The Loyola community is about half-way through fall semester. Mid-terms have arrived. The weather is beginning to cool down… well… sort of. Campus is buzzing with energy of involved and engaged students.

Where are you in this picture?

Have you found your purpose at Loyola beyond academic success?

Have you dug into the buffet of opportunities laid out before you?

If the answer to the last question is “no”, think about and reflect upon this: What topic makes you unable to hold in your opinion? Note that I did not ask about what interests you.  Pardon my double negative, but I asked what topic you were unable to not share your thoughts about when it’s brought up. What lights a spark in your very core that nothing can extinguish?

Once you’ve figured out your topic, check out the Loyola Student Organization Directory to connect with groups of students who love your topic too. Can’t seem to find an org that fans your fire? It’s time to think outside the box.

  • Think about creating your own registered student organization.
  • Channel your passion into meaningful programming through RHA or the Residence Hall Council of your residence hall.
  • Get involved with a Christian Life Community and explore your passion and spirituality. Students often say their CLC is like an on-campus family.
  • Reach out and talk to a faculty of staff member with connections to your topic. Gain from their experience and expertise.

If you’re not involved and engaged on campus yet, what is holding you back? Do not let anxiety, laziness, or apathy define your college experience. Use this time to your advantage. We are proud to have you as part of our pack – now get out there and Lead the Pack.

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Yes, you read the title of this post correctly. I hereby welcome you to Emerging Adulthood! You may be asking yourself: why not simply “adulthood”? After all, at the age of 18, one legally becomes an adult.

While the legal system views an 18-year old as an adult, I strongly suspect there is no significant difference between a 17-year old and an 18-year old. Magic, from a developmental perspective, does not occur on one’s 18th birthday.

The theory of Emerging Adulthood, developed by Dr. Jeffrey Arnett, describes the phase of life between adolescence and true adulthood, mostly agreed upon as the time between ones’ late teens and mid-twenties. This time in a young person’s life is full of identity exploration, values development, and instability, making college an ideal time for educators to reach out to students in purposeful and meaningful ways that assist in the journey.

As we learn more about how students develop, learn, and grow, application of theory can improve the college experience. One area where educators have developed missions to meet the needs of Emerging Adults is in student conduct. At many colleges and universities, the student conduct process (within the University) is generally founded upon the idea that students can learn from their mistakes. The focus is on values development and helping students understand responsibilities associated with membership of a community.

The criminal process (outside the University) usually takes a less development-focused approach. As an Emerging Adult at Loyola, it’s important to educate yourself about the laws of the State of Louisiana as well as the expectations of the Student Code of Conduct. We all make our own choices in life that each have the power to change our path. Tread carefully, keep your eyes on the prize, and before you know it, you’ll be welcomed to true “adulthood” with a great degree and seemingly endless possibilities.

For more information on Emerging Adulthood, click here to read the first chapter of Dr. Jeffrey Arnett’s most recent work on the topic.

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Have you registered for Family Weekend 2011 yet? It’s just around the corner and registration is still open! A Loyola University New Orleans annual tradition, Family Weekend begins Friday, September 30 and ends Sunday, October 2, 2011.

Students & staff decorated the Saint Ignatius of Loyola statue on our campus at last year's Family Weekend.

This year, attendees will enjoy some of the best Loyola and New Orleans have to offer. Included in the price of attendance, Wolfpack family members will receive an event-packed schedule, with a diverse array of opportunities to meet Loyola faculty and staff. A favorite among past attendees, guests will also receive commemorative Family Weekend 2011 apparel.

Signature Family Weekend events include shadowing your student to class, a Welcome Reception with Loyola faculty and staff, professionally guided bus tours of New Orleans, an Academic Advising Roundtable discussion, Mass celebrated with President Kevin Wm. Wildes, S.J., and the ever-popular Jazz Brunch. Many more events fill the schedule, offering more options for families than ever before.

Registration is open and information is available online. Register for Family Weekend 2011 and check out additional details about the weekend schedule, hotel suggestions, local restaurant favorites of Loyola staff, and more at the link below!

Family Weekend 2011 Website

Please contact the Office of Residential Life with questions or concerns. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Office of Residential Life: (504) 865-2445 /

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“We have different class schedules.”

“She ate my cereal.”

