New tradition combines academics with activities
Beginning last Monday, April 20th, Branford’s flagship campus celebrated its first annual Spirit Week – highlighted by a series of on-campus events, all of which were organized by the newly-formed student council.
“Spirit week is a chance for the students to have fun and feel like part of a community beyond just academics,” Branford Career Services Coordinator Bonnie Mahon explained. “It’s also a great chance to raise money for the student fund, which helps finance student activities and other student needs that might arise.”
Among those student needs are little everyday things, like providing extra change when a student comes up short in terms of bus fare, or can’t afford lunch one afternoon.
The schedule of Spirit Week activities ran as follows:
- Monday (PJ Day): Students were welcome to wear pajamas to campus, so long as those pajamas met certain requirements (had sleeves, a length that went below the knees, and obviously didn’t qualify as lingerie, etc.).
- Tuesday (Hat Day): Same idea as PJ Day, with the focus shifting to hats.
- Wednesday (Sports Day): Students were encouraged to wear T-shirts and jerseys featuring their favorite sports teams. Some minor athletic competitions were also held on-campus.
- Thursday (Hawaiian Day): Students and administrators wore Hawaiian garb and the campus took part in several Hawaiian-themed activities.
It’s about academics; it’s about one another
Students at Branford Hall’s flagship campus play an integral role in defining the culture. Two months ago, they formed a student council; week after week, that council offers administrators academic feedback. In addition, the massage therapy program maintains its own student clinic on campus. The result is a collaborative atmosphere, where students help one another succeed.
Thanks to technology, a lot of current course assignments can be completed via the web. But according to Branford, CT, Director Brian Malanson, a considerable number of students actually prefer to do their work on campus, where they can use the on-site resources to complete new coursework with their friends.
Malanson is new to Branford’s flagship campus, but he has over 20 years of experience working in the career education field. Malanson says he took note of the optimistic attitude at Branford’s flagship campus almost immediately, and says that he continues to be impressed with what the students have achieved.
Bringing it all back home
The student philosophy at Branford extends beyond just planning activities to boost morale. The idea is to create an academic atmosphere where everyone assumes a little extra pride in their role.
That idea is reflected by the words of a poster hanging near a stairwell at the end of the main classroom building’s first-floor hall. “Student, Faculty & Staff,” that poster reads, “working together toward one goal … STUDENT SUCCESS!”