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Mardi Gras Weekend and Changes to Spring Student Events

Dear Billiken Companions, 

This will be my final email as your Interim Vice President for Student Development, since Dr. Cunningham takes the helm on Monday. I know I sent a hard email earlier this week. That message was important, but so is this one--and it’s a bit more fun. 

First, and importantly, below this email, you’ll find information about Mardi Gras activities happening in person, on campus tomorrow (mug painting, DIY tie dye shirt, and mini golf!), as well as information about the possibility of obtaining a ticket to see a SLU men's basketball game in person in the coming weeks. 

Based on what we learned last fall in our classrooms, we know we can design safe, in-person opportunities, as long as we honor our safeguards. In spite of the current number of students in isolation and quarantine, we know how important in-person connection is for you.

Next, and also importantly, we have decided to allow students and student organizations to propose some in-person events this spring, as long as events are open to all students. This year, more than ever, we need to build community across student organizations, especially to allow students who may not yet have found “their” organizations to connect with others. This embodies our OneSLU commitment. There are still limitations on the number of available indoor spaces that can be used for events, but we believe we have found a balance that allows us to increase in-person activities for students while not imposing too many additional burdens on our custodial services teams.

The opportunity for students to propose limited activities this spring was just one of the recommendations made by a working group comprised mainly of students and chaired by Jackie Weber (Director of the Student Involvement Center) and Joseph Reznikov (SGA President). The working group reviewed feedback from students on their experience of campus life last semester and made recommendations to improve community-building this spring. 

The feedback underscored what we already knew: we did a good job of protecting your physical health last fall, but we needed to do a much better job of caring for your social and emotional wellbeing, particularly in the area of in-person connection and community. Two students also reiterated that message at a meeting of the Board of Trustees last December.

Among the recommendations the working group developed were offering more in-person events on campus each weekend, expanding hours for academic buildings during the week to allow students more study spaces, opening residence hall lounges, and more. 

You can learn more about what’s changing -- including the steps for how to propose events -- by viewing the revised Guidance on Student Activities, Meetings, and Events here.

As I told you earlier this week, we are currently experiencing isolation and quarantine numbers that are not where we need to be. But if our isolation and quarantine numbers decline, we think we will be able to increase the number of new in-person events on campus. In the meantime, we wanted you to be able to start thinking about event ideas and moving them through the proposal process. 

Ultimately, our goal is to approve as many in-person events as we can support and have appropriate spaces for -- with the public health safeguards in place that will make them as safe as possible. 

We really, really want to open more in-person events on campus. Please do your part to bring down the COVID-19 numbers on campus, so we may do so. 

In closing, let me thank you for letting me be a part of your Billiken journey. I wish you a safe and healthy weekend. While I am departing this role as of Monday, I’ll still be a part of the Billiken family, and I hope to see you out and about on campus when the weather finally warms up.

Very sincerely,

Debra Rudder Lohe, Ph.D. (she/her/hers)
Interim Vice President for Student Development

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Want a Chance to Attend a Basketball Game?

In the days leading up to a home basketball game, SLU Athletics will post on the @SLUbillikens and @SaintLouisMBB Twitter and Instagram accounts encouraging students to fill out a google form to enter to win a ticket to the upcoming game. To ensure that every student has an opportunity to be selected, we will also email the link to the google form to the entire student population. The winners will be chosen at random and notified via email on the day of the game that they were selected to receive a ticket to the game with instructions on how to claim their ticket to the gamer through the TicketMaster portal. 

Looking for Mardi Gras Activities on Campus this Weekend?

See the Mardi Gras flyer for more! (Note: for the Tie Dye events, you will be able to enter the lobby of a different residence hall if there is not a tie dye station in your building.)