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Student Life

There's your life in the classroom and then there's your life. At SLU-Madrid, we encourage you to become a more complete, stronger you.

The Student Life team at SLU-Madrid lives the mission of the University through both serving students and helping our students serve others. As educators in the Jesuit tradition, we believe in educating the whole person; we are concerned with the life of the mind, as well as the body and the spirit. We facilitate programs, services and experiences that will help you as a whole person to become a leader who is critically reflective as well as socially and personally responsible.

A few of the specific services that Student Life team offers include:

  • Mentor permanent students during the process of applying for and renewing their Spanish residency card: NIE.
  • Arrange housing each semester for 350 to 450 SLU-Madrid registered students with Spanish host families and orienting students who do not want this housing option about other options.
  • Mentor and help the Student Government Association and all clubs and organizations in developing all their activities and events.
  • Select, train and collaborate with the Campus Ambassadors in the welcome sessions, Commencement and other events and activities.
  • Coordinate all the practicalities of optional and faculty-led trips, welcome sessions and Commencement.
  • Work hand-in-hand with the chaplain, the Ignatian Community Council and Campus Ministry.
  • Coordinate and rent facilities to allow students to practice more than 20 different sports at all levels, including soccer teams in local leagues, a scuba-diving course, tennis and golf classes, hiking trips, 5K runs and more.
  • Focus on helping our students grow in everything we do, especially with student disciplinary issues, cases of sexual assault and any other incidents.
  • Coordinate more than 100 students per semester doing service learning or volunteer work in more than 30 organizations.
  • And of course, offer the best service to our student body. We are here to help you out in anything that is a matter of concern to you.

Student Life Staff

Marta Maruri

Marta Maruri was born in Madrid, grew up in Santander (Northern Spain), and spent her senior year of high school in the United States. She attended university in Santander, then transferred to the University of Ulster in Northern Ireland, earning an Honors B.A. in European business studies. While in Northern Ireland, Marta interned in the field of exports and later worked in marketing. Upon returning to Spain, she taught ESL and international and strategic marketing for a British university program and a business school. She has worked at SLU-Madrid since 2006.

During her time at SLU-Madrid, Maruri served in the SLU-Madrid Assessment Committee (dissolved in May 2017); currently she is the director of student life at SLU-Madrid, a retention officer, member of the Study Abroad Student Learning Outcomes committee and SLU-Madrid Title IX Deputy coordinator. She has completed continued education in relevant fields, such as Spanish data protection policies, management, motivation and leadership, Title IX and the Clery Act.

César Rioja

César Rioja was born and raised in Madrid.  He received a bachelor’s degree in physical education from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid. For six seasons, Rioja played guard for the Movistar Estudiantes, a professional basketball team in the Spanish Asociación de Clubes de Baloncesto league (“the Spanish NBA”). Since 1999, Rioja has been the sports director at SLU-Madrid where he currently assists students wishing to practice more than 20 different sports while living in Madrid.

Margarita Casado

Margarita Casado was born in Madrid. She began her university studies at Fundación San Pablo CEU and earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Saint Louis University, attending both the Madrid and St. Louis campuses.

Casado has continued her education as well, completing courses and seminars in human resources management at Escuela de Mandos Intermedios (EMI), advertising technical workshops at ESCIVEN, and quality controls at Community of Madrid. She has also continued her training with courses in  first aid and occupational risk prevention. Casado ran her own business for 17 years before joining SLU-Madrid as the housing coordinator in January of 2010.

James O’Leary, S.J.

James O’Leary is a native of Chicago. He entered the Jesuits in 1981. After being ordained a Catholic priest in 1991, he lived in Peru, where he worked in popular education and jail ministry. He has been the campus chaplain and a professor of theology at SLU-Madrid since 2007.

Paloma Gómez de Salazar

Paloma Gómez de Salazar was born in southern Spain, but has always lived in Madrid. She graduated from the Pontifical University of Comillas with a degree in psychology.

Gómez de Salazar has worked in many different areas, including as an instructor at the University Francisco de Vitoria and professor of Catholic religion pedagogy and didactic methods at the University Camilo José Cela. She also taught Catholic religion at Torrevilano School. She also has  experience as a counselor in Covadonga Family Planning Centre.

Carlos Villar

Carlos Villar Moreu was born in Madrid and has lived most of his life here. Villar has worked in different fields throughout his career, from data recording in a financial and legal consulting firm to teaching English and coordinating English teachers for a private academy. He has developed a special interest in helping students achieve their goals and assisting with obtaining the NIE, TIE and other official documents students may need.