College Community: Part One - Geneva College
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Image of College Community: Part One Campus Life
October 12, 2022

College Community: Part One

College Community is a term that is thrown around all the time, but what does it look like at Geneva College? One of the pillars that Geneva College is built on is Kingdom Community. Geneva envisions and strives toward a racially and ethnically diverse student body, representing the full spectrum of the kingdom of God and connected as a community that welcomes students from diverse Christian denominations and non-faith or other-faith backgrounds. Geneva seeks to have a college life that honors God and uplifts the students. We hope to build a community that is a safe space for lifelong relationships.

Many students can identify ways in which Geneva College builds community. Nicole Shaheen says, “Geneva is a family. I feel like that is one of the best ways to describe this school. And just as there are several dynamics in a household, there are several familial dynamics at this school. We build each other up, professors and students alike. I have had a professor invite me to tea. Another brings his granddaughter with him to school, and I take her to our on-campus Starbucks. I have built relationships with upperclassmen because they reached out to me when I felt lonely and uncomforted. And yes—sometimes families are not perfect. You are not going to get along with every professor or every student. But even those that do not get along with me, I recognize as a brother or sister in Christ. This world is full of too much negativity and sorrow from our own corrupted selves, and Geneva recognizes this. They build upon the fact that we are not meant to be alone. We are meant to be together. And I can smile knowing that I go to a school that strives for honesty, genuineness, and—at heart—a family.” Her experience refelcts the Christ-centered community that Geneva seeks to build.

Carly Spahr also shared her personal experience. She says, “Community in Christ and friendship is the central principle of Geneva College. Being a student at our college means giving the fullness of love and acceptance. Each student gets purposeful opportunities to grow in their faith and explore the God-given talents they possess!” She has experienced this community firsthand as a student and by working for the Center for Student Engagement (CSE). She says, “The Center for Student Engagement cultivates an open platform through numerous clubs, activities, and teams to foster community and the gospel's love throughout campus.” The CSE provides many opportunities to be involved in the community and all the members of the CSE are passionate about working alongside students to build the College Community.

The CSE works hard to provide students with many opportunities to build relationships with one another and to create events that students will enjoy. The CSE coordinated many events for incoming students during Welcome Week, including a trip to the Gateway Clipper, the annual Golden Gala, and the Welcome Week Block Party. The CSE also hosts events throughout the semester like Film Fest, My Generation Night, and Midnight Madness. The CSE has an incredible impact on the community of Geneva College and the CSE staff members work tirelessly to support the students and give them opportunities for enjoyment and growth.

The CSE certainly has a large impact on the community of Geneva College, but there are other influential groups such as the Fellowship of Christian Athletes, Upper Room, athletics (both varsity, club, and intermural), the Black Student Union, the Student Success Center, and many others that are working to build a God-honoring community here at Geneva College. These groups encourage interaction by having events on campus. FCA, for instance, encourages students to come and enjoy fellowship with one another regardless of whether they are an athlete. Upper Room seeks to provide a space for students to engage with and grow in their faith. Athletics builds an environment of encouragement, competition, and comradery both on the teams and in the stands. The Student Success Center encourages students to help one another academically and for students to reach out for help in other areas of their life. The Black Student Union encourages students to value one another regardless of skin color. Many other groups on campus are encouraging students to build relationships and honor one another and God.

Groups on campus influence the college community here and encourage the building of lifelong relationships and the interaction of students with various interests and backgrounds. Geneva College is a place where students can feel welcomed and cared for from the moment they step onto the campus and for the rest of their lives.

 

-Mattigan Burleigh, '24