Campus Ministry to focus on outreach to Assumption students
The start of a new school often brings change with it. Assumption’s Campus Ministry has undergone some significant changes to its student leadership structure, which were made effective at the start of this academic year. Last year it was decided that the Core Team, the student leadership structure that had existed for 18 years, was no longer able to adequately represent all of Campus Ministry’s many diverse parts. Our Campus Ministry at Assumption has grown immensely over recent years and is now comprised of 41 programs, each with at least one student leader and some with an entire team of student leaders. These programs cover a wide array of activities from service in the Worcester community and beyond to different types of prayer opportunities. Each program has its own unique way of carrying out the Catholic mission of Assumption College while still being fully open to any student, regardless of faith background.
In order to include all of these focus areas in Campus Ministry’s student leadership structure while still respecting the individuality of each area, a new structure was developed last year. After countless hours of planning and re–planning, seeking student input and looking at Campus Ministry from all angles, the Campus Ministry staff released the new student leadership model to students and sent out the applications for leadership positions. Each focus area, such as Candlelight Prayer, Agape Latte or Liturgical Ministry, now has one or two student leaders who sit on the Campus Ministry Student Leader Association, a group of 62 students. The Association also includes the student leaders who represent programs under the Reach Out Center, fondly known as Campus Ministry’s “service hub”. Under the Reach Out Center are opportunities to serve at local service sites around Worcester, as well as SEND trips, Assumption’s service and immersion trips, which are opportunities to spend a week of your winter, spring or summer break serving people and becoming immersed in their culture. Local service sites typically have one student leader who coordinates logistics and handles communication for other students who want to volunteer there, while SEND trips usually have two student leaders (or one student leader and one faculty member for trips that are farther away) who take on the responsibilities of trip preparation, getting information out to students going on their trips and making sure the trip goes smoothly and safely. Until 2014, the Reach Out Center was under Student Affairs and not under the umbrella of Campus Ministry As a result of re-structuring that took place that year, the Reach Out Center was moved to Campus Ministry, which added about 25 additional student leaders to the department. That change, in addition to the growth of other student leader groups in Campus Ministry, led to the decision to alter the student leadership structure.
Association members are responsible for serving as leaders in their respective focus areas, as well as attending the three Association meetings throughout the year, including their own training in the fall and part of the fall OSA student leader training. When applying to the Association, students also had an option to apply to the Campus Ministry Student Leader Council. The Council is a group of twelve students who meet once a month with Campus Ministry staff to enhance student-staff communication, discuss the greater mission of Campus Ministry as a whole and work on student outreach. Council members also take on additional tasks, like serving office hours in the Campus Ministry office in Hagan, assisting with First Thursday Bagels, helping run Campus Ministry’s social media accounts and representing Campus Ministry at various events and activity fairs, such as Discovery Day and Assumption’s Open House.
The Council’s main focus this semester is to increase involvement in Campus Ministry by reaching out to students. If you have any suggestions for us, or if you have any questions about how to get involved in Campus Ministry, we would love to hear from you. Find us on Facebook (Assumption College Campus Ministry) and Instagram (@ac_campusminsitry), or come visit us in either of our Hagan offices or in the Tinsley Campus Ministry Center, the building attached to the Chapel of the Holy Spirit. We hope to hear from you this semester.