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Reflections about STLF

Over spring break I chose to go on a service trip with an on-campus organization, Students Today Leaders Forever. It was honestly the best decision I could have made. Many BUSN200 students choose to fulfill their requirement through these service trips, but I would recommend the trip to anyone!
During the week we stopped in a different city every day to do a different service project. As a group we made blankets for Project Linus; helped out at an automobile museum; picked up a lot of trash; passed out fliers for the Western Pennsylvania Humane Society; and helped demo a house! The service projects were awesome and allowed everyone on the trip to use their strengths in different ways. For example, I helped a lot when we were making blankets because of my previous sewing experience. When we helped gut the house, other students had construction experience and really helped out there. It was great to see how everyone came together as a team to get things done! The service sites were so appreciative of our efforts, we are still hearing from them a week after the trip! 
The best part of the week was all of the people I got to know. St. Thomas typically has three buses from STLF go on service trips. My bus was unique this year in that it had half UST students and half Gustavus students. We really bonded as a team and got to become really good friends. I miss everyone from the trip so much! I had so much fun running around Chicago, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, and DC with those guys.
If anyone is considering an STLF trip, I would wholeheartedly say that they should just go for it. As a senior, I went into the trip thinking that it was my last chance to do something like that, and I am glad I took that chance. I got to serve a variety of communities and people, and meet other like-minded students. I am so thankful for the experience I got to have and I wish I could go back!
Lauren Buchholz~Facilitator
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What does this mean to you?

 

“To much who is given, much is expected” Luke 12:48
 
What does that mean to you?  Does it mean you SHOULD do something but maybe you aren’t feeling it right now?  Hey, you’ve got a lot on your plate..classes, maybe a job, maybe a sport.  You’ll do something..later when you have more time.
 
But seriously, the time is now. Trust me, I know how busy us college students can be.  Helping others can be the LAST thing we are thinking of doing because we feel we are in need of help!  We not only need to do something, we are CALLED to do unto others.  Not when things get easier, when we have more time.  It’s kind of like the popular analogy of having sand, rocks, water and pebbles to fit into a container.  How do you do it?  All of it cannot possibly fit in the jar.  But it can. If you put God first (He’s the rocks in the analogy) everything else fits in. Kind of amazing. 
 
So take a step back.  Make some time to put God first in all you do.  Everything else will fall into place.
Kasey Liebeg~Facilitator
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The Ripple Effect

As spring break is approaching, many of you will be adding on extra hours at your service sites, and some of you will even conquer your entire requirement of community service hours this next week. The STLF and Vision Spring Break trips among other options are great ways to fulfill the 40 hour requirement of BUSN200. These trips go across the country and impact many different people and organizations.
Even if you aren’t going across the country with your service site, you are making a huge difference to a wide assortment of people. This just goes to show how big the “ripple effect” that each of you can have is. Think about what you have done at your service site – who have you made an impact on? You might think it is just the few students you have been tutoring or the elderly woman that you visit with while volunteering at a nursing home. But, take a second to look further into your service. Chances are your impact is even greater than you thought.
Say you are volunteering with an after school program in which you tutor about 4 kids whenever you put in a few hours. So, yes, you are making a large impact on the lives of each of these students. Behind the scenes, there are so many people benefitted by this act. Consider the parents of these children – you’re saving them time and effort that they can spend doing other activities with or for their children. The teachers of these students are also greatly benefitted, as their students are more knowledgeable. You’re helping the classmates of these students as well, because once these students you’re working with understand the assignments, they’ll be able to help the other students out. Even the other family members of these four students are benefiting from your effort.
Now take a second to look at your service. Who is benefitting from your “ripple effect”? Just one act can have a significant impact on so many people. For those of you about to take part on any of the spring break volunteering trips, keep this thought in mind as you complete your service. How many people are you personally having a positive impact on? Your impact can be far greater than even you can imagine. 
 
Thank you,
Hayley- Facilitator 
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Be Open Minded

There is a lot that can be learned from BUSN200. Both about yourself, and your community. When going into service, I hope that wherever anybody decides to do so they participate with an open mind. There is always a learning opportunity. Every single person you meet has an untold story with a different perspective, a new idea, or a motivating lesson. Don’t write a person or an organization off just because they’re small or disheveled. They have a world unknown to you, experiences that are completely different, and thoughts that you never would have thought of. Don’t be afraid to talk to others about their lives and situations. Don’t be afraid to branch out. As a BUSN200 student, working through service is a chance for you to rub shoulders with people that aren’t all that similar to you. Learn from these people by being empathetic. Think about what you would do in their shoes. It’s an interesting world out there, and when you have the chance to explore it, dive deep!

 

