Student Life is committed to updating the Memorial University community on the steps taken towards achieving each of our strategic priorities.
Last update: April 2018
Priority #1 Develop and implement a multi-year student experience map.
Priority #2 Create and catalogue a series of educational seminars & workshops.
Priority #3 Cultivate a sense of university pride and spirit.
Priority #4 Focus on an appreciative and strengths-based approach to learning experiences and interactions with students.
Priority #5 Integrate principles of equity and social justice throughout Student Life learning experiences and initiatives.
Priority #6 Foster a culture of research, assessment and strategic planning.
How do you make the most of your time at Memorial? When you can do almost anything, the most challenging problem becomes deciding what to do. Over the past few months, Student Life has been designing and developing new tools for mapping, tracking, and capturing student experiences. We have developed some prototypes and, with the help of some intrepid students, tested our initial ideas. We have learned that these tools will be useful, and we have received crucial feedback about how to put them together accessibly and pragmatically. The design of Experience Mapping tools is now in its second phase, as we search for the right formats, platforms, and support structures for these tools. Contact Ryan Murphy and Jen Crowe, student leadership development coordinators, if you have any thoughts, ideas or questions about this project.
Our catalogue of educational seminars and workshops is now established. Each seminar covers a variety of topics that reflect the expertise of Student Life staff and focus on content that maximizes the potential of each student. They are typically 50 or 80 minutes in length. Faculty are encouraged to review the catalogue and select from one of the offerings. Student Life intends for the number and variety of workshops available to continually expand. If you have an idea for a topic you would like us to cover, please email email@example.com.
Student Life continues to expand programs designed to cultivate a sense of university pride and spirit. In 2016 we launched the university's first Welcome Week, providing a week-long celebration full of activities designed to ensure new students connect, engage and belong early in their academic journey. Welcome Week 2016 included the first academic matriculation ceremony where the chancellor officially receives new students and bestow upon them the rights, privileges and responsibilities now belonging to them as undergraduate students. As a bookend to convocation, matriculation marks the start of the academic journey and new students are welcomed into the traditions and history of Memorial. In 2016, we also initiated Winter Welcome (back) which kicks off the winter semester with a series of programs and events.
In 2017, Student Life launched Memorial's first Summer Orientation of Academic Readiness (SOAR). This extended orientation experience is designed to prepare students for their transition to Memorial. It is an exciting experience that encourages all students to engage in the MUN community. At SOAR, students will build friendships with future classmates, experience the deep traditions of Memorial University and discover what it truly means to become a Seahawk.
In 2018, we will launch our new Experience Fellows program, which will provide opportunities for student leaders to build on their academic pursuits at Memorial with exclusive leadership development and experiential learning opportunities.
Appreciative and strengths-based approaches to student development are integrated throughout Student Life. Strengths is now a core component of SOAR, Superpowers student leadership conference, individual career coaching and well-being coaching.
Plans are underway to expand this approach in 2018-19. Check back here for updates.
In 2015-16, Student Life engaged in a critical review of all programs, resources and supports we offer and identified some key gaps in our collective work in the area of equity and social justice. In 2016, we identified diversity, equity and inclusion as foundational values upon which we seek to accomplish our mission and realize our vision.
Since then, we have intentionally begun to integrate these values throughout our work. We continue to invest in professional development for our staff. Offerings to-date include the I'm Not Racist... Am I? workshop, Trans 101 workshop, Seven Sacred Teachings: Love, Honesty, Humility, Respect, Truth, Patience, Wisdom, Pathways to Well-being Workshop and Disability and a Social Construct. The knowledge, skills and values gained during these professional development sessions are re-shaping our approach to our work.
In 2017, Student Life launched the #CultureOfCare initiative, designed to engage the university community in conversations about equity and diversity.
Student Life has developed a comprehensive continuous improvement strategy, that includes an assessment framework and plan, we have invested in professional development for our staff to enhance understanding of learning outcomes assessment, established an assessment committee and will host our first assessment conference: Learning Beyond the Classroom: The Impact of Student Life on Student's Connection, Engagement, and Belonging in May 2018.