Division News

Fall is here! The weather’s cooler, the leaves are changing color and students are hitting the books harder than ever. Check out what we’re doing across the Division to make sure they’re prepared to succeed.

Counseling and Mental Health Center (CHMC)

  • Lynn Hoare & Erin Burrows

    Organized a series of events for Relationship Violence Awareness Month through Voices Against Violence, including the Save a Seat campaign, Red Flags exhibit, workshops, speak-outs, a rally, VAV Theatre for Dialogue performances and multiple speakers. See the photos.

  • Hosting four Tackling Test Anxiety Group meetings this month starting on Nov. 7, in addition to other specialized individual treatment by our anxiety disorder treatment team.
  • Promoting CMHC’s Stress Recess, an interactive online tool for learning how to manage the stress that inevitably arises for all of us. Focuses on learning how to use diaphragmatic breathing to relax, understanding how stress affects the body and providing relaxing imagery and fun games to change stressful patterns.

Housing and Food Service (DHFS)


  • Taking first steps to contract with a consulting firm to perform a new residence hall needs assessment, the first step in determining if and when one or more new residence halls should be constructed.
  • Preparing to begin renovation construction on Jester 2 and the Jester East Lobby in November with completion scheduled for Jan. 14, 2013, for Jester 2 and June 1, 2013, for the Jester East Lobby.
  • Held the first-ever My Pad Room Design Contest, honoring students with the most creative and unique rooms on campus. Worked with other students, faculty and staff to judge the final rooms. Check out the finalists.
  • Hosted Oktoberfest Celebration for University Apartments student residents and their families. Featured Oktoberfest-themed food, games, entertainment and International Cooking and Chicken Dance contests. Provided access for various student services and local agencies to interact with residents during a Resource Fair held in conjunction with the event. See the photos.

Food Service

  • Inviting the entire University of Texas at Austin community to a Thanksgiving Dinner  at Jester 2 and Kinsolving on Nov. 14, with a menu including traditional favorites like baked ham and roasted turkey along with new fall dishes such as polenta with mushroom sauce.

    Rebecca Moon & Curtis Blakely

  • Hosted a Local Harvest Dinner on Oct. 24 to highlight DHFS and the Sustainable Food Center’s commitment to Texas farms and locally produced food. See the photos.
  • Launched the Jam for Bevo Bucks Song Contest, inviting students to showcase their song writing talent by creating an information song about the Bevo Bucks program for prize money. Announcing the winning song Nov. 15 with plans to feature it in an informational music video in the Spring.
  • Held the latest cultural dinner at Kinsolving Dining on Oct. 30, transforming it into a Garten fit for Oktober! Featured menu items like sauerbraten, kaese spaetzle, bratwurst and frankfurter bettelmann, an apple bread pudding with vanilla cream. Included German music, Polka dancing and photo opportunities.

Office of the Dean of Students (DoS)

  • Hosting the Higher Education Student Veteran Symposium on Friday, Nov. 9, in the Student Activity Center (SAC) Legislative Assembly Room. Urging members of The University of Texas at Austin community to take advantage of the free registration, which includes breakfast and lunch, by the Nov. 2 deadline.
  • Developing an Earn Your Orange initiative through the Leadership and Ethics Institute to showcase student involvement beyond the classroom. Offering a Web-based platform for recording co-curricular involvement and the skills gained from these experiences. Planning to invite campus departments in the Division and beyond to learn about and participate in this program.
  • Encouraging students interested in becoming a UT System Regent or student member of the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board to apply by the Nov. 9 deadline.

Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs (VPSA)

  • Closing office on Nov. 9 to move from MAI 121 to FAC 302 effective on Nov. 12. Keeping same telephone, post office box, campus mail code and email addresses but will have only one FAX number, 512-471-5558. Also changing physical address to 2304 Whitis Avenue, Austin, TX 78712-1659.
  • Held first Student Affairs Leadership Team (SALT) meeting of the academic year with roughly 100 attendees. Began collaborative effort to revise Division’s mission, vision and core values. See the pictures.

    Smita Ruzicka, Gloria Allen & Jason Thibodeaux

  • Compiled and published a series of reports in compliance with federal law, including the Annual Security Report, Annual Fire Safety Report and the Consumer Information Notice.
  • Hosted third and fourth “What’s on Your Mind?” social media events with Gage Paine at Cypress Bend Café and The Texas Union, allowing students to share their thoughts and concerns in a small group setting. See the pictures.
  • Launched the new Student Affairs blog/newsletter platform.
  • Began the process to design a new website for the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs.

Recreational Sports (RecSports)

  • Mike O’brien, Bob Childress, J.W. Pieper & Michael Wasson

    Sponsored the 3rd Annual Bob Childress Classic golf tournament on Friday, Oct. 19, to raise funds for the RecSports Excellence Fund.