“He plays video games at night when I want to sleep.”

I hear them all the time. Reasons… and sometimes excuses… to move out of a residence hall room and into another one. The first weeks of school bring many new experiences to first-year college students, with one of the most significant being the experience of living with a roommate.

It’s not easy – and the Office of Residential Life won’t tell you that it is. We have roommates fill out Roommate Agreements for a reason, but let’s face it, sometimes even they won’t help. Living with another human being in your close proximity is a challenge for anyone because we all have preferences, habits, and needs.

It takes compromise, a LOT of compromise sometimes, to make a roommate relationship work. But before compromise can begin, communication must be open. If you’re experiencing roommate friction, here is my best advice:

Happy roommates talk it out - not text it out.

  1. Talk it out. It seems so obvious, but oftentimes students choose to communicate with one another via text message and Facebook chat. Put the phones and computers down and simply converse with one another.
  2. Do not accuse. Does your roommate even know that whatever it is she or he is doing bothers you? Bring your concerns to your roommate’s attention. Start the talk with: “I feel concerned about _____, because it has affected me negatively by _____. Can we find a way to meet in the middle so we’re both satisfied?” Say it as objectively as possible.
  3. Be willing to compromise. Think about your own preferences, habits, and needs. Determine what you’re willing to compromise in order to have a positive roommate relationship.
  4. Keep talking. Keep talking. Keep talking. Don’t assume your conversation is a one-time encounter. Learn to care about you roommate as a whole person, respecting his or her preferences, habits, and needs as much as your own.

Not every relationship will work out for various reasons. Room Freeze ends on September 12, and ResLife is happy to assist students with the room change process. Before roommate situations get to that point, we hope you’ll utilize your Resident Assistant or Area Director. Know that ultimately we want you to feel at home at Loyola and enjoy positive relationships here!

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Sitting in the back of the room, laptop on, shooting off emails as two returning Resident Assistants present to their colleagues about successful campus programming. In this moment I am reminded of the spirit that our students leaders bring to campus. Their energy is absolutely infectious, and the reasons that I chose to be an RA so many years ago flood my mind like it were yesterday.

This is a moment to be mindful that the eager mind of a student leader lives somewhere in every one of us! To look upon training anew, to see it again with the eyes of a first-timer, brings back all of the excitement of having been there several years ago and is refreshing, almost cleansing!

We are lucky to get to work with such great students, and this is a privilege that we do not take for granted!

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Think fast! Given the choice between quality and quantity, which would you choose? Be honest. Not an easy choice, though I’d guess that most readers of this blog would pick quality. It’s probably a quick choice for most, actually.

Who hasn’t heard the mantra a hundred time? “If you’re going to do something, you might as well do it right!” But is that always true?

Quality: There is something innately human about wanting to do things to the best of our abilities. Creating something better than anyone has created before. Exceeding expectations. Taking your time and doing it right. There is little better in life than the satisfaction of being the best.

Quantity: Today’s fast-paced world simply requires greater output than in the past. The IM, text, and Tweet have replaced voicemail and email. Today’s students have been developing their resumes since middle school by getting involved in service and social activities. And in an increasingly competitive job market, we all need to find ways to stand out from the crowd, often by seeking new and diverse experiences.

Quality and quantity, however, are not mutually exclusive, and it’s dangerous to believe that they are.

Never let yourself believe that in order to achieve one you must sacrifice the other. The Jesuit concept of the Magis would teach us that we always strive for the ‘more’. To be better than we thought we could be. To give of ourselves more fully. To commit more deeply to pursuits that matter to us and to those around us.

Giving of oneself in service to others is one way that Loyola hopes its students will distinguish themselves. But performing numerous hours of service without taking a moment to reflect and contemplate on its meaning is missing the mark. Meanwhile, spending time in reflection without taking action to confront the problems of our society is a fruitless endeavour.

Quality and quantity go together. They are two peas in a pod. Next time you find yourself quipping about how you’d always take quality over quantity, tuck that thought away. Both are possible, and you’ll know when you’re only striving for one at the expense of the other. So live life. Live it every day. And live it well!

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This is a guest post by Kristyn Gieger, Residential Life intern for Summer Conferences. We are so thankful for Kristyn’s leadership, energy, and commitment to Loyola!

