2014-2015 Annual Report

Page 1

2014 - 2015


MISSION The Division of Student Affairs maximizes each UA student’s learning experience. Assessment and Planning Blackburn Institute Career Center Center for Service and Leadership Counseling Center Dean of Students External Affairs Ferguson Student Center First Year Experience and Parent Programs Fraternity and Sorority Life Housing and Residential Communities Student Care and Well-Being Student Conduct Student Government Association Student Media Involvement Media Student Government Association Student Involvement University Programs University Recreation Veteran and Military Affairs Women and Gender Resource Center


A MESSAGE FROM THE VICE PRESIDENT I am pleased to share with you some of the outstanding accomplishments within the Division of Student Affairs during the 2014-2015 academic year. As you will see, last year our students took advantage of the rich co-curricular opportunities on campus in unprecedented numbers. As they pursued their passions and developed leadership skills, they also gave back to the University, the community, our state, and the nation. I am also proud of the professionals within Student Affairs who are committed to maximizing student learning outside of the classroom and enhancing students’ academic success. There is an unmistakable excitement on campus that marks the start of a new year, and I am looking forward to my first full year as vice president. I am part of a team that includes faculty, staff, parents, and friends, all of whom are committed to creating an environment in which students explore, grow, and succeed—inside and outside of the classroom. This year, the Division of Student Affairs’ three priorities are civility, engagement, and well-being. I look forward to seeing how our students take advantage of new programs, initiatives, and opportunities that foster these priorities. Thank you for your support of student life at The University of Alabama and Roll Tide!

David L. Grady, Ph.D. 3



On-campus capacity increased by more than 4,000 beds since Fall 2004


Housing and Residential Communities

8,400 BEDS


94% of UA freshmen lived

in campus housing in Fall 2014.





$21 million

service members




$14 million

military dependents


Fraternity and Sorority Life GROWING POPULARITY


UA’s Greek community has more than doubled in size over the past 10 years; 30% of UA undergrads are now members of a sorority or fraternity.











annual growth rate

ALL MEN: 2.96 0.0

91% 79%








FORMAL RECRUITMENT For Fall 2014, a record 2,246 women participated in formal recruitment. These students experienced a 91% overall match rate, well above the national average of 79%.

Center for Service and Leadership

of food were collected for the West 300,049 pounds Alabama Food Bank — enough to provide food for nine counties for seven months.

26,000 UA student volunteers completed ...

million 90 students participated in 1volunteer hours, which is equal to ... 4 alternative breaks for $21 million 8,200 hours of service worth of economic impact to the communities we served.*

Source: Corporation p for National and Community Service


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University Recreation WIDESPREAD USE

Participation in University Recreaction facilities increased 9.8%.


of the student body participates in University Recreation facilities, programs, and services.




889,977 889,97 77 807,760 SITS VISITS


May 2013April 2014

May 2014April 2015 5

BLACKBURN INSTITUTE The Blackburn Institute celebrated its 20th anniversary during the 2014-2015 year, concluding the year with 580 fellows and 70 students. The Institute strives to teach each new class that they all have the ability and opportunity to impact their community in a positive way. On August 22-23, almost 50 Blackburn fellows gathered to kick off the Institute’s 20th year with the annual Gloria and John L. Blackburn Academic Symposium. Gathered around the theme of “Alabama Voices,” fellows heard from a wide range of speakers, including MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” host Joe Scarborough and Pulitzer

Prize-winning writer Rick Bragg. More than 300 UA students and community members joined the Blackburn fellows to hear the public lecture by Scarborough, and more than 160 members of the Blackburn Institute attended other symposium events. With the symposium serving as a kick-off event, the 20th anniversary celebration spanned the entire 2014-2015 academic year and included travel experiences in Birmingham, Demopolis, the Gulf Coast, and Montgomery, all places the Institute had visited before and chose to see again to honor its anniversary.

HIGHLIGHTS • After implementing a new student selection process, the Blackburn Institute had its largest and most diverse applicant pool to date, accepting 35 students to the Institute. • The Blackburn Institute hosted 38 programs for members, fellows, and advisory board members.

ASSESSMENT AND PLANNING HIGHLIGHTS • Staff members assisted Student Affairs with more than 70 project requests including reviews, data requests, consultations, and planning activities. • From June 1, 2014, to May 26, 2015, Assessment and Planning staff members assisted with and provided support to 59 Student Affairs staff members and campus partners, collecting 34,692 survey responses.



