Happy December, Billiken Families! In this edition of the Billiken Bulletin, we introduce Donney Moroney, who oversees our Dean of Students Office. Dean Moroney and her staff support SLU students in a multitude of processes, in partnership with faculty/staff and administration.
When your student returns from Winter Break, they will also be preparing for roommate assignments, and contemplating if they want to gain more experience in Housing and Residence Life. Soon, the Housing and Residence Life team will advertise for resident advisor employment opportunities. Compliments of Collegiate Parent, we are providing an article that gives context and information about what your Billiken should consider if they are interested in taking on that impactful role.
Donney Moroney, Dean of Students at SLU
Can you share a little about yourself, where you are from and how you landed in higher education?
As an over-involved college student, I had the privilege of being mentored by various student affairs professionals. They supported and challenged me to become the best version of myself, and this was instrumental in my academic success and personal growth during college. Once I graduated, I wanted to use my undergraduate degree to help other college students meet their goals, so I started working at universities in different support services, including advising, career services, events programming, alumni relations, multicultural affairs and international services. I received my master’s degree in counseling with an emphasis on student college personnel, and I am now working on my doctoral degree in higher education leadership.
Why were you interested in SLU and taking on the role of dean of students?
What attracted me to SLU was its mission-driven and student-centered approach to higher education rooted in the Jesuit tradition. I wanted to use my skills, knowledge and experience to be part of a university community dedicated to the holistic development of students — intellectually, morally, and spiritually — so they can positively impact our global society. As the dean of students, I often am called to support students and families in crisis. However, I also have the pleasure of working with student leaders to advocate and support students while they are at SLU through their graduation. It’s the relationships that I can develop with students, faculty and staff that make this work so rewarding.
Can you explain what the Office of the Dean of Students is and how it connects to students, families, faculty/staff and community members?
The Dean of Students Office was established to help SLU students in the Ignatian hallmark of cura personalis, meaning care for the whole person. We strive to assist students and their families in successfully navigating the SLU experience by promoting a healthy mind, body and spirit. Our services aim to ensure our students can grow as empowered global citizens who make contemplative and just choices that align with their passion and purpose.
We do this by supporting students in distress and crisis; providing referrals to students and families to SLU campus resources; sending academic notifications on behalf of students experiencing emergencies; engaging parents and families in support of their students; and helping students reflect on significant development transitions and challenges.
What other areas do you manage? How do you all support each other?
The Dean of Students Office also oversees the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR) and the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards (OSRCS). CADR is focused on providing accommodations for students with temporary or long-term disabilities so that they can be academically successful. The OSRCS is charged with holding students accountable and for maintaining an educational environment conducive to learning for all. This is accomplished through educational initiatives and restorative justice that prioritizes learning and long-term success.
What is your vision for the Dean of Students Office in the next three years?
My vision for the Dean of Students Office is to ensure that every SLU student is provided the support and care to become the person they are called to be, excelling inside and outside of the classroom and focused on making a positive impact in our society. As they focus on this, should they run into pitfalls, they know the resources available to them to get back on track.
The Dean of Students Office can be reached at:
Busch Student Center, Suite 356
20 N. Grand Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63103
Is Your Billiken Thinking About Becoming a Resident Advisor?
Here are some important things to consider first
Posted on CollegiateParent.com
SLU Housing and Residence Life will be advertising soon for new resident advisor positions (some schools call them residential assistants) in the respective jobs. The residence staff relies heavily on these students to help with the transition at SLU and to help build community. Collegiate Parent, a website specifically for families who have students in college, has offered some insight on what your student should consider when applying for these positions.
If your Billiken would like to know more about these opportunities, please contact the Housing and Residence Life staff at 314-977-2811 or email email@example.com. Applications will be released soon and accepted from December 1-January 5.
Things to Consider Before Becoming an RA
From the outside looking in, becoming a resident advisor (RA) in a SLU residence hall may seem like a cushy job. A student gets free room and board, which is a substantial value. They walk around the building, create bulletin boards, and interact with their fellow students. Easy peasy, right?
Being an RA is a terrific campus job and resume builder and provides great life experience. However, it comes with duties and responsibilities that students and their parents may have yet to consider.
The Lowdown on Being an RA
Training Is Extensive
RAs are peer leaders hired to enforce policies. RA training goes over the many policies and procedures your student needs to understand to do their job well.
