Pathways is an initiative of the Office of Student Involvement (OSI) that will span across six weeks, starting Sept. 3 and ending Oct. 27, each representing one of the six different Pathways.
The weekly pathway themes include Leadership, Spirituality, Belonging, Social Concern, Wellbeing and Identity.
The different weeks are filled with events set up by Student Affairs and are meant to highlight the various ways to get involved on campus, as well as the learning priorities that relate to the OSI’s work with students. The Pathways theme for the year is “Make Your Mark.”
The initiative was established by the Pathways team, led by assistant OSI director Dustin Lewis. The Pathways team defined the different themes and planned the collection of opportunities and events for each week.
“Pathways week is an easy in and a good way to see the offerings of ways to get involved,” Lewis said when asked about the best way to engage with Pathways.
“It’s built a lot like a menu so you can pick and choose what you like,” he said. Students are encouraged to explore the offerings for each week and find a theme that they connect with.
Visibility was handled by a branding and promotions division of Student Affairs led by the associate director of the Center for Faith and Justice (CFJ), Rev. Abby King-Kaiser.
“The idea is two-fold,” King-Kaiser said. “It’s both to help students build the path of their Xavier journey and to help students get outside of their first interest and try something new.”
The Pathways team indicated that they wanted to give students the opportunity to explore other involvement opportunities through inter departmental collaborations at Xavier.
“If a student sees that the Center for Diversity and Inclusion is collaborating with Recreational Sports, they might be more likely to try something new,” added King-Kaiser.
Lewis also emphasized the interconnectedness of the different pathways, noting, for example, that the CFJ isn’t the only place where students can incorporate spirituality into their Xavier experience.
“Although people may assume anything that deals with spirituality is handled by CFJ, spirituality can be found in all aspects of what we do at Student Affairs,” Lewis said.
“For me, involvement means engaging myself in a new environment that I don’t usually see myself in,” senior international studies and political science major Presley Owusu-Bonsu said. “I’ve tried to become comfortable being uncomfortable.”
She added that she has become better at having uncomfortable conversations about sensitive topics including race, sexuality and poverty thanks to getting involved with the CFJ.
Owusu-Bonsu stated that she connects with the pathway of Wellbeing the most. “Xavier really taught me self-care. I’ve been meditating, doing breathing exercises and participating in other activities that help my spiritual and emotional health,” Owusu-Bonsu said.
“I went to high school in Chicago, which is a really fast-paced city, so I didn’t see myself doing things like meditation when I first came to Xavier. It’s something I really jumped into.”
This week is Leadership week, which runs from Sept. 1 to 7. Events include Leadership Game Night, Muskies Helping Muskies and Hall Council Elections. According to the Pathways website, the Leadership pathway is designed to help students build effective skills to help shape the community.
Next week is Spirituality week which runs from Sept. 8 to 14. Defined as “reflecting on your beliefs and your purpose” in the Pathways brochure, events for this week include Find Your Sacred Space, GSC Open Meditation Space and Spirit Celebration.
“These events aren’t just for first-years,” Lewis said. “They’re also for sophomores who are finally comfortable on campus and want to now get involved, as well as anyone on campus.”
Look out for the posters around dorms and Gallagher Student Center in addition to the events around campus in the upcoming weeks.
Lastly, follow @lifeatXU on Instagram and Twitter for the most up to date information.
By Joseph Cotton | Staff Writer
Photo courtesy of Instagram