The Pillars: An analysis of The Griffin’s staff report series

A Staff Report Series

In the past five issues, The Griffin ran an analysis on each of the five clubs and organizations that make up the pillars of Canisius College: the Undergraduate Student Association (USA), Commuter Student Association (CSA), Student Programming Board (SPB), Residence Hall Association (RHA), and C-Block.

Each organization plays pivotal role in creating the student experience here at Canisius, whether the average student realizes this or not. They are all key in providing events, programming, and ways for students to easily get involved on campus.

These five clubs are also responsible for formulating and maintaining the the culture at Canisius. Sadly, over the past four years, the college has seen a dramatic decline in the amount of student involvement in clubs, organizations, the community, and an increase in student apathy.

This could be due to a complete cultural shift in the direction of the college, or a trickle down from the attitudes of some of these top clubs that hold the most power and influence in the college.

Upon examining USA in our previous pillar, The Griffin found that this club was doing little to make changes in the on- and off-campus community in comparison to previous years, and has also done little to increase student interest and morale, even amongst their own ranks.

In an effort to make a change, USA is now creating a “School Spirit” Committee. The Griffin hopes that this will be helpful in decreasing apathy, encouraging students to attend campus events and join campus clubs, and shaping a better campus community.

SPB and RHA are similar in which they provide programming and events to all of the student body. Both clubs host events that are quintessential to that of a Canisius student’s experience – such as Fall Fest, Griff Fest, Midnight Breakfast, and Canisius Royals. Both clubs expressed that they strive to cater events towards what the student body might be interested, and that as a result, some events change on a yearly basis.

An example of this is seen in SPB bringing a hypnotist and illusionist to campus in April, rather than hosting their annual Bald for Bucks campaign, which has been a historically low-attended event.

On the other hand, with the number and quality of events that CSA provides, they have undoubtedly become one of the most important and influential pillars. During an interview with the E-Board, CSA provided insight on the transformative year they had last year and how they have grown and improved as a result of better organization and planning.

CSA has broadened their scope by providing programming for all students, but still maintain a focus on catering towards commuter-specific needs. The way in which CSA carefully plans each event with specific accomplishments and goals in mind has aided in them maintaining a loyal general body and some of the most well-attended events on campus.

C-Block, however, provided a much more different perspective. They explained that this year has been transformative for them as the E-Board has had to learn how to run the club from the ground up, with little help from prior E-Boards.

Despite being considered a pillar, C-Block’s budget was halved for this academic year, totaling to $5,000. This is shocking when compared to that of SPB’s being over $200,000; however, one must consider the programming that each club provides in the calculation of these budgets.

When The Griffin interviewed C-Block, they explained that they would be able to provide much more programming, free merchandise, and catered events, as well as broaden their outreach had they received a bigger initial budget. Despite this, they have succeeded where all of these other clubs have not, in recruiting freshmen.

C-Block have successfully succeeded in creating a community within their club where freshmen, especially those from out of state, feel welcomed and at home as they support their fellow student athletes, which is incredibly commendable given the current campus climate.

As this series comes to a close, The Griffin looks forward towards the future and the next time these five pillars are analyzed. In that time, The Griffin hopes that each of these pillars continue to improve the sense of community that Canisius is known for and shape a better student experience for classes to come.

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