a foundation supporting children with cystic fibrosis; and belonging to one of the top three Relay for Life fundraising teams two years in a row—donating $2,600 to the American Cancer Society in 2014.
Though no longer a CALIBER member, Sylvan will serve “as the alumni outreach representative for the club as we strengthen our alumni base and presence at events throughout the year.” She added, “I’m happy I will still be around to see the organization continue to do amazing things for our community.”
Julianna Claase, SGA 2014–2015 president, said, “The Fresh Air Adelphi campaign began as a student senate initiative started by Nicole Wong ’14, now a graduate student at Adelphi. We are very proud to see its progress and success—especially as the idea sparked when I was a freshman/sophomore in the SGA senate and we can now see the beginning of its implementation.”
That’s not the only student-driven SGA initiative that has come to fruition, Claase pointed out. Another involves a change to the academic calendar, one that arose from a proposal by Kieran Persaud ’13, onetime SGA executive secretary. His initiative called for a three-day weekend in October—”a mini-fall break of sorts,” as Claase put it. “After much debate, survey and conversation,” she said, “this break will happen in Fall 2015. A small victory, some might say, but one that we’re sure students will appreciate and one that took hard work and advocacy.”
Then there’s Project: Water.
“Currently, I’m working on that alongside senior class president Sarah Cinquemani and Lackmann Culinary Services,” Claase said. “This was first brought to the table by Senator Cinquemani as a green initiative to raise awareness about the free and eco-friendly uses of the water filtration stations on campus and efforts to reduce the purchasing of plastic disposable water bottles.”
Anna Zinko, Center for Student Involvement senior assistant director, said, “Research has shown us that students who get involved are more likely to make it to graduation and are much more satisfied with their college experience. We encourage all students to get involved whether they join a club, fraternity or sorority…or just stop in for a fun event.”
Zinko, who often works with the diversity organizations, notices growth among cultural organizations.
“As we see changing demographics of who is attending college, we will continue to see the growth of cultural organizations,” she said. “Many more students are coming into college with an interest in diversity and are seeking opportunities to connect in an environment that supports multiculturalism and social justice.”
John Medina, president of the Latin American Student Organization (LASO), agreed. Citing his own personal experience, he said that when he attended an accepted students day, he initially felt uncomfortable at “predominately white” Adelphi because he’s from a largely African-American/Spanish neighborhood and attended New York City schools with diversity. Joining LASO changed everything. “That made my freshman year even greater,” he said.
LASO has risen to 18 members from 13 last year, Medina said, adding that includes a couple of transfer students—among them Leela Riquelme, LASO vice president.
Riquelme, a transfer from SUNY Oneonta, said joining LASO “helped me assimilate to living on campus.”
Lots of Choices
Choose from 80-plus student clubs and organizations. The kinds of clubs and organizations available to Adelphi students range from academic and campus media clubs to cultural/ethnic clubs and social action organizations.
For the full listing, including honor societies and religious and special-interest organizations, go to myaulife.adelphi.edu.
For additional lists of Greek Life organizations, intramural sports, volunteer services and mentoring opportunities, visit students.adelphi.edu/greek.
For further information, please contact:
Strategic Communications Director
p – 516.237.8634
e – email@example.com