Campus Compact is a non-profit organization founded in 1985. They are a collection of college and university presidents from around the country who have combined efforts to enlist their schools in service of the local community.
Recently, the University of Montana Western’s own Shayla McGregor was awarded a Newman Civic Fellowship by the coalition.
The fellowship is a one year program for students in which they are taught different strategies to address problems in their communities. It is awarded to students who have shown a commitment to public outreach.
Montana Western Chancellor Beth Weatherby said of McGregor, “She is a resident assistant, Student Senator and a student worker in the TRIO Student Success Program. This past year Shayla implemented a program for residence life entitled ‘Coming Out Stars.’”
This event was designed by MrGregor to give Montana Western students a chance to experience life from another perspective.
“This program allowed students to take on the persona of an LGBTQ+ community member and experience their own mock coming out process; they were then encouraged to contribute their thoughts and emotions in a conversation addressing social issues and stigmas that those marginalized by society face daily,” McGregor said.
“Coming Out Stars” was a big success. “This program was one of our most powerful and best attended programs and allowed for multiple members of the campus community to participate and express themselves in a safe environment,” said Weatherby.
McGregor believes that education is the key to inciting social change. “I believe that lack of education and awareness set the foundation for all social issues. Those that lack an open and empathetic mind cannot overcome the stigmatic façade created by centuries of ignorance.”
Although this fellowship is a great honor for MrGregor, the community of Dillon will benefit most from her recent award. With the knowledge she brings from Campus Compact, Montana Western will continue to grow as a more socially aware and inviting campus.
This story contains excerpts from Shayla McGregor and Chancellor Beth Weatherby published on compact.org. Their statements in full can be read here: