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Variety of activities offered at Campus Rec

13 Jan

If your student has resolved to improve his or her health or spend more time outdoors, getting involved in campus recreation activities is a great way to do that. SFA’s Campus Recreation Center offers a wide variety of activities for students.

Campus Recreation opens the spring semester with two big events, Zumbafest and Blizzard Beach Party.

Zumbafest is set for 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 17, in the Campus Recreation Center Courtyard. Zumba is a fusion of Latin and international music that features high energy dance training to tone and sculpt the body.  This “feel good” workout will leave you energized and ready for more.  Join us and our Zumba instructors for this fun workout!

Blizzard Beach Party is set for 8–10 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 19, in the Campus Recreation Center Courtyard and Outdoor Pool. Come enjoy this festive beach party in the middle of January!  Roast yummy s’mores over our fire pits or take an icy dip during the Polar Bear Plunge in the Outdoor Pool. The large capacity spa will open as well.

Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Pursuits programs have several trips coming up. For more information on any of these trips, contact Outdoor Pursuits at outdoorpursuits@sfasu.edu or (936) 468–6055. Upcoming trips include:

  • Mountain Biking at Tyler State Park  – Feb. 11
  • Guadalupe River Paddle – Feb. 24–26
  • Spring Break at Big Bend National Park – March 10–17
  • Fishing with SFA Bass Club – March 24
  • Easter Trip: Hiking and Mountain Biking in Palo Duro Canyon – April 5–8
  • Easter Trip: Horseshoe Canyon Climbing – April 5–8
  • Sea Rim Beach Trip – April 27–29

There are several important meetings and activities for Intramurals taking place early in the spring semester. These include:

  • General Officiating Meetings – 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 20, in the Recreation Center Meeting Room. This meeting will present officiating employment opportunities and answer questions about officiating.
  • Basketball Officiating Clinic – Jan. 23–26 in the Recreation Center Meeting Room. Learn to officiate basketball! No experience needed. We will teach you everything you need to know. Participants must attend all parts of the clinic.
  • Racquetball Doubles League Registration – Jan. 23–26 in the Recreation Center Lobby.
  • Men’s and Women’s Basketball Registration – Jan. 23–26  in the Recreation Center Lobby.

Campus Recreation offers variety of Homecoming activites

26 Oct

By Katy VanDunk – Promotions and Sponsorships Graduate Assistant

Campus Recreation offers several activities to engage students during Homecoming celebrations.

The Homecoming Tie Dye takes place from 3 to 5 p.m. Wednesday, Oct. 26, at the Student Rec Center Courtyard. Students will be able to tie dye a free Campus Recreation Homecoming shirt at the Rec Center.  Shirts will be provided, as well as tie dye instructions. Campus Recreation will wash the shirts after they are dyed, and students will be able to pick them up at the Rec Center until Friday, Oct.28.
The second annual Homecoming 5K Fun Run takes place Saturday, Oct. 29, beginning at the corner of Wilson Drive and Starr Avenue, across from the Tennis Complex. Runners will begin at 8 a.m., and walkers will begin at 8:10 a.m.

On-site registration will begin at 7 a.m.  All proceeds will benefit the Dr. Raymond Lee Worsham scholarship fund for campus recreation.  Prizes will be given to first and second place males and females (SFA associates), first and second place males and females (non-SFA sssociates), first and second overall “guess your time,” largest group participating, and best Homecoming-themed outfit.

For more information, please visit http://www.sfasu.edu/campusrec and click on the Campus Rec Alumni tab.

AlcoholEdu provides education on alcohol usage

26 Oct

By Beverly Farmer – Director of Student Activities

AlcoholEdu for College is a program that is designed to be given to an entire population of students, such as an entering first-year class. This method creates a learning experience that:

  • Motivates behavior change
  • Resets unrealistic expectations about the effects of alcohol
  • Links choices about drinking to academic and personal success
  • Helps students practice safer decision-making
  • Engages students to create a healthier campus community

With several published studies and randomized control trials documenting its efficacy, AlcoholEdu has been a critical building block for addressing the epidemic of high-risk drinking on America’s college campuses.

How well does this program work?  Since 2007, AlcoholEdu has enabled SFA to provide 4,970 students with a baseline of knowledge and decision-making strategies around alcohol use, translating to 12,425 hours of prevention education (based on average course time of 2.5 hours).

