The Center for Community Engagement (CCE) is going through some exciting changes! Sonoma State needs a Civic Action Plan and the CCE needs an updated Strategic Plan. So, we intend to create one plan that serves both these entities. In February we hosted an all day Strategic Planning and Civic Action Planning meeting. The meeting consisted of faculty, students, and members of local nonprofits and governmental agencies. As a student, at first I felt a little out of my comfort zone. I've never attend a formal planning meeting before and had no idea what to expect. After a few minutes of talking with my group of three faculty, three community partners, and one other student I felt much more relaxed and powerful. They cared about what I had to say. It felt great to know that I was contributing to a legitimate plan for my university that will still be in effect after I graduate. Something I noticed from our discussions throughout the day was the misinformation every person at my table had about what the CCE is and does. It isn't their fault, the CCE is not a popular place on campus. Even though it is in the heart of the first floor of the Library with a large sign about the front door, many campus members have never heard of it. I hope that this new plan promotes the CCE more because we do a lot of behind the scenes work that is crucial to classes, events, and other partnerships on and off campus.
Attendees were divided evenly into tables and contemplated a question that was placed in a sealed envelope. We were given some info sheets but other than that it was up to us to deliberate from our own experiences. Once the table discussed our ideas about the question, we scribed our thoughts on a large butcher paper and summarized our answers to the entire room. The questions were asked to stimulate conversation about why having a Civic Action Plan is necessary and how it will benefit students, faculty, and community partners. For example, our first deliberation was "What is the outcome of having a civically engaged student body?"
After the deliberations were completed, and a yummy lunch was served, all of the papers with group's notes were posted around the room. Everyone was given green, yellow, and red stickers to either agree, somewhat agree, or disagree, respectively, with the statements on the papers. It was an interesting and creative way to show the consensus in the room.
Huge shoutout and thank you to The Masters in Organizational Development students who designed and ran an online survey as well as conducted individual interviews in order to obtain more feedback about the plan. The students also ran the entire meeting very effectively and organized. Thank you so much for your hard work! Also thanks to everyone who attended, we recognize it was a lot of effort to be there are we are very appreciative.