Wise Words from the VP, September 2017

Sept. 5, 2017

As our state and campus community grapples with the aftermath of Hurricane Harvey, I want to thank you for the dedication you continue to show in support of our students. Close to one-third of them are from the counties on the Governor's Disaster Declaration.

Whether it was volunteering during Mooov-In to providing a community space or engaging activities where students could relax and get to know their campus — the Student Affairs staff were in the thick of it.

It’s more important than ever to check in with new and returning students to remind them of UT Austin services and resources, and to serve as the friendly face. Our students will continue to look to us, campus administrators, to make sense of this disaster, understand the dynamics of a new political environment as well as the many things that come with modern life on a college campus. We are role models for our students and the relationships they develop influence their UT Austin experience. Your presence reassures our students that they are surrounded by many caring people that make up the best of our university.

One way to help students get connected on campus and to develop a sense of belonging is to encourage them to log into HornsLink and complete the Interest inventory. The site will recommend events or organizations a student might enjoy based on their interest. This online campus hub is where the nearly 1,300 registered student organizations are introduced, post events, share news and connect with fellow Longhorns. Whatever they are into, it's one easy step for them to narrow in on the many ways to find their place on the Forty Acres.

You can also promote the final stretch of Longhorn Welcome by encouraging them to reach their full potential by enjoying their courses and remembering to also balance their academics with learning new things and new people. This series of free events kicked off on Aug. 25 with Mooov-In, and wraps up on Sept. 8 when Texas Soccer hosts the Colorado Buffaloes. Ask new students which of the remaining events they’re most looking forward to.

Thanks again for all you do, and I look forward to seeing you at the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs 2017-2018 Kickoff on Sept. 13!

Hook ‘em,

Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students