The Billiken Bulletin is Saint Louis University's parent and family newsletter. We recognize the importance of transparency and accuracy to families as it relates to SLU and your students. This monthly newsletter will provide additional insight into life on campus and more details about our resources.
October Billiken Bulletin
Happy October, Billiken Families! Fall is here, and we are excited about the change in season and the semester’s progression. Below is a new edition of the Billiken Bulletin newsletter, which provides Saint Louis University families with resources and content to support their students. In this edition, you will have the opportunity to learn more about the Student Government Association, Academic Advising, University Residence Life, and Health and Well-Being.
Learn More About the SGA
Written and Submitted by: Ryan Tisdale, SGA Vice President of Communications and Internal Affairs
Saint Louis University has over 250 student organizations. These organizations are diverse and provide students the opportunity to acquire great leadership and networking opportunities. Additionally, they allow students to experience fellowship with their peers and explore their passions.
In this issue, we’d like to take you deeper into our Student Government Association (SGA) to learn more about their goals and focus. If your student has additional questions regarding SGA, they can email email@example.com. Meetings are open to the public at 5 p.m., every Wednesday in Busch Student Center 256.
The beginning of a new academic year marks a fresh start and renewed enthusiasm on SLU’s campus, and the Student Government Association is no exception. With a dynamic group of elected student leaders and a clear vision, SGA has set ambitious goals for the year ahead. These goals reflect our commitment to enhancing the student experience, promoting inclusivity, and positively impacting our campus community. Our goals for the year can be broken down into the following key initiatives:
- Enhancing the Student Experience
One of the primary objectives of SGA is to enhance the student experience. This encompasses a wide range of projects, including organizing more student-centered events, increasing participation in clubs and organizations, and promoting open dialogue between SGA, students and administrators. SGA aims to create a campus environment where every student feels loved, valued and involved in shaping their college experience.
- Improving Campus Facilities
Recognizing the importance of a conducive learning environment, SGA is dedicated to improving campus facilities. We plan to work closely with the administration to address issues, such as updating classrooms and ensuring student accessibility. These efforts aim to create a more comfortable and accommodating campus for everyone.
- Advocating for Mental Health and Well-Being
Mental health and well-being have been a growing concern among students. SGA is determined to advocate for increased mental health resources on campus. That includes collaborating with the University Counseling Center to further expand mental health initiatives, reduce stigma, and ensure that students have access to the support they need during their journey at SLU should they need it.
- Fostering Diversity and Inclusivity
Inclusivity is a core value of SGA, and we are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive campus community. This includes organizing cultural awareness programs, promoting diversity in hiring and admissions, and advocating for policies that create a welcoming environment for students of all backgrounds. SGA believes a diverse and inclusive campus benefits everyone and contributes to a richer educational experience.
- Strengthening Student Support Services
To ensure that every student has the resources they need to succeed academically, SGA is committed to strengthening student support services. This includes advocating for academic advising improvements, supporting students in transitions, and advancing financial assistance options. By bolstering these services, SGA hopes to empower students to overcome challenges and excel in their studies.
The Student Government Association's goals for the year ahead reflect our commitment to enhancing the overall student experience, promoting inclusivity, and addressing critical issues that impact the campus community. Through collaboration with students, faculty, staff, and administration, we hope to turn these goals into reality, making our campus an even better place to learn, grow, and serve a Higher Purpose for a Greater Good.
Identifying and Contacting Academic Advisors
Written and Submitted by: Assistant Vice President for the First Year Experience and Students in Transition Victoria Martin, Ph.D., and Assistant Provost for Academic Advising Peggy Dotson
SLU students have access to various resources and support staff who are here to help them reach their academic goals. One of these resources is a primary academic advisor, assigned to every student based on their major. The advisor assists students with questions about degree requirements and curricular planning, exploring options for majors and minors, navigating University policies or processes (such as dropping a class, changing their major, taking a leave of absence, etc.), and helping students connect with other campus resources such as tutoring, counseling, financial aid, student health, disability resources, etc.
To ensure students take appropriate courses toward their academic goals, all new students must meet with their primary advisor before registering for spring semester classes. Students will receive an email from their advisor with instructions on how and when to schedule this appointment.
Students may have support from additional support staff based on participation in other programs, such as Billikens First Chapter, Athletics, Billiken Success Program, Academic Coaching, International Services, SOAR (Students’ Opportunity for Achievement and Resources), Pre-Health/Pre-Law or the University Honors Program.
All of these staff members are included in the student’s “Success Team” in EAB Navigate, which is accessible from the “My Apps Dashboard” at auth.slu.edu, as well as an app that they can download. Within EAB Navigate, students can email or schedule an appointment with any member of their team. Please encourage your Billiken to download this app if they have not already done so since it is the easiest way for them to connect with these important resources.
Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like more information on how your student can connect with their primary advisor or any member of their success team.
