Campus Members Form Club To Enhance
Sense of Community
From Dateline (November 6, 2003)
Faculty workdays are filled
with activities: classes, committees and departmental meetings,
projects, research, answering questions and preparation for classes,
presentations or conferences.
On a large, busy college campus, like Cal State Fullerton,
that leaves little time to get to know your peers other than through
brief conversations between classes and meetings, over quick cups
of coffee or a lunch in the Titan Student Union.
When the university was first established, the campus
community was small and there were potlucks and other activities
in which people gathered, remember long-time faculty and staff members.
In the more recent past, faculty clubs were established and held
in several locations, such as what is now the Golleher Alumni House
and the upper level of the campus bookstore.
“A university club is a
great way to promote a sense of community on campus,” said
Andi Stein, assistant professor of communications, echoing the sentiment
of others. “It gives people a chance to get to know each other
socially, as well as professionally. On a campus like ours where
everyone is so busy, it’s nice to have an opportunity to interact
with people in a more relaxed way.”
Recently there have been discussions of establishing
a club somewhere, including in the Pollak Library, but “we
decided to not wait for a physical location to organize a club,”
said Vince Buck, professor of political science.
In the last year, campus members have come together
for a series of social, cultural and intellectual events “where
faculty and staff members from all over the university have the
chance to come together,” Buck said, adding, “the events
usually draw from 20-40 people, which is a good size to meet other
“Our initial mailing to
the campus community early this fall brought several hundred responses
from every place on the campus,” noted Sandra Sutphen, professor
of political science and director of the Faculty Development Council.
"President Gordon has been a member since we started last year
and now our membership is about 300 people.”
Among the activities: a theater night in which participants
attend a play, then meet at a local restaurant to hear a talk by
someone involved with the production; a book club; walking and museum
tours; and social gatherings at individual’s homes. Every
third Thursday of the month from 4-6 p.m., members meet at the Off-Campus
This spring, club members are organizing tours of
downtown Fullerton and a Buddhist Temple in Hacienda Heights; a
visit to the Tibetan art exhibit at the Bowers Museum; additional
bike rides and potlucks.
“It’s gelling because
there is a need to see colleagues in a different light,” said
Norman R. Page, chair and professor of human communications studies.
“You discover that people have similar interests.”
“We’re really interested
in getting junior faculty involved and would like to reach out more
to other groups like emeriti and alumni,” said Buck. “An
active community has many benefits. Research has shown many times
over that the social component of work is essential for job satisfaction
and important for the effective functioning of organizations. It’s
important for us to know other faculty members - it has a lot to
do with morale and shared governance...shared knowledge.”
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