  • Co-sponsored The Transition Tour with Kye Allums and the UT Gender and Sexuality Center on Oct. 18 to help spread transgender awareness. Learned how Allums made history by coming out as the first transgender basketball player to play openly on a Division One women’s team.
  • Distributed Inside RecSports, the Friends of RecSports newsletter, to 22,000 alumni and other supporters. Featured a story focused on the women’s intramural posture contest dating back to the 1940s.
  • Represented the university at the annual Big XII and Friends Conference on Oct. 9–12, bringing together collegiate recreational professionals and students for networking and educational workshops.
  • Represented the university at a regional conference of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association on Oct. 10–12.
  • Adiel Escobedo & Anne Whitaker

    Sponsored the RecSports Job Fair on Oct. 17-18 to fill part-time positions for spring 2013.

  • Prepared and delivered tacos and gift bags consisting of shoes, T-shirts and personal care items to the Austin Resource Center for the Homeless (ARCH) on Oct. 25. Led by Outdoor Recreation Program Coordinator Chris Burnett in cooperation with Horns Helping Horns.
  • Closed the Climbing Wall in Gregory Gym on Nov. 1 to begin a major renovation project to improve and expand the bouldering space. The Climbing Wall will reopen on Jan. 14, 2013.

Texas Parents

  • Recognized the following student organization projects as the 2012 Community Service Award recipients at the Texas Parents Advisory Board Luncheon Oct. 26:
    • 10th Annual Sugar Free Bowl, Delta Epsilon Psi, Inc.
    • Halloween Carnival, Best Buddies
    • Shave for a Cure Benefitting St. Baldricks, S.M.I.L.E. (Students Making Impacts through Love and Empathy)
    • Stop Abuse in Family Environments (S.A.F.E.) Week, Sigma Phi Alpha
    • Student Engineers Educating Kids Tutoring and Mentoring, Student Engineers Educating Kids
    • Young Scientists, Natural Sciences Council
  • Hosted a successful 2012 Family Weekend on Oct. 26-27 with thanks to all who took part.
  • Announced the 2012 Outstanding Students Award recipients:
    • Maggie Gunn
    • Da’Marcus Baymon
  • Announced the 2012 Staff Merit Award recipients:
    • Alicia Garces, Counseling and Mental Health Center
    • Sherry Guyton, University Health Services
    • Gaylee Horton, Housing and Food Service
  • Announced the 2012 Mike Wacker Award recipients:
    • Dustin Haley
    • David Mallet
  • Launched a Facebook closed group to facilitate member-to-member parental conversation
  • Organizing the 2012 Celebration of Leadership Dinner and Field Presentation Nov. 9-10 to honor Outstanding Student, Staff Merit and Mike Wacker Award recipients with keynote address delivered by Rick Archer, a 1978 Outstanding Student Award Recipient. Will recognize Wales Madden, III, the first recipient of the male Outstanding Student Award, at the festivities.

Texas Student Media (TSM)

The Center for Students in Recovery (CSR)

  • Continues to coordinate stadium cleanup Sunday mornings after every single home game.

University Health Services (UHS)

  • Surpassed our 2012-13 social media goals for engaging with students online with Healthyhorns Fest on Sept. 19. Increased our Healthyhorns Facebook likes by over 30%.
  • Gage Pain & UHS flu shot clinc staff

    Organized a successful flu shot campaign resulting in 8,950 vaccinations being delivered to students, faculty and staff. See the photos.

  • Collaborated with the Austin/Travis County Sexually Transmitted Disease Outreach Program on Oct. 11 to provide free HIV/STI Testing to more than 450 students. Thanks to the staff at the SAC and SSB for making these events possible!
  • Hosting the Big XII & Friends Health Center Directors’ Conference on Nov. 4-6.
  • Moving forward with plans to reopen a physical therapy clinic.

University Unions

  • Hosted student union directors of the Big XII and SEC conferences as a part of a gathering at Texas A&M to discuss trends and best practices in the student union industry. Took directors on a tour of the Student Activity Center and Texas Union, enjoyed dinner and then attended the Torchlight Parade before they headed home to their respective campuses.
  • Created an Instagram photo feed as part of the social media efforts to engage students with the activity in each of the buildings. Follow UTUnions on your Instagram application to connect with the feed.

Hogg Auditorium (HMA)

Student Activity Center (SAC)

  • Opened submissions period for the Through Our Eyes Photo Contest  for students to submit their photographs for the Spring 2013 photo display that

    Erick Conde & SAC’s golden cupcakes

    will feature 15 entries in the Student Activity Center. Chose this year’s submission theme to be  “Longhorns Around The World.”

  • Hosted Zombie-Ween-Alypse, this year’s SAC Halloween event that brought students to the building for a zombie apocalypse-themed set of activities, including a costume contest, zombie makeovers, candy, photo booth, movies and video games.
  • Installed LEED Gold Certification plaque and display on the first floor and hosted a celebration of this accomplishment for students with free t-shirts and golden cupcakes.  See the photos.

Student Events Center (SEC)

  • Will present the 32nd Annual Madrigal Dinner, a grand Renaissance-themed dinner theatre experience in the Texas Union the evenings of Nov. 29 – Dec. 1. Buy tickets at Texasboxoffice.com or in person at the Frank Erwin Center.

Texas Union (TXUN)

  • Continuing to provide Tower Tours on campus. Announced the fall schedule that will run from 2-6 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays with reservations available by phone at 512-475-6633 or at the Texas Union.