Braeden Stamas~ Facilitator

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Different Perspective

BUSN200 has different reputations from students, advisors, facilitators, and other staff that sometime seem to cloud the true meaning and purpose of the course. I’m lucky enough to have two perspectives of the program, not only am I a facilitator, but I am also a business student who has yet to take the class.
Before I was hired as a facilitator I had heard of BUSN200, but my view was definitely negative. I got my information straight from fellow business students, and all I knew was that I had to complete 40 service hours in one semester and I wouldn’t even receive a grade (to me this was a negative thing because I believed it could have been an easy “A” to boost my GPA). Several questions ran through my head: “Why is this a requirement for only business students? How will this make me a better business professional? Isn’t ethics class enough? How will I have time? I don’t have a car… how will I get to the site?” It wasn’t because I didn’t want to volunteer, I have always enjoyed, and even been passionate about helping my community in any way. It was just that I wasn’t sure it would be possible, and the fact that I was being forced to do the service made me feel even more uncomfortable.
I know that many, if not all other business students have had many of these same thoughts. I know this not only because I understand the perspective as a fellow student, but because they have expressed these opinions during class, sent in through emails, over the phone, etc. I believe that having students facilitate the course allows for easier conversation on the topic of “why do we have to do this?”, and through conversation students can become more comfortable with this requirement.
To start the conversation, I would like to share the unique perspective I have gained as a facilitator.
I often have to explain over and over that the point of BUSN200 is not to “become a better person”, as people will try to use this exact statement as a learning objective. The statement isn’t a bad one, of course we hope that everyone will aim for constant self-improvement, the statement is just too vague. If I had to pick one simple statement to sum up the “point” of BUSN200 it would be: “to become a better business professional”. This statement can be used for any business course, and again it is vague, but it is more specific than to be a better person. It addresses the reason this requirement is addressed solely to business students, and with a better look at the course material, students begin to see that the knowledge they gain from course discussion is indeed useful as a business man or woman.
At BUSN200 we do our best to help business students become better professionals. We do this by facilitating conversations about non-profits and for-profits and their roles in the community, and by encouraging students to create their own objectives that will help them succeed after graduation.
I often describe the course as a “learn it yourself” course, because even though there are some pieces that are taught while in class, the majority of what a student will learn is taught to them through experience. I believe this is the biggest reason students are “forced” to come up with a site where they will complete forty service hours. It really is meant to be an opportunity; students can choose a site that will encourage their professional skills and success through experience while gaining an understanding of the importance of keeping a healthy community.
These are of course only my own personal observations as a student and facilitator, I’m sure Barbara and my fellow facilitators would have much to add, but like I said, I just wanted to start the conversation.
Erin Smith~Facilitator
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BUSN200-ST. Thomas

One of the primary lessons to be gained through Business 200 is the impact that it has with the community around Saint Thomas.  Saint Thomas is well known throughout the Twin Cities and Minnesota in general as being a great school that instills a sense of leadership and morality within its students but Business 200 also allows students to actually show the community the skills that they pick up at Saint Thomas.  Whether it is an internship at Finnegans or doing the accounting for a local nonprofit this program presents the opportunity for students to give back to those surrounding Saint Thomas in a way that is beneficial to the non-profits involved, the community, and themselves.   While many students may just see this program as another time commitment needed for graduation, I see it as a gateway to take the blessings we receive at this institution and share them with others.  No matter what the service is, we are given the ability to help better the lives of human beings and in doing so we have the chance to grow ourselves.

Dylan Bakken~BUSN 200 Facilitator

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What can I do to give back?

Among the many topics we discussed during the orientation, by far the most impactful topic is concerning the importance of service. As Dr. Gorski stated, there are numerous people who have paved a path for us attain our current position in life. Whether we are students, teachers, or waiters, someone in our lives has paved a path for us to get us where we are today. Our parents, friends, teachers, community workers, religious leaders, all played a role in paving this path. Some of these individuals may have been volunteers. Giving up time out of their schedule to build this path, one brick at a time. Because of BUSN200, business students have the opportunity to make a difference in some else’s live. To give an impactful service that could result in the success of an individual or a community.
After the orientation, students and facilitators alike can’t help but ask themselves, “What can I do to give back; to pave a path for someone else?” As a constant reminder of those who’ve built our paths, Dr. Gorski gives each student several rocks. These rocks are there to remind us of our supporters, and of our social duty to serve and build a path for someone else.
Anisa Abdulkadir~ Facilitator
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Great Work this Semester!

So this has been the last week for many of us with our BUSN200 sections. I hope everyone got as much out of the class as I did.  I wish everyone the best of luck on all their finals! Remember its just this one last week and then you can relax for a whole month! Keep working hard and it will definitely show in the classroom.  Congrats to everyone who passed Business 200 this semester I hope everyone got a lot out of taking this class. Hopefully you all realize the positive impact you made on some of these peoples lives! Remember this when you are celebrating the holidays with your families in these next few weeks. We are so blessed to go to this great university, now what are we going to do to help others? Think about this continue to volunteer!

 

Happy Holiday’s

Kasey Liebeg

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Lauren Buchholz~ Facilitator

As the semester comes to an end, students have been presenting their final creative projects for Business 200. For their presentations, students must address whether or not they achieved their learning objectives for the semester, how they grew as professionals and individuals, and what they did at their service sites. I have to say that the final class was my absolute favorite! My students were so creative in their project ideas; one of my students brought a ukulele and performed a song about his service site. Another one of my students made a Youtube video. I had one girl who made a picture book and I had a few students try their hand at poetry. It was awesome to see the projects they came up with to represent their service sites and the experiences that they had.

All of my students were able to articulate how they grew over the course of the semester through their service. Many of them talked about how they wanted to continue doing volunteer work even after the class was over! I was so touched because several of my students came into the service learning class with a negative attitude. They did not like the idea of doing mandatory community service; but after completing the service, they saw the value in the program.

As professionals, the students learned a variety of skills. Whether it was networking, working with Excel, learning patience, or marketing, students gained valuable skills based on what their service site needed. These skills will help them when they graduate, and the students were all appreciative that they had the opportunity to develop these attributes.

Overall, my first semester as a Business 200 facilitator was incredibly rewarding. I am looking forward to what next semester brings and seeing more students grow!

Lauren Buchholz~ Facilitator