CPO Student Association

The Community Programs Office Student Association (CPOSA) is a student-led administrative body that provides guidance and support to the twenty four student-initiated, student-run community service projects that make up the Community Service Learning Center. CPOSA also advocates on their behalf to University administration and key members of influence within the local community, the state and beyond. Through ongoing direct action, CPOSA projects and volunteers provide essential resources and services to economically and socially disadvantaged community members.

Philosophy

The student-initiated projects are a reflection and product of student empowerment. This, in essence, means that we view students as the engine to drive social change. Therefore, it is incumbent upon us to acquire necessary skills to empower our community and ourselves, through self-confidence, self-reliance and self-determination. In this way, we can facilitate the process by which students can find the most powerful and effective means of expressing themselves and their arguments before they even begin to write.

Through its 23 student-initiated community service projects, the CPO office affirms that the pedagogical role of students should include classroom instruction with relevance to social issues. CPO volunteers and project directors work year round to establish and implement educational, social, cultural, medical and academic services to under-served communities in the Los Angeles area. CPO is also unique in its multi-cultural and ethnically diverse environment and the experience it offers in campus and community programming. While working with the community, students must consciously make an effort to continuously learn, to question, to analyze, to have dialogue, to listen, to reflect, to be critical, and to do the necessary work to improve everyone’s life. Student empowerment is more than an notion or theory; it is a reality that has occurred time and time again. The greatest changes occur when we realize that by changing our attitude we could change the world!

To empower a community, there must be an understanding of the roots of poverty, exploitation, sexism, violence, terrorism, racism, sexual orientation, and ignorance. For this reason, CPO encourages students to make a conscious effort to expand their intellectual potential and work in the community with respect and an open mind. Remember that an open mind leaves a chance for someone to drop a worthwhile thought into it. The power of each and every student can only be realized if it is exercised. On an individual level you have individual power, on a collective level you have empowerment, you have change.

To be a student and not be a revolutionary is a contradiction.
-Salvador Allende (President of Chile), 1973

The projects housed in the CPO administer services to thousands of individuals in Southern California. They receive most of their funding through the UCLA Community Activities Committee (CAC) and the USAC Community Service Mini-Fund. The management and operations of the CPO Student Association are funded by the PLEDGE Referendum, passed in 2009. The CPOSA administers funding for the administrative needs of CPO projects.