Training typically happens the week before orientation and move-in, in conjunction with building prep, and can range from four to six hours for three to five days of the week. Training may take place throughout the school year, based on arising issues that may cause the need for policy changes or refresher training.
Early Returns and Departures
RA staff must return to campus early to prepare for residents’ arrival. Late departures happen due to break inspections and semester closings. This means personal breaks are cut short, which students must consider when planning summer employment, family vacations, etc.
Some situations can be very stressful for RAs. I call my RA staff “Res Life First Responders” because RAs are the first staff to encounter a resident amid a tough situation. Staff encounter mental health crises, drug issues, roommate conflicts, theft, homesickness, poor cleaning habits ... if you can imagine it, they'll be witnessing it.
RAs cannot run from these situations; they must put their training into action until a higher level of staff arrives to assist.
Peer Interactions Can Be Tough
It can be difficult for RAs to balance the obligation to hold peers accountable for policy violations with being a student themselves. Holding peers accountable might include meeting to discuss behavior, and restorative justice consequences such as writing a letter of apology, reimbursement for a broken or stolen item, etc. When a resident is held accountable, it can damage friendships or give the RA a reputation as someone who can’t be trusted. People can be hard on each other, and an RA must have tough skin to do the job.
The RA position is rewarding and full of opportunities to develop leadership skills. There will be plenty of fun times, too. However, your student should learn about all aspects of the resident advisor job before applying.
Interested students can talk to current RAs, search videos on YouTube or TikTok to hear from current and former RAs, and even watch training videos. Research before applying will give a full picture and help your student decide whether to become an RA.
Billiken Families, Did You Attend Fall Welcome 2023?
This is the Last Opportunity to Share Your Feedback!
Billiken families with an incoming freshman or sophomore student at SLU: We want to hear from you about how we can improve the experience for future families. If you attended Fall Welcome this August, let us know what you enjoyed or provide any feedback on how we can improve. Our survey only takes five minutes.
Did you know? When SLU moved its location, the entirety of the University’s operations were located in Dubourg Hall. This included classrooms, labs, a museum, a library and residences.
Important Calendar Dates
*Another friendly reminder that the FAFSA form will be available in December 2023. Please follow up with these websites for the latest updates:
- First Generation Friday
- First round of spring housing assignments released at 10 a.m.
December 7: Hanukkah Begins at sundown
December 8: Fall semester classes end
December 9: Christmas on the Quad starts at 5 p.m.
December 11: Cookies and Cocoa, 3-5 p.m. sponsored by BPFA (Billiken Parent and Family Association) for students, north lobby of Busch Student Center
December 12: Blue Santa on South Campus
- Hanukkah ends
- Residence halls and most buildings close at 8 p.m. The following buildings will remain open over break: Griesedieck Complex, Marguerite Hall, Spring Hall and all apartment complexes. Residents must vacate closed buildings by 8 p.m.
December 18: Winter Break and Winter Session classes begin
December 16: Mid-Year Commencement
December 24: Christmas Eve
December 25: Christmas
December 26: Kwanzaa begins
January 1: Kwanzaa ends
January 1: New Year's Day
January 10: Financial Aid 101, This presentation is for incoming families, current families and SLU students.
January 12: Winter Break ends. The buildings reopen at 10 a.m. Spring move-in begins for students new to housing and students returning from abroad.
Save the Dates
For Rising Juniors & Seniors:
February 1: Contracts open
February 1-9: Renew your room
February 19 & 22: Online selection process
For Rising Sophomores:
Feb. 26: Contracts open
March 10: Priority deadline
- Detailed instructions will be provided closer to spring semester.
- Note that housing assignments are NOT determined by the order in which contracts are submitted. To ensure fairness and equal opportunity for all students, assignments are made through a randomized process.
If a Student Has Open Space in Their Res Hall Room/Suite or Apartment
- Students may only use their set of furniture and space within the room.
- The space should be ready for a new student to move in at any time.
- Taking over extra space may result in paying for its use.
- SLU housing contract covers both semesters.
- Spring housing bills will be applied on December 10.
- Students not returning to SLU for the spring semester must complete a contract release form to be submitted to DuBourg Hall Room 157.
- Graduating and study abroad students do not need a contract release form.
- Instructions on how to prepare living spaces before the winter break are coming.