We aspire to ensure every student feels included in and connected to the life of the University and has the necessary support to thrive and succeed inside and outside the classroom.
Aligning directly with what we aim to achieve, the pillars represent our priorities and serve as the overarching themes for our work:
Support Wellness, Success and Thriving
Foster a Safe and Caring Community
Promote Curiosity, Empathy, Intellectual Exploration and Exposure to Diverse Viewpoints
Create Meaningful Engagement and Experiential Learning
Embedded within each goal is a commitment to advancing diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility, broadly defined, and this overarching commitment will be reflected in the ends, means and tactics developed.
Build a Culture of Wellness
- Design and implement programs and experiences that improve well-being and develop resiliency and stress management skills.
- Promote wellness resource access to individuals who historically underutilize services.
- Design and implement programs aimed at reducing high-risk behaviors around alcohol and drug use.
- Expand and promote engagement in and access to club sports and other recreation/outdoor activities.
Foster Connections That Lead to Academic Success
- Engage students in targeted ways that advance academic success.
- Strengthen academic partnerships to improve early intervention, advising and support.
- Link the co-curricular student experience to desired experiential and global educational outcomes.
Uphold Community Expectations With an Educational, Empathetic, Student-Centered Approach
- Implement practices to enhance and strengthen connections to and relationships with students.
- Consistently review, assess and refine conduct policies and procedures to ensure fair, prompt resolution.
- Employ a trauma-informed approach to our Title IX work with students.
Build a Community of Engaged Bystanders
- Increase students’ skills to safely intervene.
- Expand knowledge of and access to safety and support resources.
- Educate the community on the impact of bias-related incidents and the importance of an inclusive community.
Expand Opportunities for Healthy Peer Relationships
- Implement impactful peer mentorship models.
- Create structured and unstructured programs and spaces for students to build meaningful connections.
Recruit and Develop Student Leaders
- Build leadership skills tailored to a student’s stage of development.
- Leverage student employment experiences for post-graduation opportunities.
Enhance Programs and Services That Increase Lifelong Affinity for the University
- Develop and execute “core memory” signature student experiences.
- Increase student access to programs and services, reducing barriers to involvement and engagement.
Create an Environment of Reflection and Self-Growth
- Build self-reflection into program and service design and delivery.
- Deliver programs that challenge students and encourage exploration of the unfamiliar.
Engage Across Differences
- Model respectful, fact-based debate and discussion while preserving freedom of inquiry and expression.
- Help students develop critical thinking skills.
- Collaborate with University partners to promote intentional opportunities for impactful civic engagement.
- Instill a desire to be an informed, engaged citizen.
- Inclusive and Welcoming to All
- Innovative and Entrepreneurial
- Collaborative and Partnership-Oriented
- Good Stewardship of Resources
- Staff Development and Professional Growth
Our commitments provide the foundation for shaping a student experience that supports every student’s sense of inclusion, access, belonging, thriving and success. We recognize to implement our commitments successfully and sustainably we must set goals that create a strong foundation to carry out our work. This also means developing and supporting our staff who do this important work every day, aligning and allocating resources based on our objectives, and embracing innovation, entrepreneurial thinking and change.
Commitment 1: Center the emotional and intellectual development, health and wellness of students in our work.
- Embrace a culture of supporting students who seek assistance, including knowledge of referral options and pan-University resources.
- Implement and embrace an integrated care and holistic wellness model in the Barnes Center at The Arch.
- Utilize surveys of our students, national studies and related data to develop strategies that target reduction in high-risk behaviors among young adults.
- Identify predictive and protective elements critical to achieving meaningful improvement in student health and wellness.
- Implement a stepped care model of service delivery, maximizing touchpoints of integration and referral.
- Educate faculty, staff and students on ways to identify, support and refer students in distress.
Commitment 2: Create a climate that is welcoming and inclusive of a diverse population of students, promotes thriving, and provides equitable access to all.
- Embrace the concept of “space making” in our work with a diverse population of students, allowing exploration of various identities.
- Consider “access” broadly defined, including for students with disabilities, with more limited financial resources, veterans and military-connected students, or who may be first generation.
- Educate students on the meaning and impact of bias-motivated acts and respond promptly and constructively when such incidents occur.
- Help students develop the skills essential to thriving and succeeding when faced with challenges, setbacks, or other difficulties.
- Create a campus climate that embraces exploration of differing viewpoints and teaches students how to constructively engage with others while deescalating conflicts that may arise.
Commitment 3: Embrace innovative and entrepreneurial thinking, increase the use of technology and new communication methods and look to innovate in ways that distinguish the Syracuse University student experience.
- Identify strategic opportunities where technology can support success in our work, enhance information sharing, and increase efficiency.
- Leverage the full capacity of our technology and communication tools to improve decision-making.
- Adopt an entrepreneurial approach to our work, welcoming innovation, change and creativity.
- Reduce barriers to staff bringing forward new ideas and create a professional climate that rewards exploration.
- We have to take some risks and make some bets on potential opportunities that may have a greater impact.
Commitment 4: Be intentional in seeking to eliminate barriers to collaboration across units, reduce siloing in our work and create meaningful partnerships with others across the institution.
- Identify opportunities to co-sponsor, present, develop or execute programs, events and activities with others.
- Leverage financial and human resources across units to achieve a greater impact, attendance or participation in programs, events and activities.
- Be intentional in seeking to connect with colleagues in other divisional units and learn more about what their work entails and where you might collaborate.
- Seek out ways to engage faculty in our work with students.
- Be mindful of the goals and objectives of the Academic Strategic Plan, DEIA Strategic Plan, Campus Framework, Chancellor’s Key Differentiators and other institutional strategies as we plan and execute our work.
- Align budgetary allocations with divisional and institutional objectives and priorities.
- Continually assess the effectiveness of programs and services.
- Identify opportunities to sunset less impactful programs and services when seeking resources for new programs or services.
- Adapt program and delivery models to meet the evolving needs of students.
- Advocate for improvements across campus that directly impact the student experience in areas such as academic policy, civic engagement, housing strategy and capital investments.
- Utilize internal expertise and talent for program and event speakers and panels.
- Expand and promote tiered professional development opportunities.
- Provide opportunities to visit and learn from peer institutions as part of our professional development strategy.
- Develop and implement competitive workplace practices.
- Foster a climate of open communication and transparency.
- Celebrate diversity broadly defined.
The following pan-University strategic plans and objectives helped guide our development of the Student Experience Division’s 2023-28 Operational Framework, and we seek to align our priorities and work with these objectives:
Chancellor’s Key Differentiators for Syracuse University
- Academic Excellence
- A University Welcoming to All
- Best Place for Veterans and Military-Connected Students
- Technological Savvy
- Entrepreneurial Approach to All We Do
Academic Strategic Plan: Areas of Distinctive Excellence
- Emerging Technologies
- Human Thriving
- Global Diversity
- Experiential Learning
- Engaged Citizenship
- Enhance the campus climate to create a sense of belonging for all.
- Recruit, support, and retain diverse students, faculty, and staff.
- Advance institutional infrastructure related to DEIA learning, professional development, and civic learning.
- Elevate DEIA across the academic institution, transforming our approach to scholarship, research, pedagogy, curriculum, programs, and services.
- Practice an inclusive understanding of accessibility.