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TWIN FALLS — For the first time ever, College of Southern Idaho student leaders have a road map for how to improve their classmates’ school experience.

The 16-member Student Senate began creating a strategic plan from scratch this fall. They wrapped up shortly after spring semester began in January.

The organization represents more than 7,000 students taking classes through the college’s main Twin Falls campus, and off-campus centers in Burley, Hailey, Gooding and Jerome. They’re the voice of the student body and make decisions on their behalf.

“I believe that as student senators, we’re the leaders for students,” said student body president Lance Teske, a Twin Falls native and Canyon Ridge High School alumnus. But “we didn’t really have a sense of direction,” he added, and initiatives were stagnant.

The plan — which will be in place for two to three years — is designed to help students feel more plugged in at CSI, for student clubs and organizations to have more resources and support, and for better communication with faculty members and administrators about what students need.

Copies haven’t been distributed or posted online yet, but the Student Senate is working on it so students and community members can view the document. The new plan creates a foundation for future student leaders, too.

“When the next Senate comes in, they’ll modify it, and continue to grow and develop it,” Teske said. Right now, “we’re hitting the reset button every time there’s a new Senate elected.”

CSI’s dean of students Jason Ostrowski and vice president of student services Michelle Schutt weren’t available Friday to comment on the plan.

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The plan includes three core themes: students, working with clubs and councils, and building relationships with faculty and administration. A team of student leaders will be devoted to each theme.

Student leaders will streamline the process of creating a club and getting assistance, and will talk with their peers to get feedback about their needs — whether academic or campus life — to pass along to faculty members and administrators.

And “things already offered on campus,” Teske said, “will be clearer and better.”


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