By Liz Abitz
In 2015, Ripon College received a grant in order to help students prepare to communicate in the 21st Century by collaborating with organizations on campus. Those involved in the program include Ethics Bowl, Forensics, Ripon Speakers Bureau, College Days newspaper, WRPN Radio, Crimson yearbook and Parallax. Since then, the Communication Consortium has seen benefits such as connecting students from the various groups with guest speakers and allowing student leaders to connect with prospective students that may be interested in the program.

“The Communication Consortium is a collaborative effort through which the advisors of each team, club, organization, media and curricular group under the Consortium umbrella determine how our groups can work together productively to provide more-and more “real world”-learning experiences for all students involved,” said Jody Roy, head of the consortium and professor of communication.

The consortium has made progress in terms of collaborating with other groups to achieve mutual goals. These interactions have allowed the advisors of the various group’s involved to learn about activities and the needs each group has in order to provide more beneficial experiences for students involved. Also, last year only students participating in Forensics were eligible for scholarships but the consortium advisors have worked with the admission and financial aid department to expand eligibility for scholarships to the other groups participating in the consortium.

“Some of the groups already collaborate together – speaking for events, publishing print media, etc. I would love for these groups to work together more,” said Allison Macknick ‘17, member of the Speakers Bureau. “We are the top rated Communication Department in the country – there’s so much more we can accomplish.”

The Communication Consortium was established two years ago; therefore, the alliance still continues to face challenges despite their accomplishments thus far.

“Time is the biggest challenge every group and individual at Ripon faces: everyone is very passionate and also very busy. It’s hard enough to coordinate the schedules of everyone in a single group; it’s exponentially harder when we try to integrate the work of multiple groups with many members,” Roy said.

Regardless of the challenges, the consortium continues to improve and reach their goals with each passing year, leading many members to encourage other students to join.

“Every single Ripon College student utilizes communication here on campus and will need it after graduation; take advantage of these premier groups available right here at Ripon College,” Macknick said.

Students participating in the consortium gain practical real-world experience and opportunities outside the classroom in ways that were not possible before the alliance. To get involved students can contact current members or advisors of groups within the consortium for further information and qualifications.

Editor’s note: The College Days newspaper is part of the Communication Consortium.