For this post, Kristyn asked Loyola student leaders to reflect. Below are some of their thoughts.

You can read Kristyn’s previous guest post here!

On every campus we hear about leadership and what it means to be a leader. Although we can always look it up in one of the billions of dictionaries, what does it mean at Loyola? So I set out on a quest to define leadership in the eyes of our students! Even though school’s out for summer (Have to credit that quote! Thanks Alice Cooper!), there are leaders of the pack still here on campus trudging through the heat with us every day! While interviewing students, I asked four short answer questions. Sounds simple right? But I got the wheels turning in everyone’s head with my way of asking what a Loyola student leader is! So without further comment here are some responses:

Q1: Interpret the following quote in your own words: “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.”  ~John Quincy Adams

“I definitely agree with that because being a leader is all about action, empowering, and how impactful you can be on other people through your actions and everyday doing.” –Sebastian Bernal

It kind of means that when you are able to inspire people it holds resonance and holds power. When you are able to get through to some you know it’s making them look at themselves and make a change in themselves and how they can do better or be better.” -Malerie Thornton

Q2: Below is a list of 5 out of 12 Ideals of Jesuits Education important to Loyola University New Orleans. How do you feel these ideals fit leadership at Loyola? In your future?

  1. Development of personal potential
  2. Learning from experience
  3. Critical thinking and effective communication
  4. Commitment to service
  5. International and Global Perspective

“A good leader has to be able to reflect upon past actions in the process of growing.” -Kwame Juakali

“Loyola challenges you and is a challenge that’s the bottom line. With each paper you have to communicate your thoughts effectively.” –Malerie Thornton

“We are here for this reason and being aware of our call to be responsible citizens of the world.” –Sebastian Bernal

Q3: What are two qualities a leader must have?

“A good leader has to be able to inspire people using feelings that may be hidden from view. If you can get someone to truly care about an issue it makes a world of difference, because good followers make good leaders and not the other way around!”  –Kwame Juakali

Q4: In your own words, define a student leader on this campus?

“Driven, empowering to other people, dedicated, committed to Jesuits values, Stay true to themselves and core values, community member, engaged, friendly, and approachable.” –Sebastian Bernal

Beginning this project, I was very excited to learn what Loyola students think and feel about leadership. My intention was to not ask a typical leadership question. The students really thought about their responses and engaged in conversation on different topics of leadership on campus and in their communities. To sum up here is my definition of leadership and a leader with my new Loyno perspective!

Leadership – the ability to inspire and empower others in a community to act for the greater good in order to better their lives and communities.

Leader – a member of a group that is dedicated to the group’s mission and aids the members in the right direction.

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As a Residential Life professional, I hope the time of year known as “move out” to students is also viewed as “clean out”. I cannot fully express the importance of students taking all of their belongings and thoroughly tidying their rooms before they depart for the summer. Inevitably, items will be left behind.

Special thanks to the student who left this card behind!

I classify items left behind in the following categories:

  1. Valuable items left behind unintentionally.
  2. Items clearly left behind with the assumption that someone would use them or throw them away.
  3. And then, a different group of lost things: items unintentionally left behind, of little to no monetary value, but seemingly left there for a greater purpose.

Very few items fall into the last category, but those that do can leave lasting impressions about the students we educate. This year, I found a small, laminated card titled “Ten Commandments for Teenagers” that was left behind in a desk drawer. Here’s a bit of food for thought from that card:

  1. Stop and think before you drink.
  2. Don’t let your parents down; they brought you up.
  3. Go to church faithfully. The Creator gives you the week; give Him back an hour.
  4. Choose your companions carefully. You are what they are.
  5. Avoid following the crowd. Be an engine – not a caboose.

Some things are left behind for a purpose – to encourage reflection, discussion, and action. Enjoy the remaining weeks of summer. We’re excited to see you on campus in August!

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Kristyn Gieger is a summer intern at Loyola University New Orleans

Kristyn Gieger is currently a graduate student at another Jesuit institution, Canisius College, in Buffalo, New York. We are thrilled to have her talents at Loyola this summer!

We welcome another guest post from Ms. Kristyn Gieger, current Summer Conference Intern for the Department of Residential Life, as she reflects on her experience at Loyola and in New Orleans. Kristyn has been a major asset to our team this summer, and has single-handedly transformed Loyola’s conference program!