CAREER CENTER The Career Center found itself in a brand new home to start the academic year in the updated and expanded Ferguson Student Center. The new space more than doubled that of the office’s former home. Not only is the Career Center more visible to students and visitors to the building, but it added seven more interview rooms, giving potential employers 18 rooms in which they can conduct interviews with UA students. As the Career Center got into the swing of fall interviews and events, the new space made its presence known. The buzz around a new location had an impact on programs as well, with the Career Center’s fall career fairs receiving record registration numbers.

HIGHLIGHTS • The Career Center hosted nine career fairs in 2014-2015, with 4,649 students and 654 employers attending. • Career Center staff members met with 5,920 individual clients for a total of 7,394 appointments during the year.





For many students at UA, volunteering and giving back is a huge part of their daily lives and their college careers. The second annual UA Leadership, Education, Action, and Diversity Summit — UA LEADS — took place at the Capstone in February and featured student-led breakout sessions, keynote speakers, and volunteer opportunities at local elementary schools. The summit kicked off with a keynote address from Kat Cole, the president of Cinnabon, Inc. and former vice president of Hooters. After hearing Cole’s words, students broke off into sessions, which focused on one of five topics: leadership and development, foundations of education, social justice advocacy, diversity awareness, and community building. Students at the summit also worked to make a difference in the community by splitting off into groups to volunteer at

Maxwell Elementary and Central Elementary Schools. Students painted cartoon characters on wooden fence posts, transformed boring bathrooms into colorful rooms filled with superheroes, and landscaped the exterior of the schools. The event, organized by the Center for Service and Leadership, aims to return to these schools each year in order to build a relationship with the school and provide educational programs to the students. Students said the key is to connect with a community or school over time, and not just show up for your weekly volunteer hours and leave. Students returned to the Ferguson Student Center after an afternoon of volunteering, and closed out the evening with motivational speaker Joshua Fredenburg, who discussed the ethics and service of being an effective leader.

HIGHLIGHTS • More than 1 million hours of service were completed by 26,000 students during the 2014-2015 academic year. • 490 students participated in Sleep Out on the Quad, an experiential night of homelessness. • Students and staff exceeded their goal of collecting 300,000 pounds of food for the West Alabama Food Bank through Beat Auburn, Beat Hunger, collecting 300,049 pounds of food, which stocks the food bank for seven months. • 90 students participated in four alternative break trips and invested 8,200 hours of service.


DEAN OF STUDENTS HIGHLIGHTS • The Office of the Dean of Students collaborated with Honors College and Human Environmental Sciences to provide 410 students with the opportunity to be mentored through the BElieveUA Mentoring Program, which matches students who have learned the keys to success with those who may be having difficulty adjusting to college life.

The Office of the Dean of Students partnered with University Programs, Project Health, and Housing and Residential Communities to host “Cook It Up” twice during the year, once in fall and once in spring. The January edition of “Cook it Up” promoted healthy eating with a nutrition seminar and cooking demonstration at Presidential Village. Chef Missie Deloach, who just finished her fourth season working with Southern Foodservice Company catering Bryant-Denny Stadium’s south endzone club room and skyboxes, demonstrated three simple recipes using a rotisserie chicken breast. Deloach made chicken salad, chicken quesadillas with corn and bean black salsa and a chicken omelet. All of the cooking was done in the microwave. UA nutritionist Sheena Gregg took part in the seminar and stressed the importance of not skipping meals. Gregg suggested students maintain a balance of carbohydrates and proteins in their diet. These collaborative events have helped students focus on being healthier throughout their time at the Capstone.

COUNSELING CENTER HIGHLIGHTS • Counseling Center staff members delivered 344 prevention-oriented outreach programs, connecting with 33,412 UA community members. • Counseling Center clients overwhelmingly say that the Center helped them work more effectively through their personal problems, with 99 percent identifying with that statement • The Counseling Center achieved more than 45,000 contacts within the UA community.







HIGHLIGHTS • Nine graduating seniors were inducted into the Student Affairs Leadership Society in May 2015. • UA Away scholarships in the amount of $5,250 were awarded to four students to work, serve, or study away during the year. • Giving to the Parents Fund increased nearly 40 percent over the past year, with more than $90,000 in gifts during the 2014-2015 year.