In Fall 2010, SFA students reported that AlcoholEdu…

69% – Prepared me to identify and/or help someone who has alcohol poisoning

69% – Helped me establish a plan for responsible decisions around alcohol

88%- Stimulated me to reflect on my personal attitudes and behaviors

90% – Changed my perceptions of others’ drinking related behaviors

The A-Team, a committee made up of faculty, administrators and students, provides educational opportunities throughout the year to help students make wise choices when it comes to their use or non-use of alcohol. This year, the A-Team sponsored an information booth and giveaway at tailgating, manned information tables at the involvement fairs, as well as during the week before Spring Break.  The group has given out more than 5,000 koozies and coasters with information on recognizing alcohol poisoning and the phone number for Driving Jacks, SFA’s safe ride program.

Alternative SFA Homecoming bonfire planned

26 Oct

NACOGDOCHES, Texas – Due to the extreme drought in East Texas, this year’s Stephen F. Austin State University Homecoming torchlight parade and bonfire will be modified to ensure safety without dampening the Lumberjack spirit surrounding the annual tradition.

The torchlight parade, which kicks off at 9 p.m. Friday, Oct. 28, at the SFA statue, will feature lanterns, glow sticks and other portable lights as opposed to the customary flaming torches. As always, students and alumni will join the SFA spirit teams and marching band as they proceed down Raguet Street and Starr Avenue to the bonfire site on the intramural fields.

The bonfire structure will not be lit this year, but it will be set aglow with electric lights, providing a spirited backdrop for the introduction of the Lumberjack football team and the SFA Homecoming king and queen. The a capella group Nota, season-one winner of the NBC show “Sing Off,” also will perform at the bonfire pep rally, which is scheduled to begin at 9:30 p.m.

“The homecoming bonfire is one of our most cherished traditions; however, we have consulted with local leadership with regard to this matter and are assured that the prolonged drought makes lifting the burn ban inadvisable,” said Dr. Adam Peck, dean of student affairs.

SFA students are sensitive to the fact that Texans have lost homes, businesses and, in some cases, their lives in recent wildfires throughout the state, he said. Members of the Alpha Phi Omega service fraternity, Student Activities Association and Traditions Council are working with university officials to plan an alternative bonfire celebration that allows for the expression of Lumberjack pride and Homecoming spirit without placing the campus or its neighbors in danger.

“I know that our campus community will be disappointed, but I also know everyone will be supportive of this decision because our consideration for others is so engrained in the campus culture,” Peck said. “We look forward to hosting the traditional bonfire and torchlight parade for Homecoming 2012.”

Another aspect of the SFA bonfire tradition, the Burn Shirts, will take on added meaning this year. During Homecoming week, students, faculty and staff are encouraged to discard apparel branded with the logos and names of other universities in exchange for free SFA T-shirts that read “Lumberjack Spirit Burns in My Soul!” This year, the discarded clothing will be donated to Texas wildfire victims.

The SFA Homecoming game against McNeese State University will kick off at 3 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 29, at Homer Bryce Stadium.

Ride in style to the Chief Caddo game at Northwestern State

26 Oct

By Sydni Mitchell – Student Body President

Student Government Association is sponsoring a fan bus for students to ride to the Saturday, Nov. 19, SFA vs. Northwestern game.

The bus will meet at the commuter lot at 9:30 a.m. and will depart at 10 a.m. The bus will leave immediately after the game ends. All students are required to make a $10 refundable deposit when they sign up at the Involvement Center, located on the first floor of the Baker Pattillo Student Center. This deposit will be returned to them, unless they do not show up and do not properly notify SGA first.

All students must purchase their own tickets for the game. These may be purchased through the SFA ticket office on the first floor of the student center.

Seats are limited, so encourage your student to sign up today! For more information please e-mail SGA at sga@sfasu.edu or call (936) 468-3500.

Staff Profile Q&A – John Mlinar

26 Oct
John Milnar

John Milnar

Name: John Mlinar

Position: Career Counselor & Research Coordinator

Department/Office where you work: Counseling & Career Services

Number of years at SFA: First year

Educational background:

I received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from SFA in 2008, then a Master of Arts in Clinical/Mental Health Counseling from SFA in May 2011.

Tell us how you came to work in your current position:

I actually learned about Career Services by being a career counseling client myself during the fall of 2008, just after I graduated with my undergrad degree.  My career counselor and I immediately clicked, and it was from her that I learned what real professionalism and dedication to clients looks like firsthand.  Fast forward to the second-to-last semester before graduating with my master’s in counseling in 2010, and I was in the process of thinking about where I wanted to intern.  As a complete shot in the dark, I emailed my former career counselor and asked if she needed a second counselor around in Career Services, and the answer was an enthusiastic “yes.”  I spent a semester as a career counselor intern, getting a feel for the career counseling process and learning to really love working with college students.  When my time was up, I heard that her position would be opening up (she left to pursue her dream to open up her own private practice) and decided to apply in the summer of 2011.  Since then, I’ve been happily employed with Counseling and Career Services, and I have used this story with my clients to underscore how powerful networking can be.