My first time in New Orleans, Louisiana was in January 2011 when I joined twelve fellow graduate students from Canisius College (Fellow Jesuit Institution woot!) on our annual College Student Personnel Administration (CSPA) NOLA service trip. Not only did I serve the New Orleans area, I was given the chance to “meet and greet” with professionals here at Loyola and also at Dillard University. Ever since my experience, I knew I had to come back to this beautiful city!!! When I found out that this dream could be a reality through an ACUHO-i internship here at Loyola, I was thrilled! Currently, I am working as the Summer Conference Intern! My staff this summer has really helped me to embrace life on the Loyola Campus.

Upon my arrival, I was greeted and quickly welcomed into the Loyola family within minutes. With every week that goes by I am delighted to be a part of this summer’s successes. Conferences are going great and we are all happy that New Student Orientation 1, 2, 3, and 4 were such successes!!! This summer has been such a learning experience for me. This internship is the first experience I have had supervising my own staff; it has allowed me to experience working with different individuals from a supervisory level.

Canisius College graduate students doing service in New Orleans

Kristyn and her CSPA graduate program classmates were introduced to Loyola and New Orleans during a recent service trip to our fine city!

To all the new and first year Loyola students for Fall 2011 semester, congratulations and I hope you can call this campus home as much as I have been able to this summer. LoyNO has a beautiful campus and such a great uptown location. I am into staying in shape, so having access to Audubon Park was an added perk. You’ll never go hungry with all that dining and the city has to offer. You can literally experience a different culture every day of the week! I love it! I advise anyone who is not local to really get to know a fellow student from the New Orleans area. They can be a great resource in learning about this wonderful city. Get involved; become a part of something bigger and better than yourself. Learn about the city as much as you can, because trust me your time in college will fly!!!

Originally from the Greater New York City Area, Kristyn now resides in Buffalo, NY while working towards a Master of Science Degree in College Student Personnel Administration at Canisius College. For the 2011-2012 academic year Kristyn will work as a Graduate Residence Coordinator for Medaille College in Buffalo, NY. She will also intern for the Office of International Student Programs at Canisius College and stand as the Graduate Advisor to Canisius’s International English Speaking Club (I.E.S.C). Kristyn holds a Bachelors of Arts in International Studies from The College at Brockport, SUNY.

Follow Kristyn on Twitter to hear more about her work and her love for our beautiful city!

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We welcome this guest post from Mr. Alex Trout, current Summer Housing Intern for the Department of Residential Life, as he reflects on his experience at Loyola thus far. We are endlessly appreciative of Alex’s energy, enthusiasm, and commitment to the students and community of Loyola University New Orleans.

Alex Trout Intern for Residential Life

Alex Trout is a visiting intern with the Department of Residential Life for summer 2011.

I hope that you are as excited to live on-campus at Loyola as I was when I found out about the opportunity to intern in Residential Life at Loyola for the summer!  As a “first-timer” at Loyola University New Orleans (although, not to Jesuit Education), I felt an immediate sense of community and celebration upon my arrival.  I could not have imagined a better place to spend the summer – in a close-knit community of those who celebrate individual successes and challenge me to grow in faith, knowledge, and ability.

When you arrive or return to campus for the Fall semester, I encourage you to feel and participate in the excitement of a campus community that wants to get to know you personally.  As I have found through interning at LoyNO, the campus is full of opportunities that are unique to Loyola and New Orleans.  The friendly atmosphere of Loyola and New Orleans – which are both alive with great people, good food, and many different cultural opportunities, make this internship experience a dream come true.

Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and connect with other Loyolans and the greater New Orleans community.  I hope that you will take the chance to try something new and live YOUR dream!

A native of Saint Louis, Missouri, Alex now resides in Brookings, South Dakota while working towards a Masters Degree in Counseling and Human Resource Development with a specialization in Student Personnel Counseling at South Dakota State University.  He currently works as the graduate assistant for living-learning programs and services at SDSU in the department of residential life.  Alex holds degrees in Psychology and Music from Loyola University Chicago.  He is entering his fifth year as a staff member in residential life.

Follow Alex on Twitter to keep tabs on his adventures at Loyno!

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