Donations to the Parents Fund increased nearly 40 percent over the past year.



• The Ferguson Student Center completed an addition of 75,000 square feet, which included significant upgrades to the Career Center and Supe Store.

$65,072 $60,000


June 2013June 2014

After just over a year of construction, UA welcomed an updated and expanded Ferguson Student Center just in time for the 2014-2015 academic year. After the renovation of 100,000 square feet of existing space and the addition of 75,000 more square feet, “the Ferg” was back to its prominent place as the hub of campus activity. More than 6,000 students turned out to get to know their updated Ferg at a grand opening event put on by University Programs. On average, more than 21,000 students, faculty, staff, and visitors make their way through the Ferg each day. The $45 million renovation and addition included much-needed updates to the food court, an expansion for the Supe Store, new office space, and a new main entrance on the south side of the building. The south side of the building also features a “great hall” to serve as a place for students to gather, study, and enjoy time on campus.

PARENTS JuneFUND 2014June 2015

• Areas such as the Blackburn Institute and Safe Zone were brought into a more student-friendly environment. • The SOURCE, an area for student organizations on the third floor of the Ferg, underwent a complete renovation to match the surrounding areas.

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FIRST YEAR EXPERIENCE AND PARENT PROGRAMS Sophomore civil engineering major Matt Haeussler found his niche early on at the Capstone, spending his summer serving as a Parent Ambassador for First Year Experience and Parent Programs at Parent Orientation. From early mornings to late nights, Haeussler and his fellow PAs were responsible for welcoming thousands of parents and family members to UA while their students were attending Bama Bound. “My biggest responsibility was ensuring that parents had the best experience possible at orientation and letting them know they did indeed make the right decision in having their student enroll here at the Capstone,” Haeussler said. While Haeussler made an impact on new UA students and parents during his spring of training and summer of service, FYE and Parent Programs made an impact on him. Ronnie Hebert, assistant director

for FYE and Parent Programs, got to know Haeussler during the Spring 2015 semester. What started as Haeussler applying and becoming a Parent Ambassador turned into so much more, Hebert said. “Matt also took part in Ignite UA and really found his place on campus through our office’s programs,” Hebert said. “Now he’s an RA and other students — both incoming and older students — really look up to him.” Haeussler said the most rewarding part of his PA experience was being able to help parents alleviate any worries or concerns they may have had. “It was so rewarding to see the relieved look of parents at the end of each session because I knew that they had had a good experience and were able to get most of their questions answered and would not be leaving campus with the same nervousness and anxiety that they arrived with at orientation,” he said.

HIGHLIGHTS • Almost 600 students applied to be a part of Freshman Forum, a leadership development program for first-year students, and 143 students were invited to participate. • Camp 1831 had a positive impact on students during their first year at the Capstone, with 99 percent of 2014 Camp 1831 participants saying they were more confident about their first year at UA due to participation in Camp 1831 activities. • 24,000 parents and family members received the Crimson Connections e-newsletter each month during the 2014-2015 academic year.





FRATERNITY AND SORORITY LIFE HIGHLIGHTS • The UA fraternity and sorority community grew to more than 9,300 students in 61 social Greekletter organizations, comprising over 30 percent of the undergraduate student body. • In April 2015, 243 fraternity men and sorority women volunteered four hours each over five days to help build a house for a family in Tuscaloosa, donating more than 970 hours of service. • The 2014 Costa Greekfest, an annual philanthropic concert hosted by the Alabama Interfraternity Council organizations, raised more than $40,000. More than $20,000 was donated to the UA Acts of Kindness fund, which provides relief to eligible UA faculty and staff members in the event of an emergency.



HOUSING AND RESIDENTIAL COMMUNITIES The 2014-2015 year was one of growth and change for UA’s Housing and Residential Communities, which welcomed both a new executive director and 1,700 beds to campus during the year. Matt Kerch was named executive director of HRC in June. Kerch has been at UA since 2012, when he was hired as director of housing operations to oversee capital projects, planning, building operations, and housing facilities. He said he is honored to be able to serve as HRC’s new executive director. “We had an amazing year in Housing and Residential Communities,” Kerch said. “We housed a record number of students on campus, and opened Presidential Village II. Our staff

is dedicated to providing students high quality service, facilities, and educational programming that aids in their learning experiences outside the classroom.” Just next door to HRC’s new home in the Student Activity Center, Presidential Village II, a $62 million residence hall, completes the Presidential Village complex. More than 1,700 students live in the pair of Presidential Village buildings. The transformation of the area from its former home, Rose Towers, to the new Presidential Village is striking. Outside of the residence halls, a lot of focus was put into the surrounding area, providing multiple options for outdoor seating and grilling in the courtyards.

