Only one year after Coeur d’Alene Junior College was established, the first student government organized under the name Associated Students Coeur d’Alene Jr. College.
These students and their advisors organized dances, informational speakers, sporting events and socials in various formats. The first organized club was established in 1941, when Phi Theta Kappa developed. ASCJC clubs flourished beginning in 1946 and participation in college student activities became an important part of student life.
Since 1934, when Coeur d’Alene Junior College started competing in organized sporting events, the college has offered various ways for students to explore physical fitness. Intercollegiate competition and Physical Education classes were part of this development. Through these programs, Recreational Sports, or Intramural Sports began. Historic photos show that when the college was housed on Sherman Avenue in 1938, students played volleyball at the base of Tubbs Hill.
Throughout the years, the College provided activity based gatherings beyond the educational environment for the students attending. These were typically organized by many of the staff and faculty who have been employed here. In the early days, intramural sports were provided and supervised by the Physical Education faculty. Coaching of Intercollegiate Sports was also facilitated in the same manner. As the athletic coaching staff became more focused and specific to their sport, some of the intramural duties were written into their job duties. This allowed the College to provide full-time coaching for student athletes along with intramural sports to the general student population.
The first makeshift Student Union was established under the bleachers of Christianson Gymnasium in 1954. This facility was used to provide a place for the students to eat lunch and socialize between classes.
The first official Student Union opened in 1961. The College recognized that students needed a space to build community. They needed a building where they could gather and socialize between classes. The student population had outgrown the small cafeteria that was located in the gymnasium. The Edminster Student Union was opened to fulfill this need. Immediately upon opening, areas were designated for student government as well as gaming and other leisure activities. These social activities prospered as part of the Student Union and were managed through student boards guided by Union staff.
In 1971 North Idaho Junior College changed its name to North Idaho College and shortly thereafter the Student Government rewrote their Constitution becoming the Associated Students North Idaho College (ASNIC.) The ASNIC Student Handbook/Planner replaced the Driftwood year book which was last produced in 1974. ASNIC has been responsible for the yearly production since 1988.
Student enrollment growth created the need for more student programming space and stimulated a remodel of the Student Union and spaces were allocated for a game room/activities center. This all took place in 1979 and provided facilities and equipment to allow for games tournaments such as billiards, ping pong, table soccer, cards and board games.
Outdoor Pursuits sprang to life as a student idea back in 1974. A proposal for funding and an action plan was presented before the ASNIC, to establish the Outdoor Program at North Idaho College. With $5000 dollars, an equipment rental shop was established in the basement of the Student Union. Common adventure trips were offered and given the wonderful outdoor resources the program began to grow.
After three successful years the student staff graduated and interest in the program faltered, but in 1980, the program was rejuvenated by the hiring of a full-time position emphasizing student activities. This new position was given the title Student Activities Coordinator. The focus of this individual was to supervise all student activities within the Union and to create new programs that empowered students to get involved.
The addition of the professional position, Student Activities Coordinator, and the change of focus in the Student Union gave birth to what we now call Student Activities. This division was placed under the administrative arm of the Dean of Students, now Vice President Student Services.
The Student Activities Coordinator was responsible for student activities within the Union and to provide activities in the newly established game room area. The position evolved quickly and by 1984, the administration of all Intramural Sports programming was placed under this position and under the Student Activities Program. This program was expanded in 1985, with the hiring of a 10 month full-time Recreational Sports Coordinator. This position went full time in 1995 as growth in the Recreational Sports area grew.
In 1984 the professional staff wrote a proposal to establish the college’s first water front programs and gained approval from NIC Board of Trustees to utilize the NIC Beach/waterfront for programming and rentals. This evolved into our summer rentals and beach hut program.
