OSI’s Arrupe program suspended

After bi-weekly meetings, seniors’ final projects will not come to fruition

The 2019 Arrupe Leaders, pictured above, recieve recognition for their year long projects. This year’s leaders are adapting their work to the new circumstances.

The Arrupe Leaders program, hosted by the Office of Student Involvement, was suspended for the remainder of the year beginning on March 16. Most seniors involved in the program had already completed their culminating projects but are unable to bring them fully to fruition remotely. 

Additionally, the Office of Student Involvement will formally recognize each of the participants as part of their Virtual Student Leadership Awards on Thursday, April 30. 

The Assistant Director for Orientation and Transition Programs Liz Rumball sent the email to Arrupe Leaders notifying them that the program would be suspended shortly after the university’s notification of its transition to remote learning.

The Arrupe Leaders program typically includes a group of seniors who have consistently demonstrated outstanding engagement with the Xavier community during their four years. 

Each student’s participation began this fall with discussion groups every other Friday. These discussion groups make up approximately four-fifths of the program and the last weeks are spent on a culminating project. 

These discussions typically reflect on the topic of vocation, according to a statement released by Associate Director of Student Involvement Dustin Lewis.

“The outstanding graduating seniors invited to be Arrupe Leaders have shown us what it means to fall in love through their consistently high engagement with the campus community,” the statement said. 

Arrupe Leader Miles Tiemeyer noted that though he will not be able to execute his project, his reflections this year made the largest impact on him. 

“One of the things I really like about Arrupe (Leaders) is that we spend the fall doing a lot of discernment and reflection,” Tiemeyer said.  “It’s given me the opportunity to step back and look at our Xavier experience, which is probably the biggest thing for me.” 

These projects are intended as a way for students to share their Xavier learning experiences with the community and planning for them begins in the fall semester. Arrupe Leaders are intended to complete their projects by mid-April and present them by late April. 

Lewis noted that transitioning these projects to remote learning would be difficult and that the Arrupe Leaders’ projects may have been able to continue if they were still in the discussion group phase. 

“It was determined by our team that we would not be able to successfully transition these remaining components easily into a remote learning environment,” Lewis explained. “We were also concerned about the additional stress and burden trying to modify and adapt these projects to this environment would have on seniors working hard to transition their own classes and internships to online.” 

“We had already completed all of the presentation and discussion content that would have more easily been able to transition to a remote environment and what remained really had to do with the senior students being actively engaged across campus with bringing their projects to life,” Lewis continued. 

“Some were also still finalizing their next steps beyond Xavier — which is a top priority for those at this point in their Xavier career.”

Some students, though their projects have been formally canceled, have still been able to initiate campus change through the work they had already done through the program. 

“I was working with other leaders to bring more intersectionality and intentional cross-programming between clubs,”  Tiemeyer said. 

“I had been in talks with certain staff members in Student Affairs, and the exact programming that we had been talking about can’t happen, but bits and pieces might work its way into existing programming.”

This year, 20 seniors were chosen to participate: Andy Batchelder, Matthew Caldwell, Claire Comer, Francisco de la Garza Iga, Nykiera Dixon, Sierra Fields, Hannah Frey, Sara Hamer, Joshua Jerabek, Caroline Locke, Rachel McFadden, Presley Owusu-Bonsu, Sam Peters, Tine Sokun, Azl Saeed, Grace Schuermann, Mitch Tapia, Miles Tiemeyer, Ihsan Walker and Will Zimbler.

The Arrupe Leaders program will continue next fall with a new group of upcoming seniors planning to demonstrate the tenet of vocation on Xavier’s campus.