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In the Driver’s Seat: Student Life at Capitol Technology University

On Halloween night at Capitol, the university library had become a haunted house. Phantoms and monsters of every description lurked among the creatively decorated stacks.

“It brought out all of the students who really appreciate Halloween,” explains Brandi McKee, director of Student Life and Residential Services. “The creative use of going to the dollar store and getting spider webs and streamers, and blacking out windows to create the maze and to have people strategically in different places… the creativity was the coolest part of it. They really utilized resources phenomenally.”

For McKee, the event was an ideal example of the student community coming together to do something fun for their fellow students – a philosophy encouraged at the university.  S-Lab (the student run, student leadership board) had several meetings to put the event together, working with non-S-Lab student community members to make the event a success.

“Student life is student driven.” You’ll hear that motto often at Capitol. But what does that mean for students who want to start a club, who want to participate in on-campus activities, or who just want to be able to meet other students?

According McKee, it means that any student can come to her with an idea and she can help to make it a reality. “The students generate the ideas. They generate the ‘This is what I want’ ‘This is how I want to do it.’ And we’re here to provide the resources, and that’s not just money.” McKee helps to pull Capitol’s resources towards various student projects and desires. She connects students to each other, the Resident Assistants on campus, and S-Lab to help make what they want possible.

Ideas can be as simple as wanting more people to eat with at your favorite restaurant. One student said to McKee, “I wish I had more people to go and eat with, I really like Buffalo Wild Wings.” McKee involved the RA’s, who organized groups of people to start going on Thursday nights.

 Another student reached out to McKee because she had family in Puerto Rico and wanted to do something to help. From there, McKee helped to foster the student’s ideas to create a charity drive for Puerto Rico. The student reached out to outside resources planning similar projects and rallied the support of her fellow students to make the drive possible.

The student behind the drive has also inspired a community blood drive for Puerto Rico, coming up Wednesday (November 8). The charitable drive itself will focus on medical supplies, with more information to follow from Student Life.

“The students have to have that investment into it,” said McKee. “What do you want to do? Okay. And then the student life piece of it is how do we get you there?”