At this time the Student Activities Coordinator worked with all Union events planning, supervised the game room operations, ran the outdoor rental facility and led various outdoor trips for the student body. Growth of the program and the addition of duties to the this position presented an opportunity and in 1985 Student Government supported a fee to hire a 10 month full-time position titled Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator. This addition of professional staffing added a new dimension to the program and the ability to serve the students by increasing trip offerings and expanding the rental facilities. The next ten years the NIC Outdoor Program flourished. ASNIC saw the program growth and the potential to improve NIC beach program offerings. They felt it was a good idea to extend the Outdoor Program Coordinator’s position to what it is today, a twelve month position.
As the computer age rapidly advanced so did the use of technology on the college campus, in 1989 the first picture based ID card was developed and within five years the first computerized North Idaho College Photo ID card system was purchased by ASNIC. Student Activities managed all aspects of ID card development until 1999, when it was given to the Computer Services department to administrate.
In 1989 a large donation form a local sailing club became the foundation for the first sailing program at NIC. By the end of 1997, the program had acquired and rebuilt several sailboats for the program and thus making it possible to teach sailing and offer numerous on water experiences.
ASNIC’s focus changed regularly throughout the history of Student Activities. The first student government functions focused primarily on things that affected students in the Student Union. As advisor roles changed, so did the focus of the various boards.
A strong tie developed between ASNIC and the Association of College Unions International (ACUI). This organization provides both professional staff and students who are connected with Student Union operations opportunities to attend conferences and training events that focus on the Union as the center of the college community. Though the Edminster Student Union had always been a member of ACUI, the bond between Student Activities, ASNIC and ACUI grew stronger. ASNIC and the Student Activities professional staff attended conferences offered throughout ACUI region 14 and from that many ideas were cultivated.
In 1991 ASNIC attended the University of Montana and returned with a vision to build a new Student Union for the college campus. ASNIC pushed this idea for the next several years and provided a student fee designated for this project.
Though a completely new Student Union building could not be accomplished, a total remodel of the existing Edminster Student Union was completed adding 65000 additional square feet to the structure. Students, community members and college staff gathered in the fall of 1999 to celebrate the opening of this beautiful facility.
ASNIC was a growing program at this time and the Student Board felt that there was a need for administrative support. Funding was provided through the ASNIC budget to hire an Administrative Assistant to help with growing paperwork and schedules. Events take place that sometimes create a domino effect, and this often times leads to positive change within an organization.
In 1992 the college needed to have one of its professionals take over the new student orientation program and take it in a new direction. The Dean of Students (Vice President Student Services) asked Student Activities to provide this event. All new students were invited on campus and were given important information about the upcoming school year. This daylong event ended in a celebration that included a picnic and boat cruise on Lake Coeur d’Alene. This event was so successful that a team of professional staff evaluated its structure and worked hard to provide a great experience for the students who attend.
In a group effort, a new NIC process of orientation, advising & registration for new students which is now called Orientation Advising, and Registration Sessions (OARS) was developed. In 2005, along with the new OARS program, a day of welcome activities for new students was introduced. OARS is currently managed through the Assistant Dean of Students Office, but the hiring, training and scheduling of the OARS Leaders remains within Student Activities.
In 2002 ASNIC observed that many colleges provided their student population access to fitness equipment, yoga and dance studios, and sports courts. The Recreation Center Development Committee was established with the intended goal of finding solutions to the lack of recreational facilities on campus. A self-study of NIC was initiated and the findings stated that Christianson Gymnasium did not pass ADA (American Disabilities Act) requirements. On January 13, 2003, ASNIC passed a resolution for the support of a recreation center plan.
The student population was surveyed on how satisfied they were with the recreational facilities on campus. Once the survey results were analyzed the ASNIC felt that there was a strong enough need and that they should contract a consulting firm to provide a feasibility study for the construction of a recreation facility.
A feasibility study was conducted gathering student, staff and faculty input and in March of 2005 a favorable preliminary assessment was presented to ASNIC and then to the NIC Board of Trusties. At this time the NIC Board of Trusties asked that ASNIC take an advisory vote of the student population before a decision would be made whether to create a fee to support the recreational center. A Student Recreation center advisory vote was taken in the general ASNIC elections; this election set a record for the number of votes cast in any ASNIC election. ASNIC took this student participation and the overwhelming results as their acknowledgment to move forward with the program.
