The Catholic University of America

Student Affairs
SPOTLIGHT

CUA Welcomes New Students and Announces Several New Initiatives for Students

 
   

By Mike Allen, vice president for student affairs

We were delighted to welcome hundreds of new undergraduate students and their families on Aug. 21 for Orientation 2014. The four-day program featured a number of informative sessions focused on promoting a healthy academic, social, and personal adjustment to college for our new students. The program was highlighted by the launch of a campus-wide community building campaign, "My CommUNITY, Our Responsibility.” The campaign was announced through a new video that emphasized the core values that form the foundation of our community and a corresponding message from President John Garvey to all new students and their families. The video can be viewed on the commUNITY website, which also features a full listing of the programs and events that will be offered throughout the year.

Another new addition to Orientation was a Saturday morning session on sexual violence titled An Unheard Voice. Attendance at this program was required for all new students and provided them with important educational messages on the topic. Other events on Saturday included a session titled Real World CUA, which featured a video, talks by several CUA administrators, and skits exploring community standards, expectations, and tough issues and questions that new students may face as they transition to CUA.

This fall, Orientation Extended has been expanded to include a sixth line (the silver line), focusing on intercultural education. With the addition of a sixth line, fewer programs (100) are offered this year to ensure that they highlight the most critical areas that students should be exposed to in their first six weeks on campus. Please visit orientationextended.cua.edu for a full listing of Orientation Extended programming.

As a lead-up to Orientation, Student Affairs implemented several online educational programs about sexual violence, bystander intervention, and alcohol for new undergraduate students. All new first-year and transfer students were required to complete the programs prior to attendance at Orientation.

In addition, we revamped our publications titled Sexual Violence: Recognize It. Prevent It. Report It., and Are You a Bystander? All new undergraduate and all residential students will receive a hard copy of these publications, and all returning students will receive an electronic copy at the start of the academic year. We also will have awareness programming scheduled for Alcohol Awareness Week in October, Dating Violence Month in February, Safe Spring Break Week in February, and Sexual Assault Awareness Month in April.

As always, we are very grateful to all of the faculty and staff whose support and assistance make Orientation and the start of the school year such a success. I’d also like to offer a special “thank you” to the staff members in the Office of Campus Activities and Residence Life, the 2014 student Orientation coordinators — senior Seth Tavera, an engineering major from Woodbine, Md., and junior Rebeckah Hansen, a business major from Lanoka Harbor, N.J. — and the hundreds of student leaders for their tireless efforts preparing for our new students and families.

We wish you all the best as we start a new academic year.