The start of a new academic year in Student Affairs is equal parts
excitement and exhaustion. As I mentioned in the Fall Kickoff event, I
believe I have a strong division comprised of staff, graduate assistants, and student workers who are committed to keeping our ECU students at the forefront of what we do. You are appreciated. You folks are truly amazing.
We have once again welcomed more than 5,800 students into our residence halls. We have more than 4,300 first year students living on campus and making Pirate Nation their new home. We have about 29,000 students powering their way into this fall semester. And our Student Affairs staff, GA’s and student workers have been, and will be, there for them every step of the way.
This is my 24th year at ECU and my seventh move in week, and I must say that the Fall 2017 Welcome Back week was incredible.
After a full revamping of the Move-in process in 2016, this year worked like a well-oiled machine. There are always blips and bumps in the road, but our staff took them in stride and kept on going. The experience was a very positive one for our students and their families.
We had the first ever Raid the Rec event at the Student Rec Center on the Friday night of Move-in. More than 2,000 students enjoyed games, food, exercise, engagement and fun. This was year one of what we expect to become a welcome week staple.
Sunday afternoon, the threat of rain disappeared and Convocation and
Palooza went off smoothly. Lex Gillette, ECU alum and blind Paralympian,
told more than 4,000 students don’t be afraid to take shots in the dark.
He shared that losing his sight at age eight wasn’t the end of his story,
simply the beginning. He said “I don’t need sight to have vision. I
am blind, but I know where I am going.” His message still gives me
chills. Let's continue to help our students -- and ourselves -- understand the power of sight and vision.
Following Convocation, Dowdy-Ficklen Stadium was packed for Pirate Palooza. With dueling pianos, inflatables and games on the field, and food, food, and more food under the stadium. We had vendors from local businesses giving out free samples, but we also had excellent food from our new ECU food trucks and several specialty items offered by Aramark. If someone left Palooza hungry, it was their own fault.
These were just a couple of successes we had during the first week or so of class. There are many more and will be many more in the coming weeks.
The thing I was most impressed with was the support from our divisional units and departments to help others deliver a successful event. Hundreds of staff and students jumped in to staff/volunteer to make this welcome week a huge success. I am confident and pleased with our ability and commitment to help students to connect and engage in the full college experience while motivating and equipping them with the tools and skills needed to finish strong. Even though we have accomplished a lot and have much to be proud of, we will not rest on our laurels. Instead, we will continue to provide opportunities for our students to learn, grow and develop.
Let’s make it a great year. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!
Over the past week, we have yet again witnessed nature’s ability to cause enormous damage, lost lives and life-changing tragedy. Pirates know the pain and suffering that hurricanes can inflict. Pirates also know how to support others in a time of need.
As America rallies to support those suffering in Texas and Louisiana, our thoughts turn to our brothers and sisters in higher education, especially our American Athletic Conference friends at the University of Houston, where 43,000 students, faculty and staff are dealing with the aftermath of the hurricane.
I call upon the entire Pirate Nation to support relief efforts that have special meaning to you, but also to consider supporting our university friends in Houston. We have experienced this kind of loss in eastern North Carolina. And we understand how meaningful it is when your friends are there for you in tough times.
Here is how you can help:
Give to University of Houston. University leaders tell us donated funds will be used to help UH students who experience hardships as a result of the storm. Visit the University of Houston giving page at https://giving.uh.edu/gift and indicate “Harvey Relief.”
Give to Hurricane Victims. The American Red Cross depends on donations to provide immediate relief. You can donate by visiting redcross.org, calling 1-800-RED CROSS, or texting the word HARVEY to 90999 to make a $10 donation.
Give Blood. The American Red Cross needs eligible individuals to please give blood or platelets now to help ensure we have a readily available blood supply for patients in need. Appointments can be made by using the Red Cross Blood Donor App, visiting http://redcrossblood.org, or calling 1-800-RED CROSS.
Additional efforts to support those affected by Harvey are underway across the university. Stay informed by following ECU, Student Affairs, and Athletics on social media.
To any students, faculty, or staff who may have family in the affected areas know that counseling services are available. For students, if you are from that area and need assistance, contact your resident advisor or any Campus Living staff member, the Office of the Dean of Students at 252-328-9297 or email at DOS@ecu.edu, as well as ECU Center for Counseling at 252-328-6661. Faculty and staff may contact the Employee Assistance Program through ECU Human Resources.
Please keep all affected by this disaster in your hearts and minds because as we know in eastern North Carolina, the aftermath of a hurricane lasts long after the flood waters recede.
