Dec. 4, 2017
Dear Division Team Members,
I hope you enjoyed your Thanksgiving break and are recharged as we head towards finals. The semester has flown by, and I want to take a moment to make sure we’re all aware of the great achievements of our Division this semester. I asked each Division department director, along with my office, to share updates on their key initiatives. Below are some highlights from each of our departments.
Counseling and Mental Health Center
- Counselors in Academic Residence Program (CARE) Expansion. Since the program’s inception in 2014-2015, the CARE team has expanded from five colleges and departments to 13.
- Well-being in Learning Environments Initiative. To improve student academic outcomes, staff is working with faculty to embed conditions for well-being in their courses.
Housing and Food Service
- Graduate Student Housing. Partnering with the Graduate School, the department is constructing a new facility in east campus.
- Longhorns for a Culturally Competent Campus. This class is designed to increase residential students’ intercultural competency and communication skills.
New Student Services
- Horns Helping Horns. The program continues to support its students’ graduation success; nine members graduated in May 2017.
- Campus Safety Messaging. The department distributed post orientation safety and Title IX video messaging for all incoming students.
Office of the Dean of Students
- Demonstration Response. Staff is providing information and practical application to help prepare faculty, staff and students to respond to on-campus demonstrations.
- Food Pantry and Career Closet. Student Emergency Services is offering these two new services to assist students.
Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs
- Dean’s Breakfasts. I hosted semesterly breakfast meetings with the 18 deans of colleges and schools to increase communication and collaboration.
- Division New Staff Orientation. This new initiative kicked off on Nov. 28 to introduce staff members to the Division.
- Cycling Studio. The department opened a new state-of-the-art cycling studio in Gregory Gym as part of the TeXercise program.
- Intramural Sports. The first full semester of intramural sports took place at the new Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex.
- All Family Membership. All families with undergraduate students enrolled may sign up for a U-Touch complimentary membership.
- Student Organization Grants. The department gave $47,000 to student organizations and Student Emergency Services.
The Center for Students in Recovery
- Healthy Lifestyles Living Learning Community. The department collaborated with Housing and Food Service to launch this residence hall community.
- NOURISH Eating Disorder Group. The peer-led student group NOURISH was revamped this past fall and attendance has now grown.
University Health Services
- Exercise RX Program. Providers can now prescribe exercise to students whose conditions would benefit.
- Secondary Payer. The department is changing its business model to increase access to care for students and support its long-term sustainability.
- Coffee Service/Flawn Academic Center. Partnering with Texas Coffee Traders, staff will soon begin work on a space for this service.
- Food Truck Program. With 14 vendors, trucks provide breakfast, lunch and Late Night Mondays dinner at 21st and Speedway.
What an impressive list! I am so proud of the excellent work you all are doing. Thank you for being a part of the Division team. As we finish out the semester, I hope to see you all at the Division Staff Holiday Celebration on Dec. 7, and wish you a safe and restful winter break. I look forward to another productive semester next spring.
Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly
Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students