TWIN FALLS — College of Southern Idaho student leaders are considering whether to organize a walkout event in Twin Falls.
As part of the National School Walkout, groups across the country are planning events at 10 a.m. March 14 lasting 17 minutes — one minute for each person killed earlier this month during a mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school. CSI’s off-campus center in Hailey already has plans to collaborate with Wood River Valley School for one event.
The purpose is to protest gun violence and to urge Congressional lawmakers to take action beyond expressing condolences via social media sites like Twitter.
During a Monday CSI board of trustees meeting, dean of students Jason Ostrowski brought up the topic. CSI’s Student Senate wants to formulate a response to the Florida school shooting, he said, as a “show of unity and solidarity” and to send a message to lawmakers.
Student senators are thinking this week about what they might like to do, Ostrowski said, and will meet again Friday. A decision hasn’t been made.
CSI board chairman Bob Keegan said board members’ hearts go out to the victims of the Florida school shooting. If CSI students organize a walkout, he said, “I think you’ll have the full support of the board.”
Trustee Jan Mittleider said she’d participate in a local event if she’s notified of where it will happen.
During their meeting, trustees also:
- Unanimously approved a 2018-22 strategic plan.
The new five-year plan is a road map for the college. It includes goals in three main areas: community success, student success and institutional stability.
CSI’s board of trustees is required to approve a five-year plan every year. The board heard updates about the process a couple of times in fall 2017.
Now, the plan will go to the Idaho State Board of Education in March, it will be reviewed in April and likely approved in June. Then, a yearly scorecard CSI is developing to track progress on critical points will come to the CSI board in the fall.
The state board of education doesn’t influence what CSI trustees decide to do with the college’s strategic plan, CSI President Jeff Fox said, adding there’s local control.
For students, one of the goals in the plan is to keep tuition rates within 5 percent above or below Idaho’s other community colleges. It also wants to reverse the post-recession trend of declining enrollment and have 25 percent Hispanic/Latino enrollment.
Under institutional stability, CSI aims to have enough reserve funds to cover three months of operating expenses in case of an emergency. That’s consistent with what’s already in place.
- Heard a presentation by the registrar’s office.
Registrar Michele McFarlane showed trustees a new campus course catalog. It’s online and interactive instead of the traditional PDF document published in past years. CSI started contracting last year with a company called SmartCatalog IQ to make the change.
Trustees also heard information about a GEAR UP grant that provides services such as help with advising and getting connected with campus resources to 149 students this semester and about international students.
CSI has international students representing 19 countries, and it’s hosting three different exchange programs, with students from Pakistan and Germany and a new one with two students from Russia.
One of the Russian students spoke about her experiences in CSI’s culinary arts program and getting plugged in with campus life, such as through the outdoor recreation department.
The registrar’s office is also planning a new event — Grad Fest from 1-4 p.m. April 10 — as a kick-off to graduation festivities when students come to pick up their caps and gowns. It will include the college mascot, a photo booth, financial aid exit counseling and information from the alumni association.
An earlier version of this story stated that Grad Fest was on Aug. 10. We apologize for the error.