This fall semester, the Minerva Student Experience Team (SXP) implemented a new Student Initiatives framework. The framework makes university-wide changes designed to improve the process and support for Minerva’s equivalent of student clubs.
The new Student Initiative framework made three key changes:
First, the term “MiCo”, short for Minerva Communities, has officially been retired in favor of the broader term, Student Initiatives or SI’s for short. Capri LaRocca, the Director of Student Experience at Minerva, said in her email to the Quest, “this is a reflection of our growing understanding that student initiatives are not ‘one size fits all’ but can rather take many forms.” Now, ‘SI’s’ refers to every student-run activity from one-time events to regularly meeting groups to multi-year structured organizations and to everything in between.
Second, the SI structure has been centralized across all cities and classes, no longer organizing SI’s by city. LaRocca explains that this occurred “so that we can improve consistency of support and have more visibility into student initiatives globally.” The centralization process entailed internal changes for SXP, having minimal direct impact on students except for the creation of a singular SI form.
Finally, SI’s will receive expanded support and resources than previously offered. Previously, SXP has supported student groups through routine check-ins and connections to local civic partners and/or professional opportunities. Now, SXP has committed to expanding their support to include cross-class connections for recruitment & knowledge sharing, specific SI-related coaching sessions with the Coaching & Talent Development Team, and optional mentorship from other Minerva staff, faculty, or alumni beyond SXP. Tanna Krispil, the Minerva Student Experience Team Coordinator, said in a document to the administration that the changes to SI’s represent a “resource-first approach” focused on equipping students to fulfill their goals.
The SI changes apply to all Minerva students previously, currently, and prospectively involved in SI’s. SXP offered extra support for pre-existing student groups to make the transition into being an official SI.
The recent SI changes result from the challenges which student groups at Minerva have faced in previous years and SXP’s desire to create an SI system that works best for students. According to LaRocca, “we have tried out several different iterations of student initiative support and recognize that we have not yet found the best model… We are excited about this next iteration of student initiatives at Minerva and, as always, hope you continue to build with us and for your classmates.”
For more information on SI’s or the process of becoming an SI, please see The Hub.