The following post was written by Dawnette Scott, Associate Dean, from the Student Development Office on campus.
As an academic institution it makes sense that there is significant focus at Northwestern on providing high quality education. Students are in constant learning-mode: in their courses, from professors, via assignments, and in their overall studies.
Students at Northwestern work hard. Not only are they studying subject matters of their majors, minors and emphases, they are also digging into what they believe about what they’re studying. It’s not just head work; it is soul work. Life-work. Their studies are constantly challenging them, molding them, shaping them.
Part and parcel to their studies is the idea of whole person development. Not only are students taking in information, expressing what they’re learning via assignments and presentation, and being assessed in their learning via exams, students are also learning how to do day-to-day life as a young adult.
As a residential campus, a good portion of our student body is being stretched and grown in areas of interpersonal relationships: “How do I be a good roommate, friend, mentor/mentee? How should I handle myself interpersonally when things aren’t going as I expected? How do I support well, encourage well, love well, and even disagree well?” And these lessons certainly are not limited to those living on campus… everyone is being pressed to do “life together” well.
One area of growth that students are eventually challenged with is that of self-care: What am I doing to balance the demands of school, relationships, job, etc? What can I do to create margins in my life where I can breathe a little, let my hair down some, relax, and even be rejuvenated?
It may be helpful for you – the parent – to know about some of the many ways for students to get involved at Northwestern; means through which they can create margins in their ever-busy lives.
Student Activities (SA) – Student Activities has hired four student Directors who help create a variety of campus-wide events for our students. On-campus, off-campus and what we call “seasonal” events are happening every month. Since school started our Student Activities Directors have provided reduced-priced tickets to the State Fair, hosted a “California Dreamin’” event out on the Island, and helped organized two events (roller skating, and a movie) over Orientation weekend for our new incoming students.
SA is responsible for the upcoming Fall Variety Show, three evening events during Homecoming week (September 24-29), an off-campus theater event (TBD), and a handful of on-campus events this semester. In January SA hosts a Welcome Back Night in the Student Center with live music and refreshments the first night students return from Christmas Break. February holds Snowcoming week (similar to Homecoming, with several evening events) and an off-campus snow activity. Following spring break in March, SA hosts an event in Ericksen gym. Our annual Race Around the Cities (fashioned after the hit show The Amazing Race) takes place in April, followed by the Spring Variety Show. We wrap up the year with a Spring Banquet off-site.
In addition to these campus wide events, students can get involved in (or start!) a campus club. At Northwestern, clubs are “by students, for students” in that a club exists when there is student interest and a student (or group of students) steps up to take on the leadership to sustain it. Northwestern tends to have 15-25 student clubs annually, ranging from foreign language clubs to political clubs to clubs addressing various arts to our ever-popular Taco Club!
Student Activities and Student Clubs are just two areas in which a student could get involved. There are literally hundreds of events throughout the academic year just waiting for your son or daughter to participate in and/or attend. Music, theater, athletics, intramurals, residence life events, orientation group outings… the list is long as it relates to what is available to students at Northwestern.
Encourage your daughter or son to be involved! It’s a great way to meet friends, a wonderful way to make memories, and a healthy way to create margins in their ever-busy lives.