The Mission 2020 committee was established in November 2018 with the charge to provide a new mission statement for the Lory Student Center. Three guidelines informed the committee’s approach to its goal:
- Ensure the process is inclusive of all stakeholders, including students, LSC employees, service and business partners, and others.
- Consider various statements from professional associations including ACUI, CAS, and NACUFS.
- Consider the mission of the University, Principles of Community, DSA mission statement, and the need for the LSC to clearly state its purpose, commitment, and intent related to diversity and inclusion.
Committee members were from various units within the LSC, including Campus Activities, SLiCE, Bookstore, Catering, Event Planning, Marketing, Administration, and Operations. Moreover, an LSC student employee and a student representative from the Lory Student Center Governing Board participated on the committee. Each member brought unique and necessary perspectives to the process of drafting of a mission statement encompassing the entirety of the LSC. Before starting the drafting process, the committee sought feedback from many stakeholders.
For the first-round of feedback, the committee sought to identify words or phrases describing the LSC and experiences from students, staff, and business and service partners. the committee developed the research question, As the Lory Student Center revamps its missions statement, what is a word or phrase that should be included to convey the work that we do and our purpose within the CSU and Fort Collins Community? The question was utilized to seek feedback in a variety of venues. The LSC Governing Board worked to gather feedback from students, taking opportunities to receive feedback about the question at involvement fairs. One instance of this, “A cookie for your thoughts,” was an event where Board members were able to garner 172 responses, with ‘food’ being the most common theme followed by ‘community.’
Focus groups with individual departments were another avenue for collecting initial feedback. Committee members led groups of staff members through a ‘5-whys’ exercise to tease out the core purpose of the LSC. The central question, ‘Why does the Lory Student Center exist?,’ served as a catalyst for impactful discussions across departments. For each response given, group members were asked why was that important? Each successive answer to why their previous response was important proved insightful and inspired committee members as a list of themes emerged from focus groups and other qualitative methods employed over two months during Spring Semester 2019. Focus group participants included: Marketing, RamCard Office, RAMTech, Executive Director’s Office student staff, Catering student and career staff, Event Services student and career staff, Student Legal Services, Fast Print, Fraternity and Sorority Life, CSU Bookstore, and business partners.
Another avenue by which to collect qualitative data included inserting a question into the Skyfactor assessment regularly conducted in the LSC and which concerns many aspects of operation in the building. There were 307 responses to the committee’s research question in which the word ‘community’ presented as a major theme, appearing 63 times in student responses, followed by inclusion (41), center (21), and welcoming (14). A final opportunity to gather input included adding the committee’s research question to the survey for the inaugural SHAPE conference. With over 80 responses, inclusive appeared the most at 17 times, followed by diversity having 8 appearances, and then community appearing 7 times.
After gathering the initial qualitative data, committee members sorted and classified each response and narrowed themes with each successive review. Members used sticky notes to visualize the words, further categorizing responses by themes. Additionally, the Principles of Community were posted during this process to identify congruence. Six main themes emerged: community, affirm, development, engage, destination, and heart.
From the insight gathered, the committee began formulating different statements through combining different words and phrases. The goal was to incorporate the main themes into a memorable, universal, and actionable statement inclusive of LSC programs and services. Draft statements were winnowed down to one statement. The committee was intentional with the placement of ‘inclusive community’ before referencing learning.
As a student-centered organization at the heart of campus, we provide programs and services that create an inclusive community and inspire active, engaged learning.
The committee found this statement came closer to what was offered in the initial feedback. Statement 1 incorporates the themes of community, affirming spaces, personal and professional development, and engaging all members of the community. Additionally, the statement honors the ways in which the LSC is viewed by many as a destination and the heart of campus.
With the committee deciding on a draft mission statement, the next steps include gathering feedback from identified stakeholders on the specific statement. Multiple methods will be employed to test resonance and alignment through the LSC organization. Additionally, LSC Directors, LSC Governing Board, and the Vice President for Student Affairs will offer final approval. A new mission statement will be unveiled during Fall Semester 2019.