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Division News

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CMHC)

CMHC staff and campus partners host the Self-Care and Intersectionality Panel Discussion during Suicide Prevention Week

  • The CMHC team hosted the 8th Annual Suicide Prevention Week to raise awareness and provide education about suicide prevention. Programs throughout the week emphasized the importance of recognizing potential harm, choosing to respond and taking action to help students who are having thoughts of suicide. 

Derek Bell (Office of the Dean of Students) and Lauren White launch the MasculinUT poster campaign. 

  • Voices Against Violence’s Lauren White and Amissa Miller worked with the MasculinUT steering committee — a group of faculty, staff and students — to unveil a new MasculinUT poster campaign. The campaign explores themes around masculinity and features current UT Austin students. 
  • CMHC’s diversity coordinators hosted a luncheon to discuss the program with campus partners. They also discussed current trends in their counseling services.
  • The CMHC leadership team met with peer educators and Voices Against Violence Theatre for Dialogue members. They got to know each other and discussed the upcoming academic year.

Housing and Food Service

Housing

 

Justin Samuel, Shauna Sobers and Brandon Jones at Longhorns for a Culturally Competent Campus

  • Staff kicked off the fall semester of Longhorns for a Culturally Competent Campus, a workshop series that uses the Intercultural Development Inventory (IDI®). Check out the photos.
  • Plans are underway for a new graduate student housing complex that will house 750 graduate students and two full-time community coordinators. View project updates on the Graduate School blog.
  • The Residence Hall Program Team hosted Comedy Night in Jester and Kinsolving. This new program welcomed more than 300 residents who were entertained by local comedians.
  • Creekside Residence Hall staff invited UT Austin police officers to discuss personal safety with 65 residents. They shared tips on being aware of your surroundings, hosted a trivia contest and handed out safety items as prize.

Nije Lane, Melissa Smithey and Julie Lekstutis at University Apartments Welcome Event

  • University Apartments staff hosted a Welcome Event at Jasper Park. This annual event allows residents to mingle at the start of the academic year.

Food Service

Dylan Santurri, Christian Cabazos and Ashley Montgomery at Party on the Plaza

  • Staff participated in Party on the Plaza during Longhorn Welcome. They shared information with students, staff and faculty about the Commuter Meal Plan, Eco2Go and Bevo Bucks. There was a surge in Commuter Meal plan purchases after the event, bringing the total plan holders to 245. In addition, 400 students signed up to receive Bevo Bucks promotional emails during the event.

 New Student Services (NSS)

Celena Mondie-Milner at the NSS Retreat

  • The NSS team has a retreat to plan for the upcoming orientation season and set goals for the department.

Jennifer Carter enjoys the SSB’s zero-gravity massage chair.

  • NSS donated a zero-gravity massage chair to the Student Services Building (SSB) so that everyone on campus can take advantage of this new perk. Students, faculty and staff can check out the Stress Buster Station located on the first floor of SSB. NSS purchased the chair through a health and wellness grant in 2016.
  • NSS is recruiting orientation advisors (OAs) through Oct. 23. The more than 80 OAs assist with the development and execution of orientation programs. Encourage students to apply. They must attend one of six information sessions Oct. 11–23.

Office of the Dean of Students

  • The team has been actively involved in serving students affected by Hurricane Harvey. Student Emergency Services staff processed absence notification requests from 1,400 students who were delayed in returning to campus because of the storm. They assigned $30,000 from the Student Emergency Fund to help students. Check out the HornRaiser campaign to support the fund.
  • Student Emergency Services staff launched Confidential Advocacy and Support services for students affected by interpersonal violence. The confidential advocates are trained professional staff who provide individual support to students.
  • Student Activities staff partnered with Texas Student Media to host UT Marketplace. This event brings local and national vendors to campus to promote products and services. Take a look at the photos

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

  • Hot off the presses, check out the 2016–2017 Impact Report. It highlights how the Division of Student Affairs’ nine departments positively impact student success.
  • The Division’s Senior Team received an update on the 2013-2018 Strategic Plan and how it’s used (accreditation, assessment, communications, initiatives, etc.). They also learned how Division programs, facilities and services support students after they leave the Forty Acres and join the workforce.
  • Take a look at the Let Us Know Initiative Report. Read more about the initiative in Wise Words from the VP.

VPSA 2017-2018 Kickoff

  • The Division team came together at the VPSA 2017–2018 Kickoff. Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly celebrated the nine departments’ accomplishments and discussed priorities for the upcoming year. The group also talked about trends in student affairs and how staff can better serve UT Austin students. Check out the photos

Payton Anderson showcases Constitution Day contest prizes.

  • In celebration of the creation and signing of the Constitution (Sept. 17, 1787), VPSA hosted a trivia contest to honor Constitution Day. The Twitter contest helped the team educate students on the rights of citizenship and civic engagement. Winners received a goodie bag with Division swag. 

 

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

 

Jennifer Speer, President Gregory Fenves, Nicole Olmeda and Cecilia Lopez Cardenas at Party on the Plaza

  • Staff teamed up for another successful Party on the Plaza. The Longhorn Welcome signature event was presented by Uber. More than 24,000 people attended, and more than 320 student organizations and departments participated in the student organization fair. The campus community raised over $13,000 for the Student Emergency Fund. Student Government, Senate of College Councils and the Office of the Dean of Students co-sponsored the event. See photos.

