Saint Louis University’s Division of Student Development is driven by the mission to provide you with SLU programs, services and experiences that help you to develop as leaders.
Our goal is to help shape you into a successful graduate who is holistically formed, critically reflective and socially and personally responsible.
Sarah K. Cunningham, Ed.D.
Since February 15, 2021, Sarah Cunningham, Ed.D., has served as SLU's vice president of student development. Most recently, she served as the assistant vice provost for student life strategy and policy at Johns Hopkins University. In this role, she was responsible for managing and leading university-wide initiatives that support student success across the university, specifically student health and well-being, crisis response and student retention.
Cunningham has contributed to the field of student affairs for over 15 years. Before arriving at Johns Hopkins, she worked at the University of Chicago as the executive director for student leadership, involvement and Student Life Centers and assistant dean of students in the university. Prior to UChicago, she served also worked at the University of Florida, George Mason University and Slippery Rock University.
She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Combined Social Studies from Youngstown State University, a Master of Science in College Student Personnel Services from Western Illinois University, and a Doctorate of Education in Higher Education and Organizational Change from Benedictine University. Her dissertation research looked at the lived experiences of student leaders at public universities who held a vote on their institutions' boards of trustees. She enjoys taking in college sporting events, taking hikes with her rescue dog Bailey, traveling and the theater.
Student Development Departments
Academic Support offers a host of services to help students thrive at SLU.
- Success Coaching is here to help with challenges in and out of the classroom. Coaching supports students in implementing strategies that will contribute to their academic and socio-emotional wellness.
- Supplemental Instruction (SI) is an academic assistance program that uses peer-assisted study sessions. SI sessions are regularly scheduled informal review sessions in which students compare notes, discuss readings and develop organizational tools.
- Tutoring is typically offered in one-on-one sessions. Highly qualified peer tutors are available to guide you through the challenges of many of SLU’s foundation-level courses.
- University Writing Services is committed to the campus-wide improvement of student writing through one-on-one peer consultation, workshops, and writing retreats. Our goal is to improve the writing culture on SLU's campus and help you identify yourself as a strong writer within your discipline.
Billikens’ First Chapter is a destination for connecting our scholars with resources on and off campus throughout the first year of college. Whether scholars are looking for a safe space to discuss their transition, ways to get involved on campus, how to connect with other students on campus, ways to volunteer in the community, or how to be successful in the classroom. Through intrusive and developmental advising strategies, First-Year Navigators support Scholars as they transition into, move through, and transition out of their first year at SLU.
From club sports to spinning classes to late-night alternative entertainment, SLU provides quality recreational opportunities that aid and encourage a healthy lifestyle, and contribute to your overall well-being. Goals for developing the whole student include:
- Team-building and leadership skills
- Improved happiness and self-confidence
- Building character and community
- Reducing stress
Center for Accessibility and Disability Resources (CADR) partners with students, faculty, academic departments and service providers to ensure that students have equal access and opportunity to all University programs, services and experiences.
CADR coordinates aids and services to meet the needs of students with disabilities, to create a safe and supportive campus community for all SLU students.
Framed in the Ignatian hallmark of cura personalis, meaning care for the whole person, the Dean of Students Office strives to assist students and their families in successfully navigating the SLU experience. We strongly encourage the promotion and development of a healthy mind, body and spirit to help every student persist and succeed in their college career. Through individual support, we aim to ensure that our students have the opportunity to grow as empowered global citizens who make contemplative and just choices that align with their passion and purpose.
- Supports students in distress and crisis
- Provides referrals to students and families to SLU campus resources
- Sends academic notifications on behalf of students experiencing emergencies
- Engages parents and families in support of their students
- Helps students reflect on significant developmental transitions and challenges
Busch Student Center
The Busch Student Center is a centralized location filling students' needs, including dining, bookstore, banking needs, student organization space and more.
Event Services is a full-service department responsible for the scheduling and coordination of all Saint Louis University campus events or groups co-sponsored by a campus organization.
SLU's campus housing forms a residential community that creates and promotes service, social engagement, personal responsibility and acceptance for others. Students can join learning communities to connect with people with similar academic, social and service interests, take on leadership roles through RHA or hall council or gain work experience as RA's or desk workers.
The Billiken Parent and Family Association informs families about events and issues that may impact their students' experiences. The association's goal is to promote communication, engage families in activities that promote the University and create a team effort to best support student success at SLU.
The top priority of our Department of Public Safety is the safety of Saint Louis University's students, faculty, staff and visitors, along with the campus' surrounding community. The department offers round-the-clock campus patrolling, emergency response and community assistance from dedicated officers and dispatchers.
Student Development’s Shared Business Services Center is designed to help division staff accomplish their financial and business-related responsibilities.
Shared Services' goals are to improve services and ensure we meet needs specific to departments within the division.
The department includes the business administration office for student development, the Busch Student Center, and the division's ITS and web support. This office also manages Sodexo dining services, the Barnes & Noble Bookstore, Pepsi, Griesedieck Vending, Charter/Spectrum Cable TV and other contracted services.
The Saint Louis University Student Health Center provides medical treatment, outpatient services, and a variety of educational programs for all full-time, part-time, and graduate students.
Student Health physicians are faculty of the Saint Louis University School of Medicine.
The staff in the Student Involvement Center provide advising, mentoring and support to hundreds of students on campus, from helping students engage with the campus community by followings their interests to giving them the tools to grow into positions of responsibility and leadership. The SIC also manages the University’s one-stop engagement platform, SLU Groups.
Opportunities for engagement supported by the SIC include:
- Nearly 200 student organizations
- Weekly campus events and activities
- Over 20 Greek letter organizations
- Student Government Association
- Student media groups
- Leadership development and training opportunities
The mission of the Office of Student Responsibility and Community Standards (SRCS) is to help students think reflectively and act respectfully, both in how they care for fellow community members and by supporting healthy decisions and self-care. The SRCS office actively supports educational initiatives and restorative justice that prioritizes learning and long-term success. The Student Handbook is central to providing specific guidelines for students, faculty and staff about our community standards, values and expectations.
The experienced counseling professionals at the University Counseling Center (UCC) provide care and consultation to Saint Louis University students. UCC staff members are highly trained clinicians who can assist with a variety of issues, such as adjustment to college life, troubling changes in mood and chronic psychological conditions. The team is fully accredited by the International Accreditation of Counseling Services (IACS).
The UCC's mission is to promote the psychological health and development of the SLU community using a holistic approach to achieve wellness and educational success. They assist students using culturally competent and evidence-based treatment strategies. They also aim to be a visible presence throughout the campus community and build partnerships. UCC services include individual and group counseling, case management, crisis management, clinical training of graduate students and wellness education.
Divisional Statement on Diversity
In support of Saint Louis University's Jesuit mission, the Division of Student Development is committed to maintaining an environment of mutual respect and dignity for people of all backgrounds and cultures. It is our mission to encourage and support a thriving and diverse community among our staff and students.
We honor the differences in our community, whether they be age, ability, race, religion, gender identity and expression, sexual orientation or socio-economic background, and prepare our students to thrive in a multicultural, diverse society. Our efforts are grounded in cultivating awareness, inclusion and engagement through intentional experiences, events and programs demonstrating our commitment to excellence.