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Dear Division of Student Affairs Team
While the weather is not exactly showing it, fall is almost here. We know it because the residence halls have opened, we’ve completed First Flight and classes have begun! It’s such an exciting time to have everyone back on campus! I want to thank everyone who volunteered for Mean Green Move-In and also for the early Saturday move-in day. Students and their families appreciate the warm welcome they receive and extra hands and lifting power that alleviates some of their burden making their transition a little bit easier. I know many of you also participated in First Flight activities and also led Freshman 101 classes and I am grateful for your work as well. New Student Convocation and Mean Green Fling were two highlight events of the week that really show how these efforts lead to strong participation. Both were very well attended and truly helped to integrate our new students into the campus community. It’s efforts such as these that help engage and involve our new students that we know leads to higher retention and greater success. While I know it took a university-wide effort to successfully coordinate these events, I want to give special kudos to Housing, Orientation and Transition Programs, Student Activities and Dining for their leadership in making it all happen.
Additionally, as we draw closer to the start of another academic year at the University of North Texas, and as we look to welcome our newest scholars to our community, we have several areas of engagement to address and the new academic year provides several new opportunities for us to have a meaningful impact on the lives of our students.
Diversity challenges and the politics of difference have become pressure points in every media outlet and on every college campus over the past two years. The Division of Student Affairs stands committed to engage the campus in ways that will deepen campus community members' capacity to respectfully engage with one another and to work to move the racial climate needle and build a climate for student success.
Together, we can discover best practices that raise the bar to build capacity among campus community members and facilitate conversations about race dynamics to develop cultural competency. In response to the issues we see daily not only in the media but also in our personal experiences, I have worked with Joanne Woodard, Vice President for Equity and Diversity and Ed Reynolds, UNT Chief of Police, to create a Student Support Task Force that will be co-chaired by Dr. Teresa McKinney, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Shani Moore, Director of Diversity and Inclusion, and Grant Hale, SGA President. This task force will work to create proactive opportunities for dialogue and discussion that we believe will lead to enhanced understanding of and respect for the rich diversity we enjoy on our campus and will help our campus community reconcile the issues our country, and our world, are facing.
Also, in this realm, we will work with campus partners to address micro-aggressions, campus protests, class concerns and more, in engaged, and informed ways. To this end, the Bias Response Team, a cross-institutional team, will work to handle critical incidents and civil unrest in ways that promote community healing.
The implementation of Career Connect campus-wide is a huge undertaking that I believe can have a significant impact on the marketability of our students and their ability to achieve their goal of employment or possibly furthering their education. As you all hopefully know, Career Connect’s focus is to provide opportunities for students to develop skills in the areas of critical thinking, communication and teamwork. Dan Naegeli is our division lead and will be spending half of his time focused on this university-wide initiative. Each area within Student Affairs is being asked to create programs or integrate existing programs that meet the Career Connect objectives. Thanks to those who have already begun this important work. You will continue to hear more about this topic in the future.
Additional campus related initiatives and events include:
Thank you again to our DSA Team for innovatively engaging our campus community. I know that I am excited to start the new academic year and hope that you are as well! Together, we will achieve the continuation of an exciting and active student life at UNT!
Elizabeth With, Ed.D.
The Transfer Center will be hosting our first annual Transfer Appreciation Week this fall, which will be held during the week of September 26th-30th!
We would like to invite your department/office to plan an event or passive program during this week, collaborate with the Transfer Center, or both! With approximately 5,000 new transfer students on campus this fall, this will be a great way for your department to showcase what you do and the resources you can offer, while also providing transfer students the chance to attend fun and educational programs. Our goal for this week is to ensure our transfer students have a successful transition into UNT and feel appreciated at their new institution!
If you would like to plan an event or passive program, please submit your proposal on OrgSync: by Thursday, September 1st. If you have any questions or would like some guidance from the Transfer Center when planning, please contact Kelsey Kunkle or Chloe Terrell.
We look forward to your submissions. Thank you for making our transfer students feel welcomed and appreciated at UNT!
Friday, September 16, 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.
Free food and festivities are the focus of the Founder's Day picnic from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on September 16 at the Library Mall. The UNT community is invited to dine on barbecue and hear details from President Smatresk about his State of the University address. Students, faculty, and staff must present their UNT ID at the event.
Student Activities is looking for full-time faculty and staff members to serve as Student Organization Advisors! This is a great opportunity to provide a mentoring experience to student leaders and make a difference at UNT and in individual student lives. If you are interested, please contact the Coordinator of Student Organizations, Kally Jorgensen or fill our the Volunteer to be a Student Organization Advisor Form.