HIGHLIGHTS • 301 new students were provided leadership development training through the Capstone Academy, hosted by HRC staff. • 256 students and professional staff members participated in Safe Zone training during the year, which allows participants to develop a better knowledge of LGBTQA+ terminology, the impact a campus climate can have on individuals who identify as LGBTQA+, and to identify areas of personal growth as a member of the UA community.

STUDENT CARE AND WELL-BEING HIGHLIGHTS • 995 students who experienced illnesses or injuries that interrupted their academic career were seen by staff in the Student Care and Well-Being office. • 361 meals were provided to 30 students through the Got Meals Program coordinated by Student Care and Well-Being staff.


STUDENT CONDUCT Student Conduct seeks to routinely honor those who truly embody and embrace the spirit of the Capstone Creed. The Capstone Heroes award was created in 2007 to honor those on campus for their outstanding achievements, community service, ideals, and values and for embracing the Capstone Creed. Each spring the honor has humbled many of its winners. Lane McLelland, director of Crossroads Community Center, was honored this year as a Capstone Hero for outstanding service to students. McLelland’s nominator highlighted how she revamped the Sustained Dialog program on campus and was instrumental in the foundation of Blend, a student organization that promotes diversity. McLelland was praised for her willingness to always sit down with students to discuss their frustrations and what can be done to fix them. Tatiana Carrasquilla, nominated by her brother Juan, created the Swipe Away Hunger meal donation program at UA. Last year, the program provided more than 423 meals during Thanksgiving at the East Tuscaloosa Community Soup Bowl. Carrasquilla originally came up with the idea to have UA students donate their excess and unused guest swipes while studying for finals, and she first wanted to nominate her brother for his help with the program.


HIGHLIGHTS • Capstone Heroes focuses on highlighting the service and positive actions of those on campus. Capstone Heroes has shown many just how much UA has to offer students, and how those students promote the University’s values. • The first annual Know the Code Week took place during the spring semester, with a full slate of events promoting awareness of the Code of Student Conduct and campus policies. • Student Conduct staff members gave 78 group presentations about the Code of Student Conduct to more than 3,300 students.

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STUDENT INVOLVEMENT HIGHLIGHTS • 13,153 students have logged experiences on their Co-Curricular Transcript via mySource, an organization management software that captures student involvement in co-curricular engagement activities. • At the conclusion of the 2014-2015 year, there were 510 registered student organizations on campus.

STUDENT MEDIA HIGHLIGHTS • The Crimson White had a strong year, capturing 17 national and regional awards. These included six national and five regional first place honors. The Crimson White advertising staff was recognized as the staff of the year in the southern region for the first time.


UNIVERSITY PROGRAMS HIGHLIGHTS • More than 6,000 students participated in the Ferguson Student Center’s grand opening event. • More than 200 students took part in UP’s On the Town: Selma event, participating in the 50th anniversary reenactment of the March to Selma bridge crossing. • In a collaboration with the Center for Service and Leadership’s Al’s Pals mentoring program, more than 1,700 books were collected for a local elementary school library as part of the Be a Pal Book Drive.



UNIVERSITY RECREATION In August 2014, University Recreation welcomed the Student Activity Center to the north side of campus. With views of the Black Warrior River, the $32 million, 85,000-square-foot Student Activity Center offers more than 10,000 square feet of weight/fitness space, in addition to basketball and indoor sport courts, personal training studios, and group exercise areas. The even-more-readily available access to fitness and recreation activity has given even more UA students the opportunity to try new things — like one graduate student who experimented with Reformer pilates in the spring. Becky Robinson tried the class along

with a friend, finding herself using the Balanced Body machines that offer core resistance and promote body awareness. “Reformer just makes you feel better,” her instructor, Diana Jones said. “It’s all about better.” Robinson said that while she was intimidated at first, she had no idea of what to expect. “After stretching out my hamstring on the footbar, I immediately saw the benefits of Reformer,” she said. “Yes, it hurt — I’m no workout buff — but there was also a relief in my muscles that I’d never felt before.” For students, faculty, and staff at UA, each day brings opportunities to try new things in health and fitness thanks to University Recreation.

