This page hosts the content of the Billiken Bulletin, Saint Louis University's parent and family newsletter. We recognize the importance of transparency and accuracy to families as it relates to the University and your students. This monthly newsletter will hopefully provide additional insight into life on campus and more details about the resources we provide.
January Billiken Bulletin
Happy New Year Billiken Families! We hope you’re having a relaxing winter break with your Billiken. We certainly miss your student. In this month’s Billiken Bulletin, we focus on the Division of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement (DICE) and the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR).
Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement
Greetings Billiken parents! I am Rochelle D. Smith, M.S., the newly appointed Vice President of Diversity and Innovative Community Engagement (DICE). Parents and family are the foundation of support for our students. DICE is as committed to parents as we are to students. DICE exists to establish a culture of inclusive excellence, equity and belonging for all members of Saint Louis University and our connected communities through education and transformation. DICE is continuing programs and initiatives as we create a new and innovative strategic plan aligned with the University’s for the 2023-24 academic year.
DICE houses two dynamic centers: the Cross-Cultural Center for Global Citizenship (CCCGC) and the Center for Social Action (CSA). The CCCGC promotes multicultural awareness and education, provides support services to historically underrepresented and marginalized student populations, and helps to develop students into critically reflective and socially just leaders. The CSA connects students, faculty, staff and alums to volunteer opportunities near and far, in person or virtually. Some of the CCCGC and CSA signature programs and initiatives include:
- Multicultural education workshops
- Safe Zone training for support for the LGBTQ+ community
- African American Males Scholars program
- Audre Lorde Scholars program
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Scholars program
- Advocacy and civic engagement
- Social justice and advocacy training
- Voter engagement
- Immersion trips
- Service learning
- Billiken Bounty
- Campus Kitchen
DICE also oversees the fulfillment of the 2014 Clock Tower Accords, which commits SLU to actively strengthen diversity, equity and inclusion on campus among faculty, staff and students. The goals of our division include building and enhancing diversity, equity and inclusion by training faculty and staff around search committees, programs and initiatives. With the 10th anniversary of the Clock Tower Accords approaching, DICE is working to create a new and even more transformative Clock Tower Accords.
DICE welcomes all who want to learn about and make SLU a great place around diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging. Faculty, students and staff are encouraged to participate in any of these programs by connecting with our office for more information.
Parents, I encourage you to share the mission of DICE and inspire your student to contact us and become engaged with our work. Be blessed and thank you for all that you do for your Billiken.
The saying goes, “If you give a man a fish, he’ll eat for a day, but if you teach a man to fish, he’ll eat for a lifetime.” But what if, when learning how to fish, he wasn’t provided with any bait? While he might understand the process of fishing, he may not catch as many fish.
This analogy could describe a student who receives accommodations. Without accommodations, students with disabilities may not have all the tools they need to be successful. At SLU, the Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR) provides support to students with diagnosed disabilities by approving accommodations and advocating for campus-wide accessibility.
Accommodations are meant to support students in their learning experience; they are not a “crutch,” as some might think. Students who seek accommodations are equipped to navigate the rigor and content of a course, but much like the aspiring fisherman, they need the right tools to succeed. By suggesting that students with accommodations are using crutches or getting preferential treatment, we devalue their abilities, stifle their opportunities and create additional challenges by expecting them to navigate around barriers on their own.
For students with disabilities, there are often barriers, seen or unseen, that may stand in their way. A student with dyslexia can understand the concepts that are written in a textbook, but reading those concepts presents an additional challenge when the b’s look like d’s and the words on the page don’t appear to make sense. In this case, a reasonable accommodation may be the ability to listen to audiobooks. Although this is a different avenue than a traditional textbook, the student with dyslexia is still completing the same requirements as their peers.
The best thing that you, as a parent, family member or friend, can do to support a student with a disability is to listen to them without judgment and encourage them to pursue resources. With your support, your student will gain confidence to advocate for what they need to thrive at SLU. And along the way, we at CADR are here to help.
SLU Graduates Recognized at Midyear Commencement Ceremony
The newest group of Saint Louis University graduates walked across the stage and joined the ranks of SLU alumni on Dec. 17. The graduates were recognized in front of family, friends, staff and faculty during the Midyear Commencement Ceremony at Chaifetz Arena.
Academic Advisor Corner
Blueprint for Success
Getting into Saint Louis University is just the start. After beginning classwork, many students discover more obstacles to success than they anticipated. The Blueprint for Success program is a five-part workshop series designed to help first-year students with academic success, self-reflection, identifying supports on- and off-campus, wellness/self-care and vocational exploration.
Apply to Graduate
Spring semester is a busy and exciting time at SLU! If your student is graduating this semester, please remind them to follow the instructions about applying to graduate. Graduating students must complete this process within the first two weeks of the semester.
Spring is also an important time for all students to reflect on their current academic plan and make plans for the future. For some students, this may mean adding or changing a major or minor, researching or preparing for a career or graduate programs, preparing for law or professional health schools, and exploring options like study abroad and competitive fellowships and scholarships. To support students in this process, SLU is hosting several vocation-related events during the week of Feb. 20. These events include an Academic Fair, the Career Expo, and conversations around making important decisions using practical advice from St. Ignatius.
BPFA Volunteers Needed: Spring 2023 Career Expo
The Office of Career Services is seeking Parent and Family Volunteers to assist with their Spring 2023 Career Expo. The event will be held on campus on Wednesday, Feb. 22, and is an opportunity for employers to meet directly with SLU students to talk about career paths, internship opportunities, full-time jobs and more.
Cookies & Cocoa Recap
During Finals Week, the Billiken Parent and Family Association (BPFA) hosted “Cookies & Cocoa” at the Busch Student Center. BPFA provided cookies and cocoa as well as some parental support for your Billikens. The event was a big success: around 400 students stopped by, and we had a guest appearance from SLU’s own Blue Santa. This event enabled BPFA members to engage with students and encourage them while studying for exams.
Save the Date: BPFA Trivia Night
The BPFA is hosting its annual Trivia Night at 7 p.m., March 25, in the Busch Student Center. There will be in-person and virtual trivia options, fundraising for the SLU community, fellowship and fun! Reservations will open soon, so save the date and start building your team of up to eight people.
Meet a Fellow Billiken Parent: Alisa Zanetti
Alisa Zanetti is a committed member of Saint Louis University’s Billiken Parent and Family Association (BPFA), serving as the sub-chair of the Marketing and Communications committee. Alisa is from Louisville, Kentucky, and she is excited about being on the BPFA Executive Board because of the engagement with other board members and contributing firsthand knowledge of experiences and events on campus. If Alisa could give families one piece of advice, she would tell them to encourage students to take advantage of office hours with every instructor and to build their network in every class so that they have a village.