JOYCE BYLANDER, VICE PRESIDENT AND DEAN OF STUDENT LIFE
The Division of Student Life is guided by our mission: Our intention is to prepare students, by means of a useful education, for service and leadership in an ever-changing and global society. To ultimately contribute to the academic mission of the college, our division supports a vibrant, engaged, intellectually stimulating and socially appropriate residential experience, grounded in layered support. Layered support is an intentional system of multiple individuals at the college, providing the scaffolding to assist students in navigating challenges with increasing independence as they matriculate.
One of our key goals is to foster a safe, healthy, supportive and inclusive environment in which students can learn and achieve.
We completed an external review of the Wellness Center. As a result we were able to expand staffing in the Wellness Center to better meet the needs of students for mental health services. The First-Year Wellness program, piloted last year, encourages first-year students to participate in a well visit with each of the health care disciplines at the Wellness Center (nurse practitioner, psychologist and dietitian) to discuss adjustment to college, screen for common health issues in college, and discuss ways to promote well-being and prevent common health problems from developing. The program is continuing.
The Landis Collective (Popel Shaw Center for Race & Ethnicity, Women’s & Gender Resource Center, Center for Service, Spirituality & Social Justice, LGBTQ Services and the Prevention, Education and Advocacy Center) expanded outreach and programming to various constituents, helped the college successfully navigate a student protest and made progress in working toward a more inclusive campus community. This year the offices launched an extended orientation program around inclusion and moved forward the work of the Transgender Advisory Task Force.
The Department of Public Safety continues to hold meet-and-greets during finals weeks and at other times to foster positive relationships between students and our campus police officers. They have been proactive in their outreach to students, including students of color, during this time of national unrest around police and their communities.
We continue to engage students in determining how they will lead meaningful professional and personal lives.
We continue to expand our leadership retreat opportunities for students, adding a Sophomore Leadership Retreat that we hope will be as successful as our Emerging Leaders program for first-year students. We held a series of leadership lunches and launched a successful Inclusive Leadership Retreat for student leaders across constituencies.
We have continued to develop our cross-divisional collaborative work that will help students successfully plan and navigate their four years at Dickinson. The Dickinson Four, a program that makes that planning intentional, is fully developed and being implemented across all class years. Each year focuses on a different objective: Make Dickinson Yours, Discover What Matters, Deepen Your Focus and Expand Your Story.
An outside review of the Career Center highlighted the need for us to expand staffing and services in this important area. We have created a new position to focus on alumni relationships and externship opportunities for students. We anticipate the ability to expand services to alumni and to provide short-term career experiences to students to help them build a career portfolio.
We work to prepare students for the complexities of leadership and engaged citizenship.
The campus continues to be impacted by events in the wider world. We have worked closely with students around concerns raised by the Student Liberation Movement and other on-campus groups advocating for marginalized people.
The division has ramped up training and education of students around issues of sexual misconduct through Green Dot, a nationally recognized bystander intervention program, and extended orientation programs that focus on consent. We have responded to increasing reports of bias incidents through BERT (Bias Education & Response Team), working with students to engage each other in civil ways even when they hold passionate positions on social issues.