Student Life is comprised of eight distinct offices, but the staff members in all of them share the common goal of offering “services and facilitat[ing] experiences that provide all of our students with a sense of place and belonging while preparing them to be responsible, engaged citizens in a rapidly changing global environment.” Below, I share some of our staff members’ recent accomplishments.
Student Life is excited to be hosting four 2013 summer interns from the NASPA Undergraduate Fellows Program (NUFP). NUFP is a mentoring program for underrepresented undergraduate students considering a career in higher education. Fellows are interning in Housing and Residence Life (two fellows), the University Center, and the Student Leadership Center/Inclusion and Community Engagement Center. To enhance the fellows’ internship experience, a professional development curriculum was created that focuses on student development theory, the graduate school application process, and the ACPA and NASPA Professional Competency Areas for Student Affairs Practitioners.
University Center (UC)
The University Center serves as the hub of campus activity, including meetings, entertainment, retail services, and several Student Life and Student Services offices. Between all three phases of the University Center, the average daily traffic count was 22,524 during the 2012 Fall Semester.
The University Center Program Council (UCPC) provides regularly scheduled programming in the UC, and attendance has grown to more than 16,000 at more than 140 different programming events. In addition to a robust programming schedule, the UC serves as the primary meeting and events center for UTSA serving as the site for more than 6,400 events during the past year.
Inclusion and Community Engagement (ICE) Center
More than 290 UTSA students, faculty, staff and community members attended the 2013 Black Heritage Banquet in February, which was one of 15 programs celebrating Black History Month.
Service-Learning is the newest area of service programs available in the ICE Center and involves extensive collaboration with Academic Affairs. Service-Learning is a teaching and learning strategy that integrates meaningful community service with instruction and reflection in an academic course to enrich the student learning experience, instill a sense of civic responsibility, and strengthen communities.
Student Leadership Center (SLC)
In January 2013, 39 students participated in The Progression: An Exploration of Civil Rights. The trip took students to New Orleans, Louisiana; Birmingham, Alabama; and Memphis, Tennessee. This trip was recently highlighted in the Progression of a Dream exhibit at the Institute of Texan Cultures that included photos taken by the student participants.
The LeaderShape® Institute at UTSA completed its third year in May after final exams. This program allows us to take 60 students on a transformative six-day leadership development experience.
Student Conduct and Community Standards (SCCS)
The E.P.I.C. Journey Sanctioning Model was developed at UTSA and is a unique collaborative strategy addressing violations of community standards by assessing skill sets in four areas: 1) engagement with the university, 2) personal development, 3) interpersonal development, and 4) community membership. In 2012, SCCS received the NASPA Gold Excellence Award for the model and several staff members published an article on the topic in the Best Practices section of Journal of College and Character. In 2013, staff members presented on the model at the NASPA Annual Conference, NASPA Region III Summer Symposium and the R.E.A.L. Alcohol Coalition Summit.
Housing and Residence Life
Opening in Fall 2013, San Saba Hall will house 618 students in private rooms with two students sharing a connecting bath. This new residence hall will provide UTSA students three Special Interest Communities:
• Engineering Living Learning Community
• Leadership and Service Lifestyle Floor
• Honors College and Terry Scholar Community
Staff in the Special Events Center recently oversaw the first commencement exercises in the Alamodome, accommodating roughly 4,400 graduates and 40,000 attendees.
The Roadrunner Creed has been incorporated into all aspects of the University through the Special Events Center’s leadership in developing and implementing its adoption. In 2012, the UTSA Roadrunner Creed video was a bronze winner in the 33rd Annual Telly Awards—it was one of 11,000 entries from all 50 states and numerous countries.
Child Development Center (CDC)
The Child Development Center (CDC) serves 96 children of students, faculty and staff and is accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC). In 2012, educators from China and Mexico came to observe best practices in early childhood education while attending the International Early Childhood Education Forum. In 2013, the CDC was a tour site for the UTSA Mexico Center, welcoming teachers from Mexico who were developing strategies for dual-language, early childhood classrooms in Mexico at the ESL Institute at UTSA.