On November 2, nearly 200 students gathered at Central Piedmont Community College’s downtown Charlotte campus for the 2013 CSNAP Conference. The annual event, which gives participants a chance to explore “Citizenship, Service, Networking And Partnerships” (CSNAP), featured student “changemakers” from 3 NC campuses, issue experts from Charlotte-area non-profits and social enterprises, a slate of 23 skill-building workshops, and closing remarks from Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy Professor Tony Brown. Along the way, local advocacy group DRUMSTRONG shared it’s blend of rhythm and cancer awareness, and North Carolina Campus Compact recognized 20 students from 19 campuses for outstanding leadership and community impact.
“We had a great line-up of experts on issues that students care about: children’s rights, the environment, poverty,” said conference organizer and NC Campus Compact Associate Director Leslie Garvin. “And this year we received more workshop proposals than ever before, so I knew the quality of the workshops would be high.”
For conference participants who arrived on Friday evening, CPCC and Queens University of Charlotte organized hands-on service at Second Harvest Foodbank of Metrolina followed by dinner and reflection at Queens. Almost 50 volunteers spent 2 hours in the warehouse at Second Harvest, sorting food, paper products and housewares.
“We were so lucky to have great staff and student hosts at CPCC and Queens this weekend,” said Garvin. “Their involvement made the conference better for everyone.”
This year marked the 20th anniversary of the student conference, which has become the largest gathering in the Southeast for college students seeking to be more effective community engagement leaders. The event was first organized in 1993 by NC Campus Volunteers, a student-led organization that sponsored the conference until 2002 when NC Campus Compact was formed. Each year, the conference is hosted by a different member campus across the state. The event was renamed CSNAP in 2012.