Archive | August, 2011

The Gathering

26 Aug
Student leaders at The Gathering

Student leaders at The Gathering

More than 70 student leaders gathered at SFA’s Piney Woods Conservation Center Aug. 23-24 for The Gathering, a retreat for student leaders from areas across campus to come together to collaborate on how they can work together to make SFA a better place.

Students represented the following areas:

  • Orientation
  • Omicron Delta Kappa
  • Student Activities Association
  • The BIG Event
  • Alternative Spring Break
  • Inter-Fraternity Council
  • Panhellenic
  • Traditions Council
  • Involvement Advisers
  • Student Publications
  • National Residence Hall Honorary
  • Residence Hall Association
  • Multicultural Greek Council
  • National Pan-Hellenic Council
  • Organization of Latin Americans
  • African Student Organization
  • Jack Camp
  • Lumberjack Cultural Association
  • Student Government Association
  • Fashion in Motion
The students brainstormed on issues they saw on campus and how they could make an impact in those areas, and ultimately decided as a group to focus on campus beautification. The students will be meeting regularly to follow up with each organization who committed to helping on this project and how they can move forward to make a difference on campus.
The retreat was put on by the Office of Student Affairs Programs and staffed by representatives from Student Activities, Leadership and Service, Greek Life, Orientation, Student Publications, Multicultural Affairs and Campus Recreation.

Welcome Home!

26 Aug
Student organizations assist with moving in to the residence halls

Student organizations assist with moving in to the residence halls

We are excited to welcome all Lumberjacks back to campus! Today begins move-in for the residence halls, which will continue all weekend until classes begin bright and early Monday morning. We have more than 20 student organizations out lending a hand to make this process quick and easy for families.

The Office of Student Affairs Programs is excited to see students back on campus again, and we can’t wait to see you in attendance for our programs and getting involved in your organizations! Axe ’em, Jacks!

What to ‘pack’ in preparation for the big move

12 Aug

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here

By Ralph Busby, Director of Counseling and Career Services

The time is at hand for students to leave home for university. Many parents attended orientation, and now all the planning, preparation, and last-minute decisions are almost complete. You may be reviewing your list and checking off items, which certainly brings a sense of accomplishment.

Here are a few last-minute “packing” suggestions for parents of college-bound students:

Help them pack a positive attitude by encouraging them to work hard, do their best and begin the quest from the very first day. It has been my observation that students often become so enamored with their newfound freedom that they neglect to take care of business – go to class and study. It may be that course syllabi state that exams will begin around the third or fourth week of the semester, and students sometimes believe that they can coast for two to three weeks before getting serious about studying. Upperclassmen learned that this plan does not bear fruit. Rather, it may lead to serious stress as students play catch-up when they realize that the first round of exams are closing in.

The second item to pack is a determination to connect with SFA and fellow students. Some students will attend Jack Camp, some will attend Jacks Back Welcome Week and others will just hang out and make friends. Those taking SFA 101 will attend the Freshman Convocation and witness all their fellow students assembled in one place in preparation for the beginning of the year. It will be helpful to encourage attendance at football games, where the excitement about the new year and becoming a Lumberjack becomes contagious. Participating in clubs and organizations is another great way for students to connect with the campus community and make friends. Other activities, such as programs at the Recreation Center, also are available and attract many students.

Another thing to encourage them to pack is the expectation that the transition will go well, but caution them that there may be some difficulties. During parent orientation, we discussed that a preferable tactic is to acknowledge their ability to develop strategies for dealing with difficulties that arise. Encourage your student to refer to the resources provided in the Orientation Handbook and ask questions of residence hall staff, who are always willing to point students in the right direction. The Academic Assistance and Resource Center is open for those needing help with classes, and the Counseling Center can help those feeling overwhelmed by homesickness. There are students, faculty and staff all over campus who are willing to assist.

Finally, pack abundant love. My wife and I concluded “MeMaw and PaPaw Camp” near the end of July and basked in the love and affection of four granddaughters. It is my observation that your children never become satiated with love. Tell them over and over how much they mean to you, how proud you are of them, and more than anything, tell them how much you love them.