By May the results of the advisory vote were presented to the NIC Board of Trusties and in turn the college was asked to provide a financial analysis Pro Forma compiled by the consulting firm involved with the feasibility study. This study was presented to the college and to the Board of Trusties in July or 2005. ASNIC diligently proceeded to follow all requests that the college made in regards to the feasibility studies and the Pro Forma presented. The Student Government spent over $39,000.00 in student fees for this project and still pursues this goal each year.
In the spring of 2003, the Student Activities staff added two much needed positions. ASNIC combined the funding from the Administrative Assistant position with additional funds to create the Programs Assistant for Student Activities. This position worked with ASNIC primarily to help coordinate events provided by the student staff.
The second position was in Outdoor Pursuits and with the addition of a full-time Assistant Coordinator programs offered were increased and the rentals program was strengthened. This position is funded completely by the revenue generated by the Outdoor Pursuits program. The essential duty of the assistant coordinator is to oversee the ever expanding equipment rental program which now includes equipment capable of supporting mountaineering, whitewater rafting, whitewater kayaking, sea and lake kayaking, rock climbing, backcountry skiing, snowboarding, telemark and cross country skiing, snowshoeing, and backpacking adventures. The retail value of the Outdoor Pursuits equipment inventory has grown to well over $300,000.
The summer of 2006 marked the beginning of one of Outdoor Pursuits most successful student development programs with the creation of a summer internship program. The program began with two interns, but has since grown to a stable crew of four. Outdoor Pursuits has been proud to host interns from all across America. These students are selected through a nationwide search, and have been the key to the continued growth of Outdoor Pursuits’ summer programming.
At the same time the position of Student Activities Coordinator was expanded to facilitate the changing needs of leadership development. Along with OARS, focus was placed upon leadership and volunteerism as part of this restructured position.
In spring of 2008, with the support of ASNIC, Outdoor Pursuits began construction on the first phase of a high ropes course in the trees west of the Student Union Building. With this expansion came the addition of a second Assistant Coordinator in Outdoor Pursuits who was charged with developing and managing a comprehensive high and low ropes challenge course program. These duties have since been re-aligned and the position re-classed to become Coordinator of Recreational Sports and Challenge Course; this position became a 12 month position. Outdoor Pursuits then reverted back to having two full time professionals; a Outdoor Pursuits Coordinator and a full-time Assistant Coordinator.
A change in professional staff allowed the college to reallocate job duties under its current position of Recreational Sports Coordinator. This position was combined with the Challenge Course Supervisor position in 2009, to create the position we have today called Recreational Sports/Challenge Course Coordinator.
The sailing program advanced dramatically in 2010 with the addition of two Hobie Waves and a Colgate 26. The program now boasts four Hobie Waves and a state of the art monohaul specifically designed for instruction. The Outdoor Pursuits sailing program now serves over 100 students per year.
The future for Student Activities and the potential for program growth is endless. ASNIC is constantly updating their working documents to better fit the needs of our changing student population. Plans are in the works to add Senatorial positions bases on the growing population of students and the need to have student representation on all college committees.
Outdoor Pursuits has moved into a new facility on campus. This move brings together all aspects of the program into one common location. Rentals, trips, clinics and classes will all be offered under one roof which will cut costs and improve customer service significantly.
Recreational Sports/Challenge Course is adding new elements and is aggressively seeking to infuse their program into the many sports teams and the college’s employee groups that are looking for stronger team dynamics. Recreational Sports is re-branding its self in an effort to let the student population better know what they offer and how students can get involved.
The next generations of students are looking to make their mark on our world and through Volunteer Programs we plan to reach out locally and to our nation as a whole and find organizations for our student to become involved with as volunteers.