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Monday, May 12, 2014

Sixth Annual: The Year in Review - 2013-2014

Another academic year is in the books, and as is tradition, I take a look back at the year that was. While I try to think broadly, beyond the Student Affairs perspective, I have certainly missed some things, and invite the readers to post on those things in the comment section.

There will be a handful of posts between now and August, but look for more regular posting to occur when we begin the 2014-2015 academic year.

Top Stories

1. Sexual Assault
As the government beefed up regulations to improve enforcement of sexual assault policies across the nation's campuses, 55 colleges and universities found themselves under investigation. On campus a handful of cases drew attention of many and found their way into the local media.

2. Admissions
With two years of falling numbers the University came out swinging. The Admissions Office was moved to the center of campus - to the delight of their staff. Marketing efforts were implemented or strengthened, and financial aid awarding was adjusted, with terms being more transparent earlier in the process. The result? The Class of 2018 comes in at about 675, compared to about 550 last year. Wow.

3. New.Trinity.Edu
The new Web page, part of marketing efforts, went live on November 8, 2013. This page was designed to appeal primarily to prospective students and their parents. Looks like it worked. It has a nice feel to be sure. Some adjustments, especially for internal audiences, are still in the works. It would be hard for this to not be a top story as we see it daily, and its impact likely contributed to the high enrollment.

4. The Center for Sciences and Innovation (CSI)
To see it is to love it. This incredible facility is the new crown jewel of Trinity University. What an incredible facility. It represents the new liberal arts as well: multidisciplinary learning, productive collisions, and a learning and research hub.

5. CSI fire lane
In terms of day-to-day impact, nothing hit the campus like the new fire lane, which transformed the academic quad into a plaza. For once, an architectural rendering is bested by the real thing. Nicely done, TU. Thank you, fire department.

6. New curriculum
This should probably be number one in terms of long-term impact. However, while it was passed, it will not be implemented for some time, and it doesn't directly affect current students. As an advisor to the Student Government Association, I saw first hand how little time was spent on this topic.

7. Strategic Plan progress
Perhaps because a strategic plan involves so many constituents and so much review, the process has slogged on. But it is starting to come into focus. As with the curriculum, this probably deserves to be in the top two. Let's see if it stays on the list and jumps higher next year as its elements begin to come to fruition.

8. Triniteers and Pikes
The Triniteers fraternity was permitted back on campus after being away for several years. The lone national fraternity at Trinity was not allowed by Greek Council to take a new class.

9. ASR = SGA
The Association of Student Representatives changed its moniker to Student Government Association. This is clearer to students who used to have to work to figure out who was in charge. Former Dean Coleen Grissom and Prez Ron Calgaard, if they cared, wouldn't approve. One or both used to say that to call it government presumed there was power. Dr. Grissom, I know, was fond of saying that ASR had no power, but "great influence."

10. It's frrreeezing....
The school was closed or nearly closed so many times that it became mind-numbing. Brrrr.

- Women's Soccer goes to championship game
- Bowling for Soup plays "1985" at Welcome Back Concert
- Taco Taco comes to the Coates Center Commons
- Winn/Witt dorm renovation
- Pi, everywhere
- Duckapalooza
- The crowd at the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon represents Trinity as runners come through campus

- Bowling for Soup: They were right, people DID leave after they played their hit "1985."
- The push to move from division three to division one is immediately rebuked.
- Memes (grrrr)
- Tiger Taxi debit cards (need to sell, sell, sell!)

Under the Radar
- New staffing in Career Services means good things for our students.
- E-lerts
- Woodward and Bernstein (great lecture for those of us who lived through Watergate!)
- UIW shooting of a student (little air play, probably because it happened in mid-December)
- Alcohol. Little love anyone for trying to be think outside the case?
- Student Affairs rocks nationally

Big Hurts
- For the third year running, we lost a member of the student community when student Ernest Amoh passed away in early June while visiting his brother before his scheduled graduation at Dartmouth. Ernest's family traveled to San Antonio in the fall, and Dr. Nanette LeCoat, President Dennis Ahlburg, Coach Paul McGinlay, and Ernest's friends were wonderful ambassadors.
- TUPD Officer Mark Kelley died this spring when responding to a fire alarm malfunction in one of the residence halls.
- Many other important legends and friends were lost over this past year.

On the Horizon
- Look for a new old new era in Trinity football
- Coates Center lobby renovations/Mailbox relocation (look for summer post)
- Hopefully new dining options in CSI and Coates

Year 5
Year 4
Year 3
Year 2
Year 1

Bonus tracks
In case you missed it, here are some of the topics I got to write about this year. Trinity is rich with material:
Coates bacon
Campus sex
Magic Stones
NBA and higher education
NFL and higher education
Reading days

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