Student Organizations and the CSO

JOSEPH RAVITS | THE SPECTRUM Jon Lipp is responsible for every student organization at NDSU as the Executive Commissioner of the Congress of Student Organizations.
Jon Lipp is responsible for every student organization at NDSU as the Executive Commissioner of the Congress of Student Organizations.

Junior Jon Lipp is a member of Delta Tau Delta, Blue Key Honor Society, University Democrats and Students Today Leaders Forever. He’s additionally thinking of joining the service fraternity Alpha Tau Omega, but that’s not all.

Lipp is also the Executive Commissioner of the Congress of Student Organizations, the office of Student Government responsible for every single student organization on and off NDSU’s campus.

In his first few months in the position, Lipp has made significant progress in modernization and accessibility of CSO, especially through presence on the course management site Blackboard.

“In the old days, all of the organizations would meet as a group to discuss issues and make requests,” Lipp said. “That’s not how we do things now, because we’re almost at 300 organizations. It’s not really feasible anymore. Now, CSO is the umbrella of all of the student organizations and the resources that are available to them.”

Lipp does serve as the Executive Commissioner, but a commission composed of students, both senators and at-large members, is the driving force behind CSO. The commission has the power make any changes to current groups, create a new group, remove an old group and more.

If a student wants to form a new group, they can email Lipp to get more info and to set up a meeting with the commission, which can grant temporary or full status to the new organization.

Student government serves as the administrator and financial advisor to all of the organizations to make sure organizations know what they can and cannot do. The Office of Public Relations works with the Listservs to help organizations with their marketing.

However, one of the main goals of the CSO is getting students comfortable with using Blackboard for organizations, which Lipp said has had a few hiccups along the way.

“That function is still updating every day, which has complicated things a little, but ultimately, when everything is finished, it is going to be so nice,” he said. “Right now, we’re in an awkward transition from the old data to the new data and finding a way to present that to students, but once all that comes together, students will have more information about all of the student organizations at their fingertips than ever before.”

The idea of accessible information for students and student organizations is the driving force behind the transition to Blackboard from the old CSO site OrgSync. Students can now go on Blackboard, and as long as they have completed the mandatory Blackboard track training, they can look at the full list of every organization NDSU has.

“The reality is a lot of NDSU’s organizations don’t even know how much is available to them through student government, the Union, through various groups on campus,” Lipp said. “I really want to boast education and awareness of that, so students are maximizing their opportunities and potentials with these groups.”

Another goal for CSO is doing everything they possibly can to have every single student on campus involved in an organization because of the many benefits of being part of at least one group on campus.

Lipp stated the groups are a great networking tool for finding new friends and surrounding yourself with likeminded people. For Lipp, his involvement in all of his groups has created personal and professional relationships, which he believes is a really important part of the college experience that helps with personal, social and holistic development.

“The key to getting involved as a freshman or any year student is finding the groups you want to join, and that’s what we’re working on to make that information as accessible as possible,” Lipp said.

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