The first university SCU CARE Week was conceived and implemented by the Office of Student Life in collaboration with campus departments. There were more than 50 events that highlighted resources available to students. There were also events for faculty and staff that focused on preparing them to better serve students. CARE Week was divided into three parts: Experience, Expo, and Examen. The Experience programs focused on self-care, life balance, social networking, and basic academic and life skills. Expo, a fair, featured University and student organizations and the service and resources they provide to our community. Examen connected us — as St. Ignatius of Loyola meant it — to a consideration and awareness of our global and local reality, and how we might respond both individually and as a community of care, compassion, and connection.
The EMTs started with the vision of two students, Matt Donnelly and Sam Suleman in 1997-98. Eliciting the assistance of Michelle Helms, Cowell nurse practitioner, they put forth the original SCU Emergency Medical Services (EMS) proposal. Eight students became the founding members of SCU EMS. Today the student EMTs number more than 40. The work of the EMTs is carved into the hearts and memories of all at SCU, not just because of what they do, but because of the purpose, the passion, and the kindness with which they do their work. They respond to calls with confidence, grace compassion, and a belief in serving people who are in need. The EMTs also have many points of pride – being featured in the Santa Clara Magazine, giving presentations at the annual National EMT conferences, helping with the outbreak of meningitis, following up with students in need, and saving lives.
The inaugural Sophomore Success Expo targeted sophomores with the purpose of enhancing their second year experience. This event was coordinated by the division’s Six-Quarter Experience working group. Fifteen university departments participated, sharing information and answering student questions. Approximately 100 sophomores attended. The students collected stamps on passport cards as they visited various department tables and received a prize for filling it up. Using the Division of Student Life Impact Survey, results showed students gained knowledge and found value in a sophomore-focused event.
The Office of Student Life and Office for Multicultural Learning hosted its first Diversity and Inclusion Series this year. The third part of this series, Small Group Conversations occurred over the course of 13 meetings from October 2016 to January 2017. It was designed to encourage incoming students to dialogue about their social identities and personal values with their peers. Over 1,400 students participated in these small group conversations led by SCU students, faculty, and staff.
One of the sessions was held Election Night, November 8, 2016. The crowd was energized as students pulled out their phones discreetly to check the election results. There were mixed emotions as the result became more apparent. Despite differing opinions, students demonstrated their willingness to respectfully listen to their peers. We witnessed a powerful step towards authentic dialogue and how it is needed to build an inclusive community.