HIGHLIGHTS • From May 2014 to April 2015, University Recreation facilities were visited 889,977 times. • The Student Activity Center at Presidential Village opened in July 2014 and was visited 151,615 times through April 2015. • The UA women’s wheelchair basketball team claimed the 2015 national championship.




To better serve a growing population of veterans and military dependents, UA created the Office of Veteran and Military Affairs within the Division of Student Affairs in 2012. The office provides programs and services to meet the needs of veterans, service members, dependents, and survivors in order to ease their transition to college life. From GI Bill paperwork to educating faculty and staff about the specific needs of veterans, the VMA office does it all – and it has made a huge impact on the students it serves. Julian Alvarez, an Army veteran and reservist from Livermore, California, transferred to UA from a community college in California after setting his sights on attending college in the South. “After I got back from my second deployment to Afghanistan in 2009, I realized I wanted more out of life than an hourly job was going to get me,” he said. “So I went and got my associate’s degree in psychology. Then I applied to UA.” Alvarez arrived in August 2013 only having been in Tuscaloosa for

his campus tour. By the time the semester started, Alvarez knew where his classes were, where he should park, and how to get around. He’d also found an on-campus home in the VMA office, where students have access to a lounge, computers, a library, and VMA staff members. While the VMA office is proud of being just one of three SEC schools who can boast a full-time VA representative on campus, offering emergency scholarships through the Carrier Veterans Association, and the $21 million financial impact it has on campus, it is the camaraderie that the veteran and military community can find at the Capstone that means to most to the students and staff alike. For VMA Director David Blair and his staff, coming to work each day is more than just a job. “Students that come here, this is their family,” he said. “We handle so much more than GI Bill benefits. We turn into counselors, moms and dads. We become their family and their support system at the University of Alabama.”

HIGHLIGHTS • Thanks to the work done in the Veteran and Military Affairs office, UA is currently ranked 15th in the nation as a Best University for Veterans by U.S. News and World Report. • During the 2014-2015 academic year, Veteran and Military Affairs served more than 6,000 visitors. • Veteran and Military Affairs staff members certified 1,306 students under the GI Bill. • The University of Alabama received more than $40 million in GI Bill, federal, and state benefits.

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WOMEN AND GENDER RESOURCE CENTER Not only does the Women and Gender Resource Center focus on leadership, diversity, and education through outreach, collaboration, and support on campus, but it takes its programs beyond the confines of campus and out into the Tuscaloosa community. In two of its signature programs, the Women and Gender Resource Center (WGRC) gives UA students an opportunity to connect with local school children through the Young Women Leaders Program and the Young Men’s Leadership Program. For several years, the WGRC has partnered with Skyland Elementary to teach fourth and fifth graders about self-esteem and leadership roles. Unlike other mentoring programs, the WGRC programs don’t focus on academics, but on character building and how to relate to one another.

Each year, there have been 15–20 UA mentors and 20–25 Skyland students taking part in each program. Based on a program started at the University of Virginia, both programs begin with 10, two-hour training sessions in the fall semester and carry over to the spring when UA students visit Skyland Elementary, where mentors are paired with students to discuss the weekly topics as well as build friendships. While the women’s program includes only graduate and undergraduate mentors, the men’s program also partners undergraduate students with faculty advisors. “One of the things is to have these kids walk away with a sense of, ‘I am a leader,’ and empowering them so they feel empowered to do things and make a difference,” said WGRC Director Elle Shaaban-Magaña.

HIGHLIGHTS • WGRC staff hosted the first campus-wide Take Our Daughters and Sons to Work Day on Nov. 11, 2014, with more than 100 registered participants. • WGRC staff conducted 121 educational presentations to 6,229 students, faculty, and staff members on topics related to interpersonal violence • WGRC staff trained 96 faculty, staff, and graduate students through eight Harbor workshops, which create safe places all over campus where victims of sexual assault, domestic/ dating violence, and stalking can go to receive assistance.


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