The Student Experience Center strives to provide student services, leadership development, and collaboration through participation in student organizations, programming experiences, and shared governance. The Student Experience Center connects students to the university community in ways that enhance academic experiences, increase student retention, and provide for lifelong interests and pursuits.
Engagement • Responsibility • Inclusiveness • Leadership Development
The Student Experience Center will provide a lasting collegiate experience that will draw students to the university.
Promotes student development through intentional services, programming and structures
- The Student Experience Center continued to expand Homecoming festivities. Activities surrounding Homecoming were expanded to include a golf cart parade, while keeping components such as the Cardboard Boat Regatta, and Trojan Tailgate.
- One goal for this year was a redesign of student organization budget allocation process for the 2017-2018 academic year. This goal is on target as programming dollars were internally evaluated based on program participation and institutional priorities. Adjustments were made for FY17 mid-term, and a projected budget reflecting this change was developed for FY18.
- Delta Chi chartered in October 2016. Representatives from Delta Chi Headquarters presented the chapter with their charter. The UA Little Rock chapter makes them the first Delta Chi chapter within the state.
- The program assessment tool was evaluated and redesigned to gain valuable feedback from students attending SEC events. Implementation began in the spring 2017 semester. This assessment tool will better inform the department about future programming. **asked for data from spring semester
- Progress toward the the planned assessment on student leader development was made this year, and in 2017-18 will be fully implemented.
The revamping of orientation was the result of previous surveys and focus groups. The committee began meeting in January and drafted a redesign that was based on a more experiential model that tied the freshmen students to a 2021 graduation date and served non-traditional students by the implementation of an express approach held after work hours. The redesign was the result of the successful collaboration between Academic Affairs and Student Affairs. On Thursday, April 13, 2017, the team met and outlined what they believed to be their biggest accomplishments in the redesign. They were as follows:
- Revamp of traditional orientation to be more interactive and experiential for students.
- Theme targets a four year graduation date.
- Relationship driven.
- The Experience portion (12-2) allows students to visualize their journey early and leave with a “map” as a reminder of their goal. Student services are highlighted at this time. Colleges are present to help students better understand their options as well.
- Business Zone moved to the end of the day with appointments, allowing students to fully engage throughout the orientation.
- Parents separated, allowing students to begin the transition earlier and for parents to have a more tailored experience.
- Revamp of non-traditional orientation to meet the needs of the transfer/ non-traditional student through an express option.
- Conference style design.
- KidZone added where parents will remain with children who dream of becoming a future Trojan.
- Critical services will be in one place for students to access, minimizing run-around.
- Early advising spreadsheets allow for students to register early, maximizing time on orientation day.
- Admissions designed invitations to students that featured students from UA Little Rock and sent them via e-mail, text, and social media.
- Added two additional orientation days in the Trojan Daze Week: Monday, August 14 and Tuesday, August 15, 2017.
The team then determined that after the first two orientations, one non-traditional and one traditional, the team would reconvene and determine needed changes. After the non-traditional session, the team reconvened on May 26, 2017 and made the following changes:
- Team stated that they were impressed with student orgs and their participation. They wanted to see more of this in future orientations.
- Discussion began related to opening up to currently enrolled, interested students, and admitted students.
- The team felt like there was a good combination of departments and student orgs, and felt they brought life to the event.
- The team agreed that bringing everything upstairs versus having anything on the bottom floor would better suit students’ needs. The changes are as follows:
- Registration outside of advising
- Relocate records and registration to advising
- Relocate How to Be a Trojan to upstairs
The first Traditional Orientation was Thursday, June 8, 2017 and there were changes made to the traditional orientation, such as opening up the ID card station from the morning registration until the closing of orientation, keeping the parents and students separate, and adding more student organizations to the lunch experience portion.
Encourages a healthy university community
- 5,821 participants in fitness classes, including Boot Camp, Zumba, and Yoga Fusion.
- Fitness classes were added at the Bowen Law School.
Advocates for the excluded
- The UALR Homecoming committee evaluated the criteria for Homecoming Queen selection and determined to open the competition to individuals regardless of gender identity, and renamed the winner to Homecoming Royal.
Provides an environment in which students can pursue their educational goals
- New Student Orientation underwent a full redesign. Three sessions were added to target the needs of transfer and adult students. Fast Lane registration sessions were added in partnership with Admissions, academic colleges, Academic Advising, and Athletics so students can get admitted, advised, registered, and get their Trojan Card all in one visit.
- Many of the student organization forms were made electronic, either in a downloadable format or with WordPress forms. This allows students to access these forms after hours.
- Power Moves Leadership Retreat: Non-Binary Homecoming, Football Petition & Boost of Greek Presence
- Power Moves Leadership Retreat raised several concerns: Students retreated to Hot Springs, AR to discuss how to approach the year more intentionally. The retreat was lead by administration and the Student Government Association, and approximately 80 students convened to plan the year. This was the first such retreat and students had an overall positive response. 60 students responded to the survey and over 90% rated the retreat at least “Good.” The student organization retreat lead to several ideas regarding Greek perks/life on campus. In addition, the discussion regarding UA Little Rock adding a football program led to a petition with over 1,000 signatures. As a result, the university plans to have a feasibility study conducted, which will be funded by Arkansas Parks & Tourism and the City of Little Rock.
- At the retreat, student leaders held robust discussions around Homecoming. Issues arose regarding the court and also who was permitted to run for homecoming. In addition, there were concerns expressed about the idea that there was only a homecoming queen as opposed to both a king and queen. Further conversations revealed that students felt that the current structure was not as inclusive of LGBTQ students as heterosexual students. The Homecoming committee responded to the feedback that took place at the Leadership Retreat, and created the first homecoming open to students regardless of gender identity. The group voted along more traditional lines with almost 57% stating that they wanted Homecoming King and Queen. 25% voted for more gender neutral titles. The Homecoming Committee, which consisted of leaders from across the campus, decided to move forward with gender neutral titles, creating the first non-binary homecoming. Other discussion centered around class representation. 57% of students at the Leadership Retreat expressed that they did not want representatives from each class. The committee decided in line with the votes and did not open it to all class levels.
- Greek banners were placed in the Trojan Cafe in response the the Leadership Retreat and the desire students expressed regarding Greek presence on campus.
- The DSC Dance Policy developed in fall 2015-2016 was implemented in fall 2016. A committee convened in Spring 2017 to accept recommendations for amendments to this policy.
- Chapter room space was dedicated and renovated for Chi Omega and Kappa Delta sororities.
- All Greek Council was developed with representation from each chapter invited to participate. This council was created in an effort to open discussion across councils about issues impacting the larger fraternity/sorority community.
- Greek Letters were added to the windows in the Trojan Café. This came as a response to a request developed during the Student Organization retreat.
Conducted a student survey regarding safety fee allocations. The survey went to 200 students via email, and a computer station was also set up in the Donaghey Student Center. Eighty responses were received. Notable information from the survey:
- 51% have used the transit on campus
- 68% don't believe there is enough lighting on campus
The data helped inform the Student Government Association regarding the move of $200,000 from the transit to the campus lighting, cameras, and other measures to make the campus safer.
VI. Priorities for Next Year
- Onboarding experience for new staff members
- Professional growth plans for new and current staff members
- Mentor program launch for freshman students
- Implement revised student organization budget allocation process
VII. Appendix: Fast Facts
- Year to date participants in intramurals was 2590.
- The Student Government Association obtained over 1,000 signatures in support of a UA Little Rock football team.