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Host Families Needed for Billiken Home Plate


The Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement (DICE) is gearing up to launch Billiken Home Plate — a new initiative that seeks to nourish a sense of belonging among students, helping them to feel at home at SLU and connected to St. Louis.  

This voluntary program will connect students to faculty and staff with similar interests to simply share a meal and fellowship a few times per semester. 

Organizers are still looking for leaders across academic and staff units interested in being matched with a group of two to three students to host a dinner a few times over the course of a school year. Host families and matched students have the opportunity to build relationships based on interest, commonality, or shared multicultural experiences outside of the classroom or discipline through this holistic approach to community engagement.   

To share your interest in participating in Home Plate’s first year at SLU, complete a survey or email Melissa Apprill  by July 28, 2023. 

Billiken Home Plate is a partnership with Fran Pestello, Ph.D., on behalf of the President’s Office and alongside the Office of International Services. Apprill will be leading these efforts for DICE.  

Whether students are from one of the neighboring communities, across the country, or around the world, organizers believe that intentionally connecting them with SLU's faculty and staff will help us build a community where all feel accepted and know that they belong. The program give participating hosts the opportunity to enjoy time with SLU students from across the globe while offering the students a chance to enjoy a family meal, get to know a SLU/St. Louis family, and take a break from classes and campus life.  

As we welcome more international students to our campus and seek to increase retention rates for our first-generation students and those from underrepresented backgrounds, this program will strive to cultivate relationships between these students and faculty and staff on a personal level and develop bonds within the comforts of family life.