Below are some upcoming dates relative to Billiken's First Chapter and SOAR:
Every Tuesday (2-2:30 p.m.) and Friday (2:30-3 p.m.), join SOAR for SOARecess!
This weekly drop-in program allows students to relax and engage in a quick, fun activity. October will feature some spooky-themed fun.
October 11, 6-7 p.m., SOAR’s writing consultant, Grant, will host a workshop to help prepare ENGL 1900 students for their Dessoi Logoi project. Grant will provide some direction as well as facilitate peer discussions and brainstorming.
October 12, 4-5 p.m., Join SOAR for the last workshop in its College Habit Building series. This workshop will focus on planning and provide tips and insight on planning as a successful college student.
Maximize the On-Campus College Experience
Written and Submitted by: Housing and Residence Life staff
SLU’s residential hall staff are trained and prepared to help shape your student’s college experience while living on campus. Resident Advisors (RAs) are on each floor within residence halls and located throughout our apartment communities to serve as a resource, build community, and help students navigate campus. Students should know their RAs and know how to contact them. If your student needs assistance connecting with their RA, please have them contact the professional staff member in their community.
Now that we’ve reached October, roommate conflicts are bound to arise if they haven’t already. Living on campus and sharing a space with someone can be a huge shift for many students. All students should have completed a roommate agreement, which sets expectations of one another and their space. If your student has concerns about their living arrangement, please have them contact their RA. Space is limited on campus, and a room change may not be possible, but we have other resources to navigate these conflicts or challenges.
Coming Soon: Break Periods and Holiday Closures
Connect with your student regarding our building closures so you can plan for Thanksgiving, Winter, and Spring breaks if your student is in a building that closes. A great resource for important dates is our Key Dates website.
Housing and Residence Life will send newsletters to students with more information on break periods.
Written and Submitted by: Assistant Director for Health Promotion and Education, Jesús Quiñones, and Wellness Coordinator Tori Harwood
SLU’s Department of Campus Recreation and Wellness provides students with numerous recreational and health education programs to ensure they can cultivate a healthy mind, body and spirit while at Saint Louis University. From club sports to fitness programs to self-care activities, the department ensures there are diverse opportunities to encourage and support a healthy, balanced lifestyle while at the same time contributing to a higher sense of overall well-being.
The department’s Health Promotion and Education team also works to improve student well-being through programming in the areas of mental health, sexual assault, and alcohol and other drug-use prevention education, as well as both individual and personal fitness training programs.
The department’s Health Promotion and Education team works to improve student well-being through programming in the areas of mental health, sexual assault, and alcohol and other drug-use prevention education, as well as both individual and personal fitness training programs. Our work embodies SLU’s ethos of caring for the whole person—mind, body, heart, and spirit.
Most recently, we hosted a campus-wide event called Fresh Check Day — an uplifting mental well-being and suicide prevention event that featured interactive booths, food, entertainment and giveaways. The event occurred at the heart of our campus, “the Quad.” Various student-life-focused departments collaborated to create a welcoming and positive environment where students engaged in dialogue about well-being and learned more about the resources available on campus, in the community, and nationally.
Saint Louis University takes a robust approach to ensuring that students are educated and understand the importance of physically and spiritually caring for their well-being. These aspects of Campus Recreation exemplify why health and well-being will continue to be a top priority for our students.
Billiken Parent and Family Association
Build fellowship with other parents and family members of SLU students by volunteering your time, whether you live in St. Louis or out of state. SLU is always looking for opportunities to partner with families in helping us fulfill SLU’s mission of supporting our students. As you explore your role as a member of the Billiken family, we encourage you to also explore the following resources:
- Remember to visit the SLU Billiken Parent and Family Engagement page and like us on Facebook.
- All parents and family members are already a part of the Billiken Parent and Family Association. Learn more about BPFA, join the Facebook page, and read the BPFA Guidelines
- Peruse all of our Volunteer Opportunities. This is your way of partnering with SLU.
- Want to learn more? Fill out the BPFA Interest Form.
Additional Important Reminders
The Federal Education Family Education Rights and Privacy Act of 1974 is a federal law giving certain rights to parents, guardians and students regarding education records at schools of every level, including Saint Louis University. It should be noted that at the university level, the rights afforded by FERPA belong, in general, to the student rather than the parent. If you want to learn more about those rights, please click here.
Parents/Guardians Third-Party Access Students at Saint Louis University may use Banner Self-Service to grant parents, guardians or third parties access to their academic records, student accounts and financial aid. Access to housing or conduct records may be granted through myslushare.
Apply early. Financial aid is awarded on a first-come, first-served basis, so the best time to file the FAFSA for maximum consideration is between October 1 and early February.
Important Calendar Dates
*Note that the new FAFSA form will be available in December 2023, not Oct. 1
October 12: Fall Virtual Career Expo
October 14: Midterm Conferral
October 20: Fall Midterm exams
October 26-27: No classes. Fall Break. Residence halls remain open.