Consistent with divisions of student affairs/life on most college and university campuses across the U.S., the Center for Student Life has the responsibility to help create and sustain an environment that supports the co-curricular experiences for students by defining student learning outcomes and the programs, services, and activities that facilitate student growth, development and success. As a “right-sized” institution, WAU has the ability to go deep with these objectives and to ensure that “every student” has a highly impactful, “relationship rich,” and transformative experience in both the classroom and within the co-curriculum.
The engagement goals of the Center for Student Life include a commitment that every student, new and returning, will have the opportunity to participate in at least one student organization or out-of-classroom activity and that leadership development and training will be provided for those who choose to step up to become officers and leaders within those organizations. Additionally, the Center will sponsor several social, cultural, spiritual, recreational, and intellectual programs and activities for students’ engagement, enjoyment, and participation. The Center staff will also support student-led and sponsored programming by providing oversight, advisement, and approval, where appropriate. These programs will occur within the residence halls and across campus. The resident assistants (RA’s) will organize and offer programs on their assigned floors and for the entire hall that will tap into all dimensions of the students. Moreover, the Center will be very intentional in providing similar programming for the commuter student population. Coupled, these programmatic emphases will fulfill the engagement goals of “every” student experiencing deep, rich engagement throughout their college experience.
Student Activities, Clubs and Organizations are “Ready for You”
Student engagement is critical to the academic and personal success of all new and returning students. As such, WAU is intentional and deliberate in creating and sustaining a seamless learning environment where academics, coupled with high-impact co-curricular activities, help our students become well-rounded individuals. During the academic year, the first Monday of the month, from 11:15 am – 12:00 pm, WAU sets aside time on the university calendar for clubs and organizations to meet. It is one of the few schools in the country to makes such a commitment. WAU offers a wide variety of student clubs and organizations in which students can become involved and lead. A few of those organizations include the Chess Club, The Latino Heritage Organization, Silent Judah Liturgical Dance Troup, Student Ministry Leaders, the Black Student Union, and many more. The university also has several honor societies for specific majors such as Psy Chi for Psychology and general honor societies such as Phi Eta Sigma, which is for freshmen who excel academically within their first semester at WAU. We even have a senior honor society that recognizes exemplary leadership, the Omicron Delta Kappa National Leadership Honor Society (ODK). In fact, WAU is the only Seventh-day Adventist University in the country with a circle (chapter) of ODK.
The Student Association (SA) is very active at WAU. This is the student voice to the university administration. The SA officers and the sophomore to senior class officers are elected each spring, and the Class meetings are held at 11:15 am – 12:00 pm, the fourth Monday of the month. The Student Assembly, which is the opportunity for the SA officers to meet with the entire student body, is held 11:15 am – 12:00 pm, the second Monday of the month. The freshman class officers and the Student Senate are elected in the fall. Those elections will be held in September of 2021. So, there will be opportunities for you to get involved in student governance right away. The SA has already planned several activities for the upcoming academic year. The Welcome Back Bash is the first week of the semester. The Center for Student Life has scheduled a Student Organization fair for Wednesday, September 1, 2021, immediately following the Opening Convocation. Other upcoming actives include Latino Heritage Month events in September, the fall Student Talent Showcase in October, Indigenous Peoples Month events in November, and a new event in November called Culturefest, during which we will celebrate the cultural and ethnic differences represented on the campus,
Campus Ministries is “Ready for You”
In August, we will have a newly hired University Chaplain who will introduce a new and dynamic vision for spiritual development for the entire campus! Included in this vision will be diverse approaches to our weekly Convocation and other spiritual activities such as residence hall chapels and spiritual formation initiatives. The Opening Convocation is scheduled for 11:15 am EST, Wednesday, September 1, 2021. Our University President, Dr. Weymouth Spence, will give a stirring and powerful presentation as he welcomes us back into the community on the campus and gives us the Presidential Charge for the year! You don’t ever want to miss the Opening Convocation.
WAU has an innovative and unique ministry program known affectionately within the campus community as the Week In Spiritual Emphasis (W.I.S.E.). The series is scheduled for September 20 – 25, 2021. Every day at 11:15 am EST, we gather as a community for spiritual uplift, renewal, and praise.
The university’s motto ‘Gateway to Service,” is central to our WAU family. It is demonstrated by our commitment to and participation in community service. Each semester, the entire university stops for a day, classes are canceled, and university offices are closed so that everyone can go out and participate in local community service projects. This year, WAU Service Day is Wednesday, October 6, 2021.
In addition to local community service opportunities, WAU has a very active missions program. Each semester, we sponsor a Missions Week, which focuses on opportunities for our students and employees to participate in mission trips across the globe. The fall Missions Week is October 11 – 15, 2021, and the missions trips will occur in the summer of 2022.
WAU is part of the Sullivan Foundation Network of only 70 colleges and universities in the American South. This gives the university the opportunity to offer the prestigious Algernon Sydney Sullivan and Mary Mildred Sullivan Awards for exemplary community service to humanity. Any WAU student with an exemplary and consistent track record of service can be nominated for the award, and the university selects one recipient for each of the two awards annually. Of the 70 schools in the network, WAU is the only Seventh-day Adventist University in this league of institutions,
Residence halls are “Ready for You”
The residence halls are ready for you! Not only would they have been appropriately cleaned and sanitized using the most rigorous COVID-19 sanitization standards, but other enhancements would have been completed. That includes painting, new flooring, and new furniture in common areas, new policies and procedures to maximize student health and safety, and of course, highly trained RA and professional staff whose responsibilities it is to make your residential experience as comfortable and as enjoyable as possible. The residence hall restrooms and all common areas will be cleaned on a very rigorous schedule. Other social distancing protocols will be enforced to maintain safety for all residents. The detailed residence hall move-in and occupancy policies and procedures can be found in the university’s COVID-19 Spirit of Community Re-Opening Plan, which can be accessed by this link < >.
Residence hall move-in for new students (freshmen and transfers) is scheduled for Sunday, August 22, 2021. There is a mandatory hall orientation that evening for all new students. Returning students will be allowed to move in beginning Wednesday, August 25, 2021. Due to COVID-19 social distancing protocols, all residents need to contact the residence hall deans before coming to campus to make an appointment for moving in.
The Deans and Resident Assistants (RA’s) of Halcyon Women’s Residence Hall and Morrison Men’s Residence Hall have already started planning some amazing and innovative programming for the residents! They include fall festivals, Dinners with the Deans, World-Class Chats, and a variety of personal and professional development series.
The Dining Hall is “Ready for You”
The Wilkinson Dining Hall officially opens for all students on Sunday, August 22, 2021, for carryout and limited dine-in options. Appropriate social distancing protocols will be enforced. Students choosing to dine in must wear their face masks when not at their table eating. A rigorous cleaning regimen for dining furniture will be implemented. The Center for Student Life is excited to announce that this year we will implement more dining options for our commuter students.