Dear Faculty and Staff,
Idaho State is committed to creating a positive, engaging experience for our students. Following a year of pandemic and social distancing, this has become more important than ever before. In 2021, we will have not one, but two cohorts of students--our fall 2020 first-year students and the incoming first-year class--who have never been fully present on a college campus and who have no idea what a campus culture is all about. Even before the pandemic, our students and student leaders were asking for a more vibrant campus life, and the retention impact behind this request cannot be overstated. A Fall 2020 survey of students who left Idaho State found that 56% of respondents did not have a faculty or staff member that they could talk to or feel a connection with (Fall 2020 Leaver Survey Highlights, p. 3), and 21% said they did not have a friend at the University that they felt they could talk to (p. 9). It is well documented that a lack of connections with others, including faculty and staff, will limit a student’s ability to navigate challenges and take advantage of helpful resources and services.
Efforts to create opportunities for those essential connections are underway in a variety of departments, and we’re very excited to tell you about one of them: U Roar!
U Roar encompasses six weeks of events and activities, starting with Convocation and March through Arch and offering important signature events that will include a Ninja Course, a Fall Formal, and a host of other smaller events so that every Bengal can find a way and a time to connect to their Idaho State community.
How can you help?
Promote U Roar! in your classes. If you need some talking points, consider this: campus involvement is highly correlated with academic success and retention, and students who get involved in student life show growth in mindset, leadership, and communication, which are all skills highly sought after by employers. Investing in a fulfilling campus experience can also help students stay motivated and on track for graduation.
Equally important is our presence at events. Students have told us that they want us there. They want to see their faculty and staff at events that matter to them because our presence is our physical proof that we care about their experience.
The full schedule of U Roar! events is viewable at https://isu.edu/uroar/