Restructured Student Group Offers the Opportunity for Increased Cooperative Efforts between CHS Students Collegewide

By Layla Abdullah-Poulos ‘10, graduate student, SUNY Empire State College

August 6, 2015

students, Omar Richards, co-chair ESC Education for All; Tanya co-president Human Services Collaborative, co-chair ESC Education for All; Hollistine Richardson, Women in Prison Project Intern; LadyKathryn Williams-Julien, chair, Violence pose for picture of the SUNY Empire State College Human Services Collaborative ClubThe SUNY Empire State College Forty-Plus and Fabulous club recently submitted a request for a name change and to restructure the club’s objectives. The student group’s new name is now the SUNY Empire State College Human Services Collaborative. Human Services Collaborative co-president Tanya Thompson explains the reason for the change. “We have been involved in numerous consciousness-raising and community service endeavors and decided our club needed a name that more closely reflected our objectives and activities.”

Past events organized or co-sponsored by the Human Services Collaborative include:

Food for Thought: Building an Academic Community

  • Social Work Paves the Way for Change
  • Holiday Season Toy Drive
  • Survivors and Mothers in the Criminal Justice System
  • Bling Your Cap, and
  • Cultural Analysis Film Series.

The club actively collaborated with student groups, including ESC Education for All, the Black Male Initiative, and Minority Students in Action. “We appreciated the support MSiA received from Tanya and the Human Services Collaborative members,” said Minority Students in Action vice president E. Reginald Pope. “Through mutual support, student clubs are able to ensure more Empire State College students engage in important community service oriented activities and use their acquired knowledge to help improve their communities.” Pope said.

According to the SUNY Empire State College 2013-2014 Fact Book, there were 2,760 [15.2%] undergraduate students in the Community and Human Services (CHS) Area of Study, so having a student group that provides them a space to associate and collaborate is important to enhancing their academic success. “The Human Services Collaborative will be a collegewide student group focusing on community and human services, which allows Empire’s CHS students across New York state a chance to become involved in our efforts.” Thompson said. The Human Services Collaborative’s membership is open to all SUNY Empire State College students and alumni who desire to have an opportunity to work with their fellows in effecting positive change.

When asked about the significance of the new Human Services Collaborative to the college, associate director of alumni and student relations Lindsay Peck explained, “This [community and human services] is a growing field among SUNY Empire students as well as a growing need in this country. It is good to see a club that will focus on human services initiatives and education collegewide, spoken from the viewpoint of the students.”

Additionally, Peck was asked about the anticipated response to the restructured club, to which the associate director further explained, “I would say overall, there will be positive reactions, as the change in name really signifies a true passion within the college. The Human Services Collaborative will speak to all those students and alumni looking to learn more about this growing field and the club will allow them to join in this movement.”

The Human Services Collaborative is currently planning future events for the 2015-2016 academic year. “We look forward to continuing our commitment to raising awareness about a number of social, cultural and political issues” said Thompson, “and we anticipate future collaborative efforts with other ESC student clubs. By working together, we can foster strong ties between students that can last a lifetime.”

For more information about student clubs, visit the SUNY Empire State College Alumni and Student Community page on the college’s website. Stay informed about college and student club events by visiting the Alumni and Student Events page. The Human Services Collaborative is funded by the Student Activity Fee.

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40 percent of 2013 SUNY Empire State College graduates surveyed got jobs directly related to their areas of study.

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Article Contributors

Layla Abdullah-Poulos

Shelley Dixon

Anthony Doran

Helen Edelman

Kristina Kwacz

Nick Muscavage

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