After visiting this last school and having had interaction with SU Officers/Staff at many of them, I may need to tweak the topic of my paper. The SU offers so much more than just activities that it would be an incredibly one-sided paper. I knew from Pam’s reply to my outline that there would be differences, but I hadn’t realized just how different they would be. I wonder what kind of literature/research I can find on Campus Centers/Student Unions in the US? Unfortunately, probably not a whole lot, but I’ll see when I get back. I’m not entirely sure where I will take the paper, but I think I’ll stick with discussing Astin (maybe within the introduction instead of a section for him), then go into an in-depth review of Student Unions in the UK, including the National org, and what they offer above and beyond just activities. Hopefully I’ll be able to find something to back-up my ideas that there is a lot of benefit in this kind of system, and then I can talk about what schools in the US can use to help enhance student learning and development.
On an unrelated note, I am interested in why all (?) of the schools had people from Career Services come to speak with us. I wonder if it has to do with the fact that higher education in the US is focused on the job market, so they think that’s what we would be most interested in. Or, it could be due to jobs becoming more important in England, so they want to get the word out there that they are focusing on it. It’s also amusing that they have all mentioned the increasing parental involvement in students’ lives—we are not alone in having to face the Millennial generation.