Chrystina Wyatt leads a class in the new Group Cycling Studio in Gregory Gym.

  • Thanks to the RecSports facility and Fitness/Wellness staff, a new Group Cycling Studio made its debut in Gregory Gym. Students, faculty and staff can now purchase a TeXercise pass and have access to cycling and group classes.

 

Texas Parents

 

 

  • The team is gearing up for Family Weekend Oct. 27–29. Departments interested in tabling during the Great Texas Showcase can sign up until Oct. 18. Last year, 1,200 participated in Family Weekend.
  • Texas Parents will honor the recipients of the Student Organization Grants and Mike Wacker Award at the Texas Parents Ambassador’s Council luncheon on Oct. 27. The council will welcome new council members, discuss the state of the association and develop strategy.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • CSR invited the School of Social Work’s Lori Holleran Steiker to present “A Conversation on Opioid Recovery” during the first Seminar on Addiction and Recovery (SOAR). This speaker series features addiction and recovery experts from different fields. Take a look at the photos.
  • The team hosted a booth at Recovery in The Park. This Austin community event featured food, arts and crafts, and live music. Participants were encouraged to reflect on “I Stayed Sober through...” by painting on a large canvas.
  • Back by popular demand, CSR staff will host a community ofrenda de muertos (altar of the deceased) as a place of remembrance for loved ones lost to addiction. This month-long event will include a sugar-skull making and decorating workshop on Oct. 17 and a celebration of Día de los Muertos on Oct. 31.

University Health Services (UHS)

Cary Tucker (left) and Karl Chiang (right) speak to students at Healthyhorns Fest.

  • UHS hosted the annual Healthyhorns Fest to share information about programs, facilities and services. The event featured free chair massages, a backpack weighing station, free T-shirts and other prizes. Check out the photos.

  • The annual UHS Flu Shot Campaign kicked off on Sept. 26. Students, staff and faculty can get their flu shot until Oct. 20. View the schedule.

UHS staff donated items and assembled supplies for Hurricane Harvey flood victims.

  • Kate Darko led an effort among staff to donate items and create 27 Hurricane Harvey refugee welcome kits.
  • Steven Blair, Ginger Bloomer, Amy Graf, Sherry Guyton, Susan Kirtz, Debbie Nichols and Stacy Fitzhugh attended the Central Texas Transgender Health Conference. They received training on providing gender-affirmative health care and best clinical practices.

University Unions

Former VP for Student Affairs Jim Vick, Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly, Tom Dison (Recreational Sports), Former Dean of Students Sharon Justice and Former UHS Director Bob Wirag with Hook ‘Em at the SSB 20th Birthday Bash

  • The Student Services Building (SSB) celebrated 20 years serving students. Students, staff and faculty came out to the birthday party to reflect on the building’s history. The six-story building provides diverse services, builds community and creates a welcoming environment for all Longhorns to enjoy. Read more about the SSB’s history. Check out the photos.

Mulu Ferede, Senior VP and Chief Financial Officer Darrell Bazzell), Henry Jackson and Corey Berg (Aramark), Bruce Cresler (Chick-fil-A), and Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly at A Taste of the Union

  • The team unveiled new food options in the Texas Union at a Taste of the Union. The event featured music, giveaways and free food samples from the new Revolución Taco and Steel City Pops.
  • Steel City Pops is a gourmet popsicle vendor with a cart in the Texas Union. Departments can request to have Steel City Pops at their next event.
  • To increase accessibility in Unions facilities, the Texas Union and the Student Activity Center have added Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) improvements.
  • Staff supported the Texas Tribune Festival which took place in the Texas Union and Hogg Memorial Auditorium. Minnesota Senator Al Franken was the opening speaker.

Standouts

The Office of the Dean of Students has been awarded a $100,000 grant for the Interpersonal Violence Peer Support program from the Office of the Texas Governor’s Criminal Justice Division. Student Emergency Services’ Kelly Soucy partnered with staff in the Title IX Office on the grant proposal.

Becky Carreon (second from right) with the UT Croquet Club. Photo credit: Alcalde

Becky Carreon, Office of the Dean of Students, was honored for 30 years of service with Student Government at The University of Texas Croquet Club 30th Anniversary Winner’s Cup. 

Andrew Clark shares information about legislative policy and Institutional Rules with students.

Andrew Clark, Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs, gave a presentation about legislative policy and Institutional Rules updates to new Student Conduct Board members and hearing officers. 

Andel Fils-Aime, Office of the Dean of Students, successfully defended his dissertation and received his Ph. D.

John Harris, The Center for Students in Recovery, partnered with Mandy Renfro, College of Pharmacy, to present on peer-support meetings and resources for those battling eating disorders to the University Panhellenic Council. 

Dr. Lilly at the Senate of College Councils kick-off luncheon

Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students Dr. Soncia Reagins-Lilly presented “Your Voice in Academics” at the Senate of College Councils kick-off luncheon. 

Dr. Lilly speaks at the Texas Exes Black Alumni Network 2017 Legacy Dinner and Awards.

Dr. Lilly also spoke at the Texas Exes Black Alumni Network 2017 Legacy Dinner and Awards during the 2017 Black Homecoming Weekend.

“A Tip of the Hat to…”

…the Texas Parents team who received this email from a parent:

“I am so appreciative for all of the help I got from every one of you. I am just so impressed with how much you guys care and how much effort you put into helping a parent like me. This really means a lot to us!”


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