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Cockrell School Cares (CSC) started in 2018 as a campaign founded by students out of a need for there to be more discussion on UT Austin’s engineering campus about mental health, self care, diversity and inclusion, and equity. In its first year, a group of 14 students hosted a one week long campaign in the Spring semester featuring student-led workshops, speaker events, tabling activities, social media initiatives, and a student interview series. The following year, CSC expanded to become a two week long campaign, growing both in size and in the diversity of topics that student members highlighted through campaign events.
At the end of 2019, CSC was cemented as an organization on campus as a year-long external committee of the Student Engineering Council. This change allowed the committee to work on initiatives outside of the traditional Spring campaign and keep conversations about student health and DEI going year round.
At its foundation, CSC is a space built by students for students. CSC is meant to be a place where students interested in building more inclusive environments in engineering can come together, engage in community learning, and work on projects that address important issues in our community and advocate for student wellness. As a space striving to meaningfully connect students, CSC is also committed to changing with the times as we all learn and grow together. We hope that by starting new conversations about how our engineering school is situated in the world and how we as future engineers are poised to enter industries that can materially impact the wellbeing of communities, we can simultaneously discover how best to use our degrees to help the world and understand the underlying forces that shape student experiences in the Cockrell School.
Current Committee Structure
CSC is traditionally composed of around 25 students and led by 2 co-directors. We’re currently divided into the following 4 subcommittees:
Publicity & Video:
The Publicity & Video subcommittee produces graphic media to support CSC initiatives and uses our social media platforms to engage students. The Publicity & Video subcommittee also produces our student interview series Cockrell School Shares as a way to give students a platform to share their experiences and thoughts on their time in the Cockrell School with their peers.
Workshops & Events:
The Workshops & Events subcommittee hosts events, workshops, and panels aimed at stirring up discussions about CSC’s pillars of mental health, self care, diversity and inclusion, equity, and positionality. There events are meant to offer students the opportunity to learn from one another and facilitate community conversations in Cockrell.
The Professor Outreach subcommittee is CSC’s liaison with all professors and departments within the Cockrell School. Primarily, members of this team work with professors to arrange extra credit opportunities for students to attend CSC’s spring campaign events, which is something that significantly boosts the number of students that our campaign events and messaging are able to reach. This subcommittee also presents information and student feedback to professors in department meetings in an effort to help professors shape their classroom policies to be more accommodating to students. Additionally, the Professor Outreach subcommittee hosts a series of fireside chats to provide opportunities for students and professors to connect in a more relaxed, personal environment.
The advocacy subcommittee works to receive student input on Cockrell issues and figuring out how to address these problems as students. The advocacy subcommittee collects student perspectives to identify what resources are most lacking and communicate to the administration what is in need of more support. The advocacy subcommittee also is involved in passing Senate legislation and proactively seeking solutions to problems related to CSC‘s pillars and a student body wellbeing. This subcommittee also collaborates with PO on the Cockrell Climate Survey that is completed every year.