First Meeting Of Community Involvement Council Yields Strong Ideas

Nov. 20, 2006

Contact: Ashley Lintelman, Office of Press Secretary for Student Government, (214) 458-5310

Oct. 30 marked the first meeting of the Community Involvement Council (CIC), a group of Baylor University students, faculty and Waco community leaders, that grew out of September's Beyond Leadership community summit.

Founded by Student Body External Vice President Allan Marshall, the purpose of the CIC is to 1) strengthen the relationship between the Baylor student body and the Waco community and 2) discuss meaningful community involvement, recreation and tourism, and employment opportunities in Waco.

Marshall, a senior political science major from Cuney, Texas, gave an overview of the meeting and discussed the three groups that members of the CIC would be involved in: meaningful community involvement, recreation and tourism, and employment opportunities. Marshall stated that he wanted to get rid of the "nothing-to-do-notion" in Waco and to help get both current and graduate students more involved in the Waco community.

Becky Kennedy, co-chairperson of the CIC, told attendees that the CIC was "a present-day experience." Kennedy emphasized that the CIC would encourage, as well as allow students the chance to work with many great Waco leaders.

"Students can use their passion and creativity in the world, and encourage others to do the same," Kennedy said. "We are trying to cultivate a lifestyle change...we want students to be social change leaders--servant leaders."

The CIC broke into individual groups to discuss ways to bring the Baylor and Waco community together.

Each group created a mission statement and then discussed existing problems and creative ways to link existing solutions to those problems.

Meaningful Community Involvement: "Our mission is to identify Baylor students/faculty/staff and community leaders who will work toward a sustainable partnership to effectively battle the systemic issues that face our community." Discussion included:

• Get students involved by increasing faculty that include service as part of their curriculum and promoting "Other Side of Waco Tour"
• Work with churches; draw people out who genuinely want to serve
• Teach organizational leadership and encourage people to be committed and consistent
• Find and promote community needs such as Nutrition Programs, Columbus Avenue sack lunch program, etc.

Recreation and Tourism: "The Recreation and Tourism committee shall stay committed to the economic and recreational growth of tourism throughout the City of Waco. It will develop relationships between the city and the student body to provide for a safe and enjoyable culture of entertainment." Discussion included:

• Need activities that are within walking distance to campus or with adequate public transportation; venues similar to Common Grounds with "hangout" atmosphere and music; void seems to be in recreational activities
• Utilize Cameron Park - use of the river walk, long distance bike trails, and promote already existing opportunities
• Promote existing community events by pairing with Baylor organizations (Greek and non-Greek)
• Find and provide activities that will bring students outside Baylor and into the community

Employment Opportunities: "Identify and promote mutually beneficial relationships and employment opportunities between a greater Waco-Baylor community." Discussion included:

• Create and promote a post-graduation vision that will encourage students to look in Waco for job opportunities first
• Research to see what programs for Baylor graduates already exist and how to bring them to the public eye
• Discuss needs with Career Services

Each group provided insight on issues concerning the Baylor-Waco relationship and a strong foundation was laid for positive improvements to be made in the upcoming months.

The next CIC meeting will be on Nov. 27 at the Doris Miller YMCA from 4 to 5 p.m.

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