Party later, save the world now on ASB trip

12 Aug
2010 Alternative Spring Break Group

2010 ASB students in New Orleans

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

What better way to “be the change you want to see in the world” than to use your time to make a difference? If your student is already considering plans for Spring Break, the Office of Student Affairs Programs offers an option that’s both fun and meaningful – the Alternative Spring Break program.

Leadership and Service Programs will take 16 students on its 2012 ASB trip, in addition to two student team leaders who help to plan and lead the trip. The team will be selected this fall through an application and interview process. You can find the ASB team application here. Applications are due Friday, Oct. 7. Interviews will take place Oct. 10-15 and involve both a service project and a sit-down interview with staff and team leaders.

We make sure to have good conversations with each student who is interested in going so we can ensure that the students want to go for the right reasons and that the team members we pick have something to learn from each other. We look for students who have been active in community service in the past, as well as students who haven’t been engaged in service, but truly are interested in helping others.

Students who take part in our ASB trip work hard on their service projects, but we also allow them to take advantage of the sights and sounds of our host city. There’s definitely time for work and play, and the students will learn a lot about social issues that impact our destination.

This year, the ASB destination is being kept under wraps until the first team meeting, after the student team is chosen. The location will be revealed in a fun and exciting way by the team leaders.

Team members will have to put down a non-refundable $50 deposit at the first team meeting and are responsible for another $50 in the spring, either through personal donation or by fund raising with the ASB team. There will be multiple opportunities for fund-raising activities. The more money the team is able to raise, the more “fun” activities we will be able to plan.

For more information, send me an e-mail at or call (936) 468-1088, or contact Sydni Mitchell, Student Affairs Programs graduate assistant, at or (936) 468-2870.

Multicultural Affairs offers students a variety of programs

12 Aug

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Dr. Terrence Frazier, Director of the Office of Multicultural Affairs

The Office of Multicultural Affairs is much more than a physical location on campus; it hosts a spirit of family support and unity among the SFA community. Students who take advantage of the OMA will find mentors and develop friendships that last a lifetime.

OMA Students

OMA Students

OMA hosts student organizations such as NAACP, Organization of Latin Americans and Lumberjack Cultural Association. Many of the cultural events throughout SFA’s campus are developed from the student leadership within OMA. If you are willing to open your mind to other cultures, OMA is the place for you! We have educational, cultural and social events throughout the school year.

OMA critically engages students, faculty, staff, administrators and other stakeholders in creating and sustaining a campus culture that enables understanding of one’s own cultural identity. OMA strives to create an understanding of how identities impact our worldview, how to effectively communicate with those of other cultures, how to embrace the diversity and the possibilities of participation in a pluralistic society, and cultivating the personal integrity to act as social justice advocates.

OMA produces many programs that promote positive self-reflection. “Making Money,” scheduled for Sept. 5, is designed to help students manage their finances. It focuses on what students can do with their financial aid refund besides spending the money on immediate wants, such as clothing. Students will gain some tools to help them make their money work for them and not have to work for the money. “Men vs. Women: What’s the real battle?” on Sept. 29 will guide students in understanding how to work with the opposite sex, both professionally and personally.

On Oct. 20, “What’s in your Backpack? Packing for Success” will unpack the things negatively impacting one’s life and repack with tools for success. These are just a few of the many life lesson programs OMA offers.

OMA also produces much of the diversity programming on campus, from Hispanic Heritage Month and Black History Month to the Tunnel of Oppression. “Taste of Latin America,” set for Oct. 5, will provide students with the experience of tasting authentic Latin cuisine from Cuba, Brazil and other Latin countries. During “The Skin Complexity” on Oct. 19, students will have an open forum discussion about the stereotypes of dark skin versus light skin and the image of beauty.

The Tunnel of Oppression is an interactive museum that spotlights different types of oppression through interactive theatre and multimedia presentations. In the past the event has shed light on issues ranging from human trafficking, genocide and suicide, just to name a few. The event is open Nov. 7-9.

The Black History Month celebration will include Kevin Powell as the keynote speaker for the NAACP Gala Feb. 9. Powell was a cast member on the first season of MTV’s “The Real World.” He has hosted and produced programming for HBO and BET, written a screenplay, and hosted and wrote an award-winning MTV documentary about post-riot Los Angeles.

