Guest Opinion: How you can make the most of student life as a Hawkeye

The UI Vice President for Student Life writes on a variety of ways Hawkeyes can get involved and interact on campus.


Lily Smith

UI VP for Student Life Melissa Shivers speaks in an interview with The Daily Iowan on Tuesday, Oct. 30, 2018.

With the academic year in full swing, the Division of Student Life remains as active as ever. My charge to the division is simple: New Semester. New Start. New Energy. New Focus. Same Intentions. Our top priorities are always to provide a well-rounded student experience and look out for the safety and well-being of our students.

I am thrilled to have you all back on campus. The energy always vibrates at a higher level when we are filled with the excitement, curiosity, and ambitions that Hawkeyes bring to Iowa City.  Special welcome to our newest Hawkeyes — I hope you are loving your new home at the University of Iowa. We are so thankful you are here!

While many students were away from campus, the Division of Student Life was hard at work refining some of our processes and realigning some of our work to better support student success. The highlights of this work include the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership will be divided into the following individual offices: Office of Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement; Office of Student Engagement and Campus Programs; and Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life Programs. This allows each office to have a more specific scope and thus focus on areas of student life that impact students in a more strategic manner.

What will this look like? Offices will be organized as follows:

Office of Leadership, Service, and Civic Engagement

• Student Organization Development

• Student Organization Registration and Policies


• Civic Engagement Center

• Leadership Courses

• Hawkeye Service Teams

• Hawkeye Leadership & Service Awards

Office of Student Engagement & Campus Programs

• Student Engagement Outreach

• Late Night Initiatives & Assessment

• Campus Activities Board

• Homecoming

• Family Weekend

• Dance Marathon

• Arts & Entertainment Programs

Office of Fraternity & Sorority Life Programs

• Fraternity/Sorority Life Strategic Plan

• Fraternity/Sorority Life Alcohol-Harm Reduction Initiatives

• Chapter Relations

• Alumni Relations

• International/national headquarters relations

• Campus & Community Relations

• The four governing councils (Interfraternity Council, Multicultural Greek Council, National Panhellenic Council, Panhellenic Council)

What else is new? Well, you may have noticed the traveling display of “Hawkeye Wings” around campus and at events. It depicts the fun trend of global wing art that is used in many social-media platforms and, most importantly, provides people an opportunity to connect with the subject matter around a unifying message. Our own Brandon Vacco, student graphic designer in Student Life Marketing and Design, created the artwork that highlights iconic Iowa images and promotes the hashtag #AlwaysAHawkeye.

I am also pleased to announce new data regarding our campus Alcohol Harm Reduction Plan. This has been a major initiative at the UI for the last 10 years, and I am proud of this team and YOU for working to reduce high-risk drinking and drug use at the University of Iowa.

This is going to be another great year, Hawkeyes. I couldn’t be happier that you’re here, and I hope we have even more opportunities to engage with one another. Did you know you can always reach me via email ([email protected]) or Twitter (@blackngoldveep)?

I am incredibly thankful to The Daily Iowan for providing me space each month to reach out and connect with all of you in a different forum. Some months will be updates, features on some of our amazing students and student organizations, and others may simply be an invitation to join me for lunch at one of our fantastic marketplaces on campus. Either way, I hope you’ll continue to engage with me and the incredible staff in the Division of Student Life to help us create more transformative experiences for you.


— Melissa Shivers, UI Vice President for Student Life

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