Students Running The Show
UCCS University has 11 co-ed colleges. When a student arrives as a freshman, they are randomly sorted into one of the colleges, with which they will stay for the remainder of their time at the university. Each college runs completely autonomously and acts as a government unto itself. Students are in charge of maintaining order, raising funds and keeping the three businesses in the student centre, up and running. Of course, they have faculty advisors, but each college is a self-supporting unit.
By randomly dividing the students into co-ed college groups, there is simply none of the incredible and sometimes incredibly embarrassing, loops that the student needs to jump through to join a fraternity or sorority. It forces a real-life issue on them where in life they will every now and again get teamed up with someone that they might not like and we just simply have to play the hand that we were dealt with, to the best of our ability to benefit everyone.
The Student Centre
The concept was designed with the thought in mind that it gives students the knowledge on how to run a business. Inside the student centre are three businesses, UCCS Coffeehouse, UCCS Bikes and The Hoot – a takeout restaurant. All three of these small businesses are completely student run. Again, of course they have the faculty advisors to help them along, but ultimately it is completely their baby and the advisors only intervene when it is absolutely necessary.
Students get to learn every aspect about running a business. Not only do they have to work in the business, but they need to market it and manage it completely. This means that they have to deal personnel issues, from the hiring to the firing. They are in charge of making sure that the business has all of the required stock that it needs to operate. Of course, to hire staff and have enough stock, the business must show financial gain. All money matters of the businesses are also completely in the hands of the students.
In their co-ed college groups, students life together, this means that they interact with each other from the moment that they wake up to the moment that they go to bed. Because each college is responsible for what happens in the college, it is not a ‘I can do whatever I want’ situation. Every unit within the unit, needs to do their bit to make the larger unit function like an oiled machine. This makes the college itself almost like a miniature business, and as rewarding as playing the tragamonedas Chile offers.
Students have come together in remarkable ways through this program and the UCCS University alumni often look back at their time spent in their college as one of the best things that could have ever happened to them. They are not chained to their beds. They are simply given a adult life with all of the responsibilities that life outside of University will throw at them. This prepares them to be better equipped, not just at a job, but at life.