Latest News from the Division

It’s been a busy summer for all areas in the Division of Student Affairs. Our many departments are gearing up for the start of classes. Below is an update on what the team has been accomplishing.

Counseling and Mental Health Center

  • Providing counseling for all entering freshmen and their parents throughout the summer to talk about how students can access mental health resources and support during their academic year (parents and students can call (512) 475-7110 to connect with a counselor).
  • Had 974,944 website visits between Sept. 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012, an increase of more than 200,000 visits in a year.

Housing and Food Service

  • Preparing for full capacity at residence halls this academic year. Planning is underway for annual Mooov-In Weekend, Aug. 24-25.
  • Finalizing edits on the Freshman Success Guide, a free publication for all incoming freshmen featuring information on ways students can be successful in their academic pursuits and beyond. Will be handed out during Mooov-In Weekend (Dean of Students Office will also provide copies).
  • Created Learning Galleries in many of our Residence Halls that utilize situated cognition to stimulate learning and are inspired by our mission to offer extraordinary living and learning experiences. Enjoy the Longhorn art series that is featured in every hall to promote unity and school pride!
  • Presented at various panels in July during the Association of College and University Housing Officers – International annual convention. Kudos to Executive Director Dr. Floyd Hoelting, Director of Residence Life Dr. Hemlata Jhaveri, Director of Assessment for Student Affairs Dr. Gale Stuart, and Program Manager LT Robinson, for their work.

Food Service

  • Encouraging faculty and staff to sign up for “Dine in Dollars,” using their UT identification card to swipe for meals. Utilize the meal plan and get a 10 percent discount on every meal purchase. Receive $5 when you sign up.
  • Installing new efficient compressor rack systems for all dining locations, which will decrease the total number of compressors used from 200 to 18, reducing energy consumption by 40%, noise and maintenance, while providing a more reliable system.
  • Will open the Jester Java coffee shop in 2012. Look for a modern design, drink specials and later hours of operation.
  • Will launch an affordable pick-up catering option for faculty and staff on Aug. 21 through Forty Acres Catering. Purchase breakfast and lunch options through an interdepartmental transfer, then pick up food items at multiple locations.
  • Sent DHFS staff to the National Association of College & University Food Services national conference in Boston July 11-14. Collaborated with peers on special diets, retail operations, sustainability and marketing.

Office of Assessment

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Will launch our First Year Achievement Initiative, a peer-mentoring program designed to strengthen relationships with prospective parents, families in select areas, and Texas high schools. Will utilize student mentors and the DoS Achievement Scholars to visit high schools, plus use social media to share advice and information. Working with parent and alumni ambassadors to engage with the families of prospective students.
  • Renovating the Student Organization Center (SOC) operated by Student Activities, which will create 134 storage spaces for lease and a variety of other improvements for registered student organizations. Look for a grand reopening event in September.
  • Will accept on-campus outdoor space reservations from registered student organizations, academic and administrative units via the same online event management system used by the University Unions.
  • Promoting our Student Veteran Services to help our student veterans navigate life on campus as well as connect to academic and veteran-specific resources. Created a website that includes information to educate staff and faculty on how they can assist veterans and help them adjust as they transition from military service.
  • Continued the annual recognition of outstanding students and student organizations to honor exemplary leadership, as well as contributions to the student experience and the campus community. Check out the honorees at the DoS Awards and Recognition page.

Recreational Sports

  • Will celebrate our 96th year on campus this year.
  • Victory @ Gregory Gym

    Opened Victory @ Gregory Gym, RecSports’ new retail/fitness resource space, operated by Luke’s Locker under a management services agreement with Nike USA. Includes space for studying and group meetings along with technology stations to monitor fitness goals and access training resources. (photo)

  • Will open a new exercise studio featuring Pilates Reformer classes on Aug. 29 in GRE 1.110 (available as a stretching area when classes are not being held).
  • Expanded the hours of Caven Lacrosse and Sports Center at Clark Field, in concert with Housing and Food Service’s approval.
  • Expanded “off-season” intramural events through collaboration with Student Government, adding basketball to the fall calendar and flag football to the spring calendar.

