Student Forum

WesDEF Program Proposal Fall Semester 2009

For the fall semester of the 2009-10 school year, the WesDEF program will be structured as follows:

The group will conduct facilitations in September, October and November in all first year student dorms, West College, Butterfields, Clark, Fauver, Nicholson and 200 Church. Depending on participation in each dorm, the facilitations will be offered for the whole dorm community or for individual halls.  Offering the workshops on a monthly basis and assign facilitators to specific dorms will allow the residential communities to build a consistent relationship with the facilitators and the program.  The first month of workshops will be lead by trained facilitators, with the subsequent workshops led by pairs of one trained and one training facilitator.  The trained facilitator will have the same dorm throughout the course of the semester and will act as the lead facilitator for the pair. 

In addition to the facilitations in first year dorms, WesDEF will hold or sponsor several campus wide events as well as conduct facilitations for program houses, student groups and campus events.

There will be a WesDEF student forum that will provide a space for learning about and practicing social justice education and the development of facilitation skills.  The class will meet bi-weekly to discuss readings about social justice issues, practice facilitating conversations, and try out and create social justice education activities.
The WesDEF group will meet once a week to check in, plan events and facilitations, and to engage in ongoing training.  If these weekly meetings are not enough to keep the group unified and confident in their training, then there will be monthly Sunday training workshops lasting several hours.  In addition, there will be a one to two day training before the start of fall semester to connect and unify the group before the program begins, as well as time to meet with ResLife staff to establish relationships, expectations and collaboration.

There will be three types of participation in the group, as a trained facilitator eligible for work-study pay, a paid intern, and as a training facilitator.

Trained facilitators will be returning WesDEFs, all of whom have undergone at least a semester of facilitation and social justice training.  Working either on a volunteer basis or for work-study pay, trained facilitators will all have the same responsibilities:  attending weekly meetings, leading workshops in first year dorms, leading workshops in other communities on campus, planning workshops and creating social justice education activities, contributing to the student forum and the training of new members, working on teams to hold campus wide WesDEF events, helping with recruitment for the following semester and contributing to the group's institutional memory.  There will be approximately ten trained facilitators next semester, and about half will seek work study pay for their fulfillment of facilitator responsibilities. 

There will be two paid WesDEF interns responsible for leading the group.  The two interns will work closely with each other and with Vice President Manjon and Residential Life to ensure steady communication.  The duties of the interns will consist of working closely with ResLife to schedule the facilitations, monitoring and possibly leading the student forum, planning and coordinating all trainings, maintaining the group's institutional memory, leading recruitment, communicating with the Office of Community Service and managing timesheets and coordinating facilitators for campus wide events. 

The training facilitators will consist of student who are new to the group and have not yet undergone WesDEF training at the start of the semester.  They will enroll in the student forum for that semester, which will serve as their training. Training facilitators will attend one WesDEF workshop in the first month of facilitations as participants and observers, and will partner with trained facilitators to lead workshops in first year dorms for the rest of the semester.  After a semester of training, these students will become the trained facilitators, eligible for work study pay.