“My life calling is to be a servant for the people, period,” Powell said. “Money, fame, status, personal achievements and all that mean very little to me when pain and suffering are still real on this planet. I am interested in the powerless becoming powerful.”

OMA works with more than 25 different student organizations and campus departments in helping to plan programs that will develop productive citizens. OMA reaches across campus to support the mission of SFA from student organizations, fraternities and sororities, residence life, international students, and any SFA Lumberjack looking for a diverse and a unique college experience.

We invite you to visit our office in the Baker Pattillo Student Center, Room 3.101. You can also call us (936) 468-1073 or check us out at Don’t forget to friend us on Facebook (search for “MC Center”) so you are kept in the loop about upcoming events and activities.

Workshops can help students ‘ace’ their first year

12 Aug

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here

By Jamie Bouldin, Assistant Director for Leadership and Service

One of SFA’s goals for its incoming students is “achieving college excellence.” To assist in meeting this goal, the Office of the Dean of Student Affairs has created the ACE Workshops, a one-day event designed to equip first-year students with the knowledge and skills necessary to succeed in college-level reading, math and study skills.

The ACE Workshops will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 27, beginning in the Grand Ballroom on the second floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center. Students can sign up by emailing or calling (936) 468-7249.

Attendees will be eligible for door prizes, including two book scholarships from Barnes & Noble, video game systems and SFA gear. Students must attend the entire four-hour block of activities to be eligible for door prizes.

Students will attend two workshops, choosing from “Acing College Math” with Dr. Keith Hubbard, “Acing College Level Reading” with Patricia Foster, and “Acing College Study Skills” with M.E. McWilliams. The keynote speaker is Dr. Lesa Beverly, an associate professor in mathematics and statistics. Lunch is included.

The ACE Workshops are offered only for first-year students beginning their first semester at SFA.

Going Greek: What’s the impact?

12 Aug

This is one of many articles from our Parent’s Newsletter, sent three times a year to parents of new and returning SFA students. To sign up to receive the newsletter, please click here. 

By Beverly Farmer, Director of Student Activities

During college, a fraternity or sorority offers your student personal and professional support within a smaller group of friends in a larger university environment. With this support, your student’s individual personal and leadership development is fostered through attending seminars as well as holding officer and committee positions within the chapter.
Membership in a fraternity or sorority enhances your student’s academic achievement by providing several forms of support, from study resources to quiet study areas. The students are also encouraged to participate in community service through philanthropic activities, establishing a pattern of lifelong service to others.
After their undergraduate years, students will have built lifelong friendships as well as continued personal and professional support through alumni activities and networking programs.

How does my student get involved?

SFA has four distinct Greek categories, and each category has their own system for recruiting new members.

  1. Inter-Fraternity Council is comprised of 15 fraternities that are limited to male members. Fall recruitment takes place Aug. 29 to Sept. 3. To sign up, your student should visit and click on “For Fraternity Recruitment Sign-Up, Click Here.”  Then, complete the registration form.
  1. SFA Panhellenic Association is comprised of five sororities limited to female members. Fall recruitment will be Sept. 9-11.  To sign up, your student should visit and click on “For Sorority Recruitment Sign-Up, Click Here.”  Your student will have to complete the registration form and upload a headshot.  Before Aug. 26, the fee is $50. Beginning Aug. 26, the fee increases to $75.
  2. National Pan-Hellenic Council includes three sororities and five fraternities. These chapters require students to have between 12 and 24 completed credit hours at SFA before they are eligible to seek membership in the organization.  As a new freshman, students will need to maintain a GPA of 2.5 or higher and start logging service hours in order to meet the minimum requirement for membership in these organizations.  Watch for posters that invite you to informationals to learn more about the individual group recruitment process.
  3. Multicultural Greek Council consists of four sororities and three fraternities.  Some of these groups will take first-semester freshmen, while others will require up to 24 completed class hours at SFA. Watch for posters that invite you to informationals to learn more about the individual group recruitment process.

To be eligible for recruitment in any Greek group, incoming freshmen must have at least a 2.5 GPA from high school. Students can also join if they have a 2.5 GPA with at least 12 college hours, either from SFA or transfer credits.