Texas Parents

  • Restructured member benefits to give incoming freshmen parents more incentive to join as four-year members.
  • Welcomed 1,600+ families into Texas Parents membership this summer during the six Family Orientation sessions, surpassing the 2011 counts by more than 600 memberships (pending online/mail-in registrations).
  • Creating a member recognition program that encourages all Texas Parents members to wear their “Texas Parents…Texas Proud” t-shirts during Mooov-In Weekend as a way to identify with fellow members, show support for Texas Parents and the University, as well as to receive goodies at check-in. Coordinating this effort with donations from Longhorn Bars and H2Orange.
  • Collaborating with Housing and Food Service to possibly offer complimentary fountain drinks to parents in the residence halls with product donated from Austin Coca-Cola Bottling and US Food Services.
  • Working on details for the Texas Parents Book Club on Sept. 27 that will be offered on campus and as a live webcast for approximately 1,300 new four-year members.
  • Developing the renewal campaign encouraging expiring 2012 members to continue belonging to Texas Parents.
  • Planning with colleges, schools and units for Family Weekend 2012, Oct. 26-28. Changes include using a website rather than printed piece to outline activities and events to undergraduate parents.

Texas Student Media

  • Completed renovation of The Daily Texan newsroom and Texas Travesty in the Hearst Student Media building (the first renovated building on campus to be LEED certified gold), which will assist in the transition of the newsroom into a digital media space and enhance department collaboration.
  • Join us as we host the tailgate event “Kickoff Countdown” before every home football game this fall at The Daily Texan tent on lot seven in front of the Bob Bullock Texas State History Museum. Come enjoy food, fun and a pre-game warm up.
  • Completed the digital upgrade at our TV station, Texas Student Television, just in time for fall, giving our students experience working in high definition television and an edge in pursuing future opportunities.
  • Partnering with several University departments for production jobs, offering departmental discounts and producing high-quality work. Take advantage of our work that can be used in a variety of ways to promote your unit.
  • Check out special advertising rates for Student Affairs units this fall. Let us help you get the word out through advertising and be sure to pick up The Daily Texan for the latest news. Email or call us at 1-1865.

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Will move next year into a 3,000-square-foot space in Bellmont Hall at Darrell K Royal-Texas Memorial Stadium.
  • Raised $600,000 toward the endowment goal in addition to $90,000 in annual Sustainer’s Council pledges.
  • Doubled the number of students involved with CSR and increased meetings to at least one a day.
  • Significantly increased the visibility of CSR on campus and in the alumni community (Longhorn Network video spot, Alcalde article) as well as met with Baylor, Montana State and George Washington universities to provide assistance to their development of collegiate recovery programming.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • Promoted Jamie Shutter, from interim director to director (read the press release).
  • Welcomed Academic HealthPlans as the new UT System Student Health Insurance Program carrier, allowing students to buy a health insurance plan that meets Affordable Care Act requirements. Also offers better coverage at the same rates as 2011-12 (pays 100 percent of covered medical expenses incurred at UHS).
  • Continuing to educate students, staff and faculty that UHS is available to all students whether or not they have health insurance, and that significant self-pay discounts are available to students without insurance, or to those who do not use their insurance.
  • Earned Accreditation with Commendation from the Texas Medical Association (TMA) for our Continuing Medical Education program in June 2012. Recognized the UHS program as “exemplary” and awarded accreditation for six more years.
  • Continue to provide educational opportunities for UHS medical staff and CMHC psychiatrists.
  • Sent UHS staff members and two Student Health Advisory Committee members to the 2012 Annual Meeting of the American College Health Association in Chicago May 28-June 1.
  • Plan to distribute the newly-printed Healthyhorns Calendar for the upcoming academic year to 10,000 students at the start of the fall semester.
  • Launched AlcoholEdu, an evidenced-based online alcohol education and prevention program, for the fourth consecutive year (mandatory for all incoming first year and transfer students under the age of 21 to complete before classes start). Produced and directed the AlcoholEdu video introduction featuring Student Government President Thor Lund and Vice President Wills Brown.

University Unions

Student Activity Center (SAC)

Student Events Center (SEC)

  • Funding available for student organizations to support campus-wide programming. Need staff to help with directing students where to apply.

Texas Union

  • Reopens this fall for reservations and student, faculty and staff use.
  • Renovations and additions include installation of a sprinkler system; new floors in the Quadrangle and Ballroom; addition of built-in audio-visual screens, projectors and speakers in the Quadrangle, Santa Rita and Board of Directors Rooms; new furniture in the third floor loggia (to include recliners and lamps), the second floor dining areas and Board of Director’s room; and a renovated North End Patio.