Engaging Campus Life
Student Life & Engagement provides opportunities to impact students through a variety of programs and events, leadership experiences and collaborative efforts
The Office of Student Life & Engagement (SLE) provides a variety of programs and events, leadership experiences and collaborative efforts to impact students.
Recognizing the important role that student life plays in supporting the co-curricular mission of APSU and the Division of Student Affairs, Student Life & Engagement strives to connect academic and out-of-class experiences through programming and leadership development that establishes a diverse, interactive and responsive learning community. Department highlights include:
» The SLE Leadership Certificate program was evaluated following student input and relaunched with several changes. Two certificate levels were added allowing students to work on leadership progress through all four years of a traditional educational path. Programs with a diversity or cultural emphasis were also added to the requirements. Certificate levels were renamed to reflect the stage of development: Explorer, Strategist, Scholar and Presidential, which earns students a graduation stole.
With the changes, students will be able to complete one level each year or each semester allowing transfer students or those who did not participate during freshman year the opportunity to attain the Presidential level. A “self-directed” leadership certificate was created for online learners or those with a challenging schedule. In addition, an organization certificate was established to encourage recognized student organizations to attend programs as a group. The Leadership Certificate program is a voluntary co-curricular experience earned through participation in programs offered by Student Life & Engagement and other campus departments.
» Recognizing Govs Programming Council’s efforts, Babco Entertainment, a concert event management and booking firm, featured GPC on the school spotlight section of their website in October.
» Student Life & Engagement recognizes students for their dedication to leadership and hard work on campus or in the community with the honor of being named Student Leader of the Month. Recipients are nominated by faculty, staff or a fellow student and then selected by a committee. Leaders receive a plaque and are celebrated on announcement boards in the Morgan University Center.
“We Love the 90s” was the fun 2017 Homecoming theme and included events beginning with the Bonfire Yell and Pep Rally, two of the longest-standing APSU Homecoming traditions. Students joined with the cheerleaders and dance team in support of the Govs, and the Governors Own Marching Band got the campus spirit going.
Events during the week included spirit judging, and Student Life & Engagement partnered with the Wilbur N. Daniel African American Cultural Center to provide food, music and games at the “Homecoming Hangout,” where over 1,000 students gathered. The Gov Tug, a student organization tug of war, was introduced as the newest Homecoming tradition.
Over 1,500 students attended AP Apollo, where 16 APSU students showcased their diverse talents. The traditional Lip Sync competition featured the incorporation of the Austin Peay fight song “Smash! Bang!” The annual Homecoming Parade, one of the highest-profile Homecoming events each year for the Austin Peay and Clarksville communities, included categories of floats and non-floats.
The football Govs earned a 38-31 win over Southeast Missouri, adding excitement for the home crowd, and the week was capped off by the annual Step Show sponsored by the APSU National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC).
Student Life & Engagement
» The “Leadership Huddle” was established through a collaboration between SLE and Lt. Col. John Montgomery, Chair of the Department of Military Science and ROTC. The Leadership Huddle, a monthly meeting for staff who provide leadership development programs, focused on improved communication, collaborations, support for departmental programming and highlighting major initiatives in student leadership development. Included were ROTC, SLE and GovsLEAD, Presidents Emerging Leaders Program, University Recreation, Department of Leadership and Organization Administration, University Advancement, Student Government Association and Athletics.
» GovsLEAD workshops were restructured to specifically address personal leadership development in an effort to provide more unique programming. Previous workshop topics in the series focused more on organizational leadership and career preparation.
» J.R. Martinez, a former U.S. Army soldier who was severely wounded in Iraq and is now an author, actor, motivational speaker and winner of the 13th season of “Dancing with the Stars,” was the guest speaker for the annual Unity Celebration. Martinez urged students to make the most of each phase of life, push beyond comfort zones and embrace the differences shared by all.
» The PeayRead Committee, a part of SLE, brought the student engagement organization “Swift Kick” to provide four programs: lunch program for student leaders on “how to manage your state,” afternoon training for Student Affairs professionals on “how to communicate with crappy people,” GovsLEAD session on “an insider’s look into SwiftKick” and the featured program for APSU 1000 students and student leaders called “Dance Floor Theory.”
» The Zeigler Leadership Forum had 85 students and 15 non-student guests in attendance. This annual student leadership conference underwent significant restructuring this year to increase student participation and overall learning opportunities. The Forum featured a theme of inclusion and diversity. Included was a slam poetry session with Carlos Robson, who performed some of his work, as well as a Latin dance cultural education session with Alison Brazil. Attendance doubled over last year’s event.
» More than 450 students attended the Vendor Fair during Welcome Back. The annual fair featured 55 community vendors sharing their goods and services.
» Student organizations raised $3,437 for the “YMCA After Breast Cancer Program” (ABC) during Peaynk Week, which replaced Coming Home week. SLE launched Peaynk Week to celebrate school spirit and support Lady Govs and Govs basketball teams while increasing awareness and raising funds for breast cancer. There were 14 student organizations who participated through the week and competed to win a $1,000 prize.
» Family Weekend featured the home football game as the Govs hosted UT Martin, and the weekend’s events brought students and families together to enjoy time at APSU. Families enjoyed movie night, the Ivan Pecel juggling show, brunch with administrators and faculty, and “Make and Take,” where families created personalized wanted posters and funny identification tags. SLE collaborated on the weekend’s activities with the Hispanic Cultural Center; Adult, Nontraditional & Transfer Student Center; University Recreation; Athletics; Academic Affairs; University Advancement; Baptist Collegiate Ministries; Admissions; GPC; SGA; Austin Peay Parent and Family Association and other faculty and staff.
» Goat Yoga was held just before finals to help alleviate stress. The two sessions were filled to capacity and took place at the new Spirit Rock, where University Recreation and Caprine Fitness collaborated to provide yoga with goats for students as well as faculty and staff. The program was one of the most popular provided by Student Life & Engagement this year.
» The annual Miss Austin Peay Pageant was held on Nov. 5 with Kayle Davis crowned Miss Austin Peay 2018. Davis received a $1,000 scholarship plus other prizes. The event was directed by Student Life & Engagement and sponsored by Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity. Davis placed in the top 15 of the Miss Tennessee Scholarship Pageant held in Jackson, Tennessee.
» Roll Bounce Roller Rink, sponsored by Govs Programming Council, attracted 336 students and was the highest-attended GPC program of the spring semester.
The addition of a Spirit Rock was an exciting initiative this year. The Student Organization Council (SOC) desired to have a large boulder on campus that would serve as a place for students to paint creative messages about their organizations, university pride, special events and build community.
The SOC developed guidelines based on an honor system for usage. Vulcan Materials donated the rock and Morgan Construction donated the transportation to campus. The students worked with Wes Powell, assistant director of Landscape and Grounds, to determine the location for the rock at Marion and Drane Streets.
The rock was unveiled live on social media in conjunction with the opening of fall semester as a group of students added the first layer of paint. Since its arrival, the Spirit Rock has displayed painted messages on a continuous basis.