By: Taylor Fulkerson ~Managing Editor~
The commencement ceremony this past May included a component that had never been used before: a commitment. The recent graduates recited along with President, Fr. Michael Graham, S.J. the Student Commitment developed by last year’s Student Government Association (SGA) executives.
This year’s SGA executives are asking students to make that commitment a reality.
“After the Student Commitment was adopted towards the end of last year, we wanted to keep the momentum going but in an innovative way,” SGA President Colleen Reynolds said in an email. “We felt that students also needed a way to make the Commitment more real for them.”
The Live the Commitment Campaign began on Nov. 18 with a Live the Commitment Night hosted by residence assistants (RAs) in various residence halls.
The campaign is designed by SGA to inform students about the Student Commitment and the chance it affords students. The event gave students the opportunity to sign the commitment created last year, but also to get involved with one of four prominent issues the commitment names that aims to improve Xavier’s campus.
According to Leah Busam, senior director of the Division of Student Affairs, the campaign already has 351 students signed on to address four different issues: Sexual Assault Prevention, Suicide Prevention, Cyber Bullying and Keeping Xavier Safe: Trainings for Active Shooters and Emergency Situations.
Students who have committed “will be put into a database that will allow us to reach out to each student individually and connect them with offices across campus (and) invite them to events tailored to their issue,” according to a letter from the SGA executives to RAs in preparation for the Live the Commitment Night event.
Currently, each issue has at least 40 students committed to it. There are an overwhelming number of underclassmen who have signed up, with 194 first-years and 96 sophomores already in the database.
Reynolds thinks the campaign is timely, touching on issues that reach beyond just Xavier.
“Sexual Assault Prevention in particular has recently become a national movement with the ‘It’s On Us’ Campaign coming from the White House, and it’s something many Xavier students are already beginning to get involved with thanks to organizations like XSASA (Xavier Students Against Sexual Assault),” she said.
In the future, the movement may also be able to address issues like anonymity and bullying in social media, as seen in Yik Yak and its arrival on campus earlier this semester, through its Cyber Bullying component, Reynolds noted.
Director of Student Integrity Jean Griffin helped to draft the commitment last year with the SGA executives and believes it could have a unique impact.
“Student leaders and student voices are uniquely positioned to help us all engage in honest dialogue about the real impact of these issues on our campus,” Griffin said.
Reynolds hopes to see at least 50 percent of students commit at some point, “so we can make a large impact as a community.”
“We hope this campaign is simply a stepping stone in bringing these issues to life, connecting students with the resources available across campus, and helping students take action with these issues so we can in fact change the culture of Xavier,” she said.
Students can register with the Live the Commitment campaign by visiting http://www.xavier.edu/student-involvement/sga/Student-Commitment.cfm.
Categories: Campus News