The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


The voice of and for USM students


Student Affairs increasing engagement through change

Sarah Grace Meyn
The Southern Miss Division of Student Affairs is working to hard to ensure the engagement and availability of resources for students.

The Southern Miss Division of Student Affairs is working hard to increase campus engagement with current and prospective students and showcase services, resources, and opportunities through a multitude of events in initiatives.
As part of its efforts, the division recently hosted Going Gold Day and Eagle Fest on the Hattiesburg campus, catering to current and feature Golden Eagles. Other recent events included Founders Week celebrations, the annual Student Awards Day, and the ever-popular Southern Miss birthday party.

In addition to the recent celebratory activities, Student Affairs leaders also hope to capitalize on partnering with Academic Affairs to develop additional success initiatives.

“We are in the process of identifying funding to help students financially for those who find themselves with a balance due,” Dr. Kristi Motter, USM Vice President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management. “We have also applied for several grants to assist students such as Kennard Scholars, Peer to-Peer Counseling, and Coffee with a Professor. We are hopeful these will be awarded.”

Most of Student Affairs’ efforts are focused on maintaining and increasing student success. And besides Academic Affairs, the division is constantly looking to collaborate with other areas of the University to identify ways to find needs and develop initiatives to support students, with student engagement opportunities and activities at the forefront.
“We have recently developed a new organizational structure to include Leadership and Student Involvement, Multicultural Engagement, and FSL under one umbrella with the plan to increase student engagement,” Motter said. “Operating together, we can reach more students by planning and developing programming holistically.”

The Student Affairs Division is no stranger to adapting to students’ changing needs, particularly due to recent events or challenges. Their mantra continues to be that every student matters, including their concerns, difficulties, daily work, and needs. And the division is consistently trying to proactively meet those needs and head on as they arise. There are resources and support systems available for students who may be facing academic, personal, or financial difficulties.
“We can assist students, and we have connections and contacts through other campus partners,” Motter added. “We are continuously developing ideas and initiatives to support students.”

Academic Affairs and Student Affairs are partnering to discuss new and ongoing initiatives to increase student success. And they believe the additional outreach and support will be well-received and assist students in their journey at Southern Miss.

Student Affairs will increase collaboration with their partners in Academic Affairs and look forward to onboarding their new staff member working with USM students associated with PRISM. Additionally, they are increasing the number of students working through their IMPACT program.

Motter encourages all students to consider one of their training programs or simply connect with Student Life to find their place.

“We can help students connect and find their community,” she said.

For more information on upcoming events and workshops organized by USM Student Affairs, view the calendar and social media for the division. And if you would like to ask questions, email student affairs @[email protected].

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