Do you have a topic or expertise you would like to share with our students? Student Activities is collecting a list of presenters with unique topics and expertise who we can contact for our various workshops and trainings. If you are interested in being on the list, please contact Kally Jorgensen.
UNT was recently recognized as the first Bee Campus USA in Texas. This honor is recognition of UNT’s commitment to provide habitat and education to support a thriving pollinator community at UNT. The centerpiece of the Bee Campus USA application was the revitalization of the LBJ Memorial Wildflower Garden that students led last year, and the project will continue in 2016/2017. Stay up to date on volunteer opportunities, educational offerings, and all things sustainability by following @UNTWeMeanGreen on Facebook or Twitter. Remember that all students, faculty, and staff have the opportunity to make the Mean Green a little “greener” by proposing your sustainable idea online here.
The Student Organization Fall Registration deadline is September 9th for all returning student organizations. If you are a Student Organization Advisor, please encourage your organization to get registered as soon as possible to reap the benefits of being a Registered Student Organization!
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your engines! Take the green flag for a high-speed visit to one of the world’s largest and most modern sports and entertainment facilities, Texas Motor Speedway. Speedway tours include a stop on the luxury suite level. Get a high-level birds-eye view of more than 150,000 seats and the 1,500 acres that make up Texas Motor Speedway. Bring your camera for numerous photo opportunities. Finally, imagine getting ready to experience one of the Speedway’s 24-degree turns that allow racecars to exceed 200mph! Laps of the racing oval in our tour van produce the same hold-your-breath sensations experienced by the greatest race drivers in America. (Laps around the Speedway are subject to availability at the time of each tour.)
UNT staff and their guests are invited by the UNT Staff Senate to this event. It will take place Saturday September 17th at 10am and last about 2 hours. We recommend you come at least 15 minutes early. Tours may be altered or suspended due to weather, holidays or other speedway events. Tours are not offered during race weeks. Please contact Wayne Campbell to purchase your tickets or ask questions. His number is (940) 369-7031 and email is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Many of you have probably donated blood, plasma, clothing and cars. But have you ever considered donating your voice? Over 10 million people worldwide live with limited voice or voicelessness due to conditions such as cerebral palsy, ALS, Parkinson’s, throat cancer, or injury. Many rely on synthetic voices. At VocaliD a recipient’s voice sounds are recorded then blended with a donor voice. This allows the recipient to have a unique vocal identity.
The creator Dr. Rupal Patel said, "The inspiration for VocaliD came when I saw a young girl and older man communicating using their assistive devices but with the exact same adult male voice," said Dr. Patel, a professor at Northeastern University. "We wouldn't dream of fitting a little girl with the prosthetic limb of a grown man, so why then the same prosthetic voice?”
Donors will need a quiet place to record, log into Google Chrome and a good USB headset/microphone. 6-7 hours is needed but you may record in small increments. Find more information online.
We are proud to partner with It's On Us this year, a national campaign focusing on sexual assault awareness and prevention on college campuses. Here are some ways you can help with the movement:
Commit to ending sexual violence on your college campus by signing the pledge at www.itsonus.org.
The UNT Union is pleased to announce a new, more accessible Mainframe now located on the first level of the Union, adjacent to the main entrance and the Corner Store. Visit the new location to take advantage of our back-to-school promo, where students, staff, and faculty can get a free pair of Beats headphones with any eligible purchase (offer ends September 5th). The Mainframe’s highly-trained and tech savvy staff is ready to help you with all of your back-to-school technology needs. We can’t wait to see you at the Mainframe’s new location. See you soon!
Off-Campus Student Services will be hosting our Open House event on September 21st from 4 - 6 p.m. in the LIbrary Forum. We highly encourage you to send one or two representatives to be available to answer questions for students on behalf of your department! Please RSVP by completing our form on OrgSync by Friday, September 2nd.
Do you have children and are in need of child care services, or want to learn more about the variety of family resources available to you? Make sure to check out offcampus.unt.edu for more information about our child care resource and referral service!
The We Mean Green Fund Committee has the very important task of evaluating sustainability projects and recommending projects for funding to Dr. With. The Committee also has an important role in making sure that students are engaged in leadership roles in sustainability at UNT. If you are passionate about the environment and student leadership, come join the team! We are currently looking for 3 faculty/staff representatives and 8 student representatives. Application and full details are online or contact Gary Cocke with questions.
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