Monthly Archives: November 2016

Messages of Hope

After the election, the climate of the country has been anything but stable. The Salem State community has attempted to make this campus a safe space, however, and there have been multiple ways in which the campus has addressed this. Along with emails informing the community that SSU cannot tolerate hate and bias, the student involvement and activites office has taken it upon themselves to make a statement.

The theme of #ChangeMakersWeek was letting your voice be heard. As stated below, we have given multiple outlets to raise our voice. One of these outlets was hosting Dear World during Leadership Weekend. The Dear World project travels across various college campuses, conferences, and more to find the stories inside people and tell them to the world.  They have covered Hurricane Katrina, the Boston Marathon bombings, and more.

Even if you don’t know someone at all, hearing a simple story from them can shed some insight on their true selves. Stories bring people together, even in the darkest of times. At the Student Leadership Conference on Sunday, we heard the stories behind five students’ pictures. Though not everyone knew those students personally, the crowd had the privilege of hearing a few deeply personal stories about them, giving us all a sense of closeness.

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Here are examples of outlets available to the campus community:

Campus-wide “brave space” sessions were held to open up the conversation in a non-judgmental space.

The Student Involvement office recorded videos of students committing to not tolerating hate and bias.

The Student Involvement office gave opportunities for students to leave messages of hope on sticky notes in the campus center.

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Students, faculty, and staff were given the opportunity to tell their stories through the “Dear World” campaign.

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Get involved in the University’s strategic plan

One of the best things about attending Salem State University is the incentive to involve students in the university’s development process. In other words, YOU have a say in the direction that the university wants to grow in. Want more social justice initiatives? Want more diversity? Want more civic engagement? The university is giving us the chance to weigh in on its future, and the futures of the incoming students. This is not an opportunity to be taken lightly.

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Picture courtesy of salemstate.edu

The collaboration committee has surveyed faculty and staff about what changes they would like to see in the future. It’s the student’s turn now to speak up.

Currently, the mission of the university reads:

“Salem State’s mission is to provide a high quality, student-centered education that prepares a diverse community of learners to contribute responsibly and creatively to a global society, and serve as a resource to advance the region’s cultural, social and economic development.”

The strategic plan is essentially the vision for the future of the university with specific tactics the university plans on taking action on – all supported by the mission. The new strategic plan for AY 2017 is focused on keeping up with the ever-changing world around us. This new plan is being constructed to reassess the priorities and goals of the university that will eventually lead to tangible changes.

The strategic plan of 2013-2016 focused on student success, diversity, and sustainability. This plan aligned the academics and engagement of the university with social justice and change. Some of the fruits of this strategic plan included the implementation of the new general education curriculum,  more combined 4+1 masters and bachelors programs, the veterans services center, the center for civic engagement, and more. These are tangible examples of how the university benefitted from its last strategic plan.

Now YOU can have a say in what will be in the next plan. The office knows that surveys aren’t the best way to get opinions out of busy students. They also acknowledge that the best way that students voice their opinions is in a room full of their peers, where they can bounce ideas off of one another. That’s why they’ve organized just that.

The planning committee formally invites you to:

Strategic Plan STUDENT FORUM

Date: Tuesday, November 15th

Time: 4:30 PM

Location: MLK Room

Please come out and provide ideas and thoughts on what should be included in the new Salem State Strategic Plan! Student voice matters!

Speaking of change please register for the Student Leadership Conference. Take time on Sunday to grow your leadership skills and hear from the powerful group “Dear World” as the keynote.

The Center for Diversity & Multicultural Affairs also invites you to “STEP Afrika” tonight in Vets Hall at 8 PM. Come see this transformative step group perform.

What it means to be a university

There’s much more to the difference between a university and a college than just the title. That’s why we celebrate so fervently during #OrangeCrushWeek, and especially #UNITE!

To celebrate #UNITE this year, we stayed true to the theme of Salem: Halloween. All over campus there were treats including BBQ food, fried carnival food, lemonade and more. At night, there were tricks. There was a murder mystery party at night. We celebrated 6 years of university status with tricks and treats.

Becker College’s website offers a great description of the difference between the two. They are essentially the same in the way that a student is still earning a degree either way, and they both can be either privately or publicly operated. The quality of your degree really depends on the program, and how much the student applies themselves.

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What’s interesting is that Becker states that colleges are more hands-on and classroom settings are more intimate. That’s not the case with SSU, however. Salem State University prides itself on its intimate classroom settings where barriers between students and professors do not exist. Most classes are between 20-30 people on average here, so that the professors can pay close attention to each student’s needs.

Further, professors are not only educators, but also mentors to their students. Students and professors can build a strong and mutually beneficial relationship. Professors can be advisors to student organizations and can give access into their Rolodex of powerful connections. Students can give professors insights on the live and interests of millennials. These insights can benefit research and projects that they need the help of students for.

For Salem State, however, being a University is more than just the prestige. It’s about community. Students will be more inclined to stay on a campus where they feel there is a community that they feel welcome. Being a university is a mindset of an accepting culture where everyone wants to see everyone else succeed.

Thank you for all of this last week with us! The more events we come together for as a student body, the more we foster the sense of community on our university’s campus. With such a diverse and inclusive campus, being a university unites (pun intended) us even more!

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We were in the Halloween spirit!