Student Support is the organization at BYU-Idaho in charge of helping students feel connected and serving students on campus.
Parker Carson, the area director of Student Support and a senior studying biology, said because there are so many students at BYU-I, Student Support has expanded over the years by creating new groups to accommodate student needs.
“As the campus grows, you get new dynamics,” Parker Carson said.
Parker Carson said the different colored polo shirts represent different sections of Student Support and became necessary due to the continual expansion of campus.
Emily Carson, the office manager of Student Support and a senior majoring in marriage and family studies, said each of the sections help address the new variety of students who arrive at BYU-I every semester.
“There is a niche for everyone,” Emily Carson said.
There are nine councils and nine different colored polos within Student Support, according to the BYU-I Student Support Web page.
Parker Carson said that most new students will interact with representatives of the Get Connected program, who wear orange, blue and black polos.
“Get Connected (New Student Orientation) is your official start to your BYU-Idaho experience,” according to the Student Support Web page.
Parker Carson said students may get confused that all three colors are for the Get Connected council.
He said blue is for the mentors, black is for the iNight workers and orange is for the new student orientation guides.
Emily Carson said the grey shirts are for the Student Ambassadors council. This position is for those newest to Student Support.
“Your ambassador is a current student who will contact you on a frequent basis and answer any questions or concerns you may have,” according to the Student Support Web page.
Parker Carson said the purple polos are for the Student Associations council, which is the largest of the Student Support councils.
“Student Associations provide opportunities for students with similar interests to strengthen and build disciple leadership skills through meaningful friendships, activities and service opportunities,” according to the Student Support Web page.
Emily Carson said the maroon polos are for members of the Disciple Leader council, which plan the Disciple Leader Conference.
“They also do trainings and promote disciple leadership,” Emily Carson said.
Parker Carson said the red polos are for the Student Representative council or the BYU-I student government.
“Members of the Student Representative Council (SRC) work together with university administration to ensure that the voice of the students are being heard and that issues and concerns are resolved in a way that benefits the entire BYU-Idaho community,” according to the Student Support Web page.
Emily Carson said the yellow polos are for the Involvement council.
“As an Involvement Rep., you have the responsibility to reach out to others and invite them to volunteer with a Student Support organization,” according to the Student Support Web page.
Parker Carson said the green polos are the student staff members, who are the paid administrative part of the Student Support organization.
Emily Carson said there are about 450 people involved with Student Support, between the council members and the volunteers. The organization has been a part of BYU-I since fall of 1999, when Allen Jones was hired on as the orientation and safety coordinator, according to the Student Support History pamphlet.
Parker Carson said the organization was previously known as the New Student Orientation.
Emily Carson said the organization name changed to Student Support during Fall Semester 2010. She said the organization is focused on involving students who may not otherwise feel comfortable particpating.
Parker Carson said Student Support is about helping students develop themselves personally.
“The people that are on this campus are here for a purpose,” Parker Carson said. “Student Support is a way for students to discover that purpose.”
Kip Harris, Managing Director of Student Support and Student Representative Council, said during a devotional in May 2008 that students need to do more than just attend classes in order to become a disciple.
“If you attend classes and achieve a degree, and that’s all you leave with, you have wasted the sacred tithes of the Church,” Harris said.
Elder David A. Bednar, a current member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles and former president of BYU-I, said in a devotional in August 2004 that BYU-I is a Disciple Preparation Center.
“In this special and sacred and set apart place, you and I have access to unparalleled spiritual resources that can assist us in developing and deepening our devotion as disciples of the Lord Jesus Christ,” Elder Bednar said. “That is the primary and most important reason for the existence of Brigham Young University-Idaho and for its sponsorship by and affiliation with The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.”
Parker Carson said that, after everything, Student Support has one goal for its volunteers and students.
“Feel the Spirit,” Parker Carson said. “Experience the fun.”