Student Affairs launched a new feature this fall titled “Just the Facts”. This regular communication will highlight some of the amazing things happening in Student Affairs in a quick, simple, and easy-to-read manner. What we do as SA educators and staff members demonstrates our commitment to student success, public service and regional transformation. Of course this is also a great way to toot our own horn!
Click HERE to view the latest Just the Facts communication distributed on August 24th.
ECU Student Affairs promoted to “Consulting Institution” through NASPA Lead Initiative
NASPA’s Lead Initiative on Civic Learning and Democratic Engagement (Lead Initiative) comprises a network of 96 NASPA member colleges and universities committed to encouraging and highlighting the work of student affairs in making civic learning and democratic engagement a part of every student’s college education.
The Lead Initiative offers unique professional
development opportunities, targeted resources, networking, and recognition for
its Lead Institutions. ECU has been a Lead Institution since 2014, and we are
excited to announce that ECU was just promoted to “consulting institution” for
the 2017-2018 year! Consulting Institutions act as mentors, supports, and
resources for other NASPA Lead institutions. Consulting institutions are
called upon for their expertise and serve as leaders in helping NASPA staff
create and execute strategy, programming, and content for the initiative moving
forward. For their work, Lead Consulting Institutions receive tailored and unique professional
development experiences, publication and writing opportunities, and the chance
to influence the ways in which student affairs contributes to the civic
learning and democratic engagement field.
For more information about NASPA Lead and to get involved, contact Dennis McCunney, CLCE Director.
On Thursday, August 24th, Student Affairs hosted a special Cupola Conversation entitled “Charlottesville.”
The panelists for the August 24th Cupola Conversation included:
Cupola Conversations aims to create informal opportunities for the university community to engage in constructive dialogue about various topics. With all eyes on Charlottesville, prior to the beginning of the semester, this special event was organized to allow Pirate Nation the opportunity to reflect on how to make our campus #ECUnited.
Around 150 students attended the discussion in MSC 244 to engage in civil discourse around this recent event and how we can avoid something similar from happening on our campus.
The next Cupola Conversation will be held on September 27th with a discussion focused on the topic of Privilege.
Additional stories provided by:The East Carolinian
New Student Orientation filled the campus with activity throughout the ten orientation sessions during the summer months of June and July. There were 4,287 students who attended orientation along with 5,038 family members. The attendees heard from faculty about classroom expectations, learned about their major, and finalized their fall course schedule. They also had the opportunity to attend a variety of informational sessions including parking and transit, Greek Life, financial aid, and many more. Thank you to all the Student Affairs staff who helped support orientation through presentations, answering questions, and helping our new students and families feel welcome.
One of the highlights from the summer was Hypnotist Michael C. Anthony’s 100th orientation show at ECU. Anthony initially performed one show in 2005 and moved to performing at each orientation session in 2007. The show provides evening entertainment to both students and family members, helps to build a sense of community, and helps students and parents share memories prior to leaving for college. Each year the show is one of the favorite parts of orientation.
The 100th show brought the return of many Orientation Assistant alumni and a video was shown to thank Anthony and the impact he has had on students and the program. He was presented with a baseball jersey that had the number “100” printed on the back provided by Dowdy Student Store. Anthony’s wife was also in attendance.
The first Paint It Purple t-shirt swap was a success thanks to the Office of Student Transitions, Student Affairs Development, and the Alumni Association. Over 250 items were collected on Friday, August 25th and in return each student received an ECU purple t-shirt provided by Instant Imprints. The items collected have all been donated.
Don’t forget to PAINT IT PURPLE every Friday!
ECU Career Services will be hosting two career fairs this fall. The Health Careers Fair will be on Thursday, September 14 from 10:00 AM to 1:00 PM at the East Carolina Heart Institute and the Fall Career Fair will be on Wednesday, October 4 from 1:00 PM to 4:00 PM at the Greenville Convention Center.
The Health Careers Fair will feature 40 employers that focus on recruiting students and alumni in the fields of human services and healthcare. The Fall Career Fair will have nearly 200 employers recruiting for internships, part-time and full-time career opportunities for all majors.
During both events a photographer will be available to take professional head shot photos for students to utilize on their social media accounts. Both events are open to all students and alumni.
SAVE THE DATE
Spring Career Fair
February 28, 2018
1:00 PM – 4:00 PM
Greenville Convention Center
These events are also open to all faculty and staff who would like to attend or volunteer. For more information, contact ECU Career Services at www.ecu.edu/career or call 252-328-6050.
Family Weekend is quickly approaching and volunteers are needed to help throughout the weekend. This year’s events are being held across campus Friday, September 15-Sunday, September 17. In order to make this weekend a success, YOUR help is needed to aide in staffing these events in several different capacities throughout the weekend.