What do you love about working at SFA?

First and foremost, I enjoy working with students.  Working with them brings me back to my college experience every day I see them, and is rewarding if for no other reason than because I’m helping them in a way that I know could have been so useful in my life as an undergraduate.  I also like giving presentations to different classes and getting the word out on career exploration, which is a pretty mysterious process for many college students, as it most certainly was while I was in college.  I also love working with each and every one of my coworkers, including my wonderful boss Jenny Davis.  It’s a very supportive and family-like atmosphere here, and it always helps to have coworkers you’re excited to be around.  In the bigger picture, I am committed to the idea of education and learning, which is clearly a large part of what SFA stands for.  Being an active learner interested in many different subjects is a central part of my spare time and who I am as a person.  It’s an honor to know my job is rooted in the age-old value of learning and educational growth.

What’s one thing you wish you could tell SFA students and parents?

Students, and first-semester freshmen in particular, need all the support they can get.  Virtually every client I’ve worked values, secretly or not, the support of their relatives and friends in making their career decisions.  So, parents, don’t be shy in expressing your support.  Ask them how their studies are going, how hard (or not) classes are, and especially what they may begin to be thinking about doing for the rest of their lives.  Most importantly, support them in becoming the unique individuals they are becoming, even if this means they are going in a direction they’re passionate about that may diverge from a specific idea you may have for them.  Perhaps the highest stress issue for many of the clients I see as a college career counselor involves the perception that their parents may not be as excited or supportive about their career goals as they are. So let them know you’re there for them.

For students, know that you have a supportive staff and faculty at your disposal.  Always know that there are professors who really do care for your learning and self-growth.  Also know that the college experience can be a wonderful time of exploration and realization, but can easily (especially for first-year students) become a place of confusion and uncertainty.  Know your support system during this time, which can include parents and relative, friends, or faculty and staff on this campus.  Find someone you can talk with.  There’s always someone there.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I’m a coffee shop frequenter, so you can often find me in Java Jacks with a cup of coffee and a few books I’m working through at the moment.  I’ve also been a committed guitar player for more than ten years, always on the lookout for a good riff or musical idea to follow.  I’m hopelessly attracted to writing and blogging, with the hopes of one day making it as a published author, but for now I’ll focus (happily) on my day job.  I’m also actively involved with SFA Recreation, visiting the gym there three or four times a week.  What I love the most, though, is a good, long conversation with a friend.  That and Texas falls, during which I’ll be outside as much as possible

Arun Gandhi headlines annual leadership conference

26 Oct
Arun Gandhi

Arun Gandhi

SFA’s leadership honor society Omicron Delta Kappa welcomes Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, as the keynote speaker for its third annual leadership conference.

The event, which begins at 10:30 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 5, in the Baker Pattillo Student Center Grand Ballroom, is free. Students are highly encouraged to take part in this prestigious, once-in-a-lifetime event. The RSVP form is available here (https://forms.sfasu.edu/studentaffairs/odk-rsvp.asp).

Gandhi, who lived with his grandfather for 18 months, is a renowned speaker and activist who has continued working in the footsteps of his grandfather. Together with his wife, Gandhi founded the M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence, now headquartered at the University of Rochester in New York. The institute’s mission is to foster understanding of nonviolence and how to put that philosophy to practical use through lectures, workshops and community outreach programs.

Following Gandhi’s keynote, participants may choose from a number of educational sessions presented by SFA student leaders, faculty and staff.

The closing speaker is Karen Walrond, the author of “The Beauty of Different” and popular blog Chookooloonks (www.chookooloonks.com). Walrond orchestrated a “photobomb” when members of a church in Florida threatened to burn copies of the Quran on the front lawn. She asked readers to mail her peaceful photos, and hundreds responded to her call for action.

Walrond will be available for a book signing at the close of conference. Copies of her book are available for purchase at SFA’s Barnes & Noble bookstore in the student center.

The event is cosponsored by the Office of Student Affairs Programs, Office of the Dean of Student Affairs and Office of Multicultural Affairs, with additional support from the SFA School of Honors and E-Tech.

For more information, contact Jamie Bouldin, assistant director for leadership and service, at jfbouldin@sfasu.edu.