Welcome back to campus! At the start of every new semester, as students once again fill the walkways and classrooms of campus, I can feel the spirit of Marquette at its strongest. Embedded in this spirit is the notion of cura personalis, or care for the whole person. As you jump back into your academic studies and extracurricular engagements, don’t forget to take care of yourselves – and one another – along the way.
In keeping with Marquette’s mission of access to education, Student Affairs made it a priority this summer to focus on the ways in which we can better serve first-generation students. I’ll share briefly with you all some exciting progress we’ve recently made related to this initiative.
You may recall that last March, the university launched a website dedicated to first-generation college students. In addition, the university in May received a $1 million gift to support first-generation students. The donor, alumnus Barry Cosgrove, was a first-generation student and participated in the Educational Opportunity Program, which celebrates 50 years in the 2019-20 academic year.
We are also excited to introduce “I’m First,” a new student organization that connects first-generation and low-income students with mentors and provides them with the resources to be successful in college. I’m First will be one of many organizations represented at fall O-Fest, which will take place on Wednesday, Aug. 28, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. in Central Mall. This event is always one of my favorites because it provides you all with the unique opportunity to explore the more than 300 groups on campus – there really is something for everyone at Marquette! I encourage you to attend and get involved.
Be sure to check Marquette Today throughout the year for many more exciting event opportunities.
Student Affairs also recently launched the Office of Engagement and Inclusion (OEI). Located on the garden level of the Alumni Memorial Union, OEI will house the Center for Engagement and Inclusion (the former Center for Intercultural Engagement in AMU 111), the LGBTQ+ Resource Center and oversee a number of functions, including first-generation college student initiatives, campus activities, fraternity and sorority life, student organizations, student leadership development and more.
Over the summer, through many generous donations and other fundraising efforts, Marquette expanded the Backpack Program. Located in Mashuda Hall, the Backpack Program is a free and confidential service that provides groceries to any Marquette student who faces difficulty accessing affordable, nutritious food and other essential household items.
Lastly, you’ve probably noticed that the city has reinstated electric scooters through its dockless scooter pilot study, which runs through December. While Marquette recognizes the benefits of scooter transportation, safety remains a top priority of the university, so to ensure the safety of all members of the campus community, the use of scooters is not allowed on campus walkways. Read more about the university’s scooter policy.
Above all, the dedicated staff members of the Division of Student Affairs stand ready to support your academic and co-curricular success. I wish you all the best on this first day of classes and in this new academic year.
Dr. Xavier A. Cole
Vice President for Student Affairs