Living the Auburn Creed

Living the Auburn Creed

Living the Auburn Creed

The Auburn Creed is a mantra meant to guide students to make good choices and behave like true Auburn men and women.

When that isn’t quite the case, a student may be referred to Student Conduct, the department responsible for addressing non-academic violations of University policy through the Code of Student Conduct.

Grace Anne Latimer is a graduate assistant in Student Conduct. One of her main responsibilities includes sitting down with students who are referred to Student Conduct and guiding them through the process.

Students can be referred to Student Conduct for violations both on-campus and off. If a law is broken, she helps guide the student through the legal process. Latimer says that most students who come into her office are respectful and remorseful.

“I worried I would meet students who were convinced they did nothing wrong,” Latimer says. “While that does represent a small portion of students, most students I see take ownership of their actions.”

During the 2019 football season, conduct violations in Jordan-Hare Stadium were down significantly from other seasons. The exact figure is 45 violations, a 16.67% decrease from policy violations in the 2018 season.

“We’re really proud of that number, because it shows that students are embodying the Creed and choosing to make good decisions,” Latimer says.

Student Conduct also works with students to refer them to other departments within Student Affairs, such as Student Counseling & Psychological Services and Auburn Cares.

“Something really unique about our office is our close proximity with Auburn Cares,” Latimer says. “I think this allows us to address conduct violations with a holistic approach of the whole student. We are able to address underlying issues and get students the help they may need.”

As a special education major, Latimer explains that her position in Student Conduct has prepared her for her career by giving her experience exercising empathy and discretion.

“I recognize that whoever walks into my office is a whole person with a story,” she says. “Keeping that in mind, I am able to see them for more than just their conduct violation and am able to connect them with other resources on campus.”

Her favorite part of her job is getting to meet students and help them through tough times.

“My favorite part of this role is getting to meet all of the students who come through my door,” Latimer says. “Though it may not be the best circumstances that brought them here, I’ve learned that everyone has a story.”

For more information about Student Conduct, please contact the office at 334-844-1305.

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New Horizons: 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

New Horizons: 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

New Horizons: 2020-2025 Strategic Plan

Presents aren’t the only thing being unwrapped this holiday season.

Assessment & Strategic Planning unveiled its 2020-2025 Strategic Plan at the Student Affairs Fall Summit on Dec. 4.

The plan focuses on several initiatives to guide Student Affairs, encompassing themes of Student Affairs’ core values, missions & vision statements and the Auburn Creed.

The first goal states that Student Affairs will work to create a welcoming environment and inclusive community. This will be accomplished through creating, expanding and supporting programs and initiatives that engage students and promote a welcoming and inclusive environment.

The second goal is to provide professional development through meaningful engagement. This can be done by engaging students in growth-oriented experiential learning and creating and enhancing collaborate programs and services that prepare students to lead.

The third goal focuses on health, wellness and safety. These goals will be promoted through a holistic, data-informed approach that focuses on prevention, education, care, support and intervention. Student Affairs will implement staff training and compliance to create a safe learning and living environment for students.

The fourth and final goal is to achieve organizational excellence. This will be accomplished through fostering a data-informed and outcome-driven culture, providing excellent service to enhance the student experience and managing budgets, technology, marketing and human resources to operate with responsiveness, efficiency and effectiveness.

Director of Assessment & Strategic Planning Abby Langham oversaw the project from start to finish. Langham says her favorite part of the project was seeing everyone’s ideas culminate into tangible ideas and piecing it all together.

“I wanted our staff to feel like they really ‘own’ this plan, and that it’s something that they really created, because it is,” Langham says. “It’s something that’s going to expand and enhance the already great Auburn student experience. As an Auburn alum, it feels good to produce something that’s going to have a lasting impact.”

For more information about the 2020-2025 Strategic Plan, please contact Assessment & Strategic Planning at 334-844-8610.

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Special Spotlight

Aubie the Tiger has been busy this season spreading holiday cheer for all to hear!

Every holiday season, Aubie gets dressed up as Aubie Claus to fundraise for the Aubie Program and for Aubie’s journey to win his tenth UCA Mascot National Championship. The Aubie Claus event was held three times in November to give the Auburn Family a chance to pose with their favorite tiger while embodying the living spirit of Auburn.

When Aubie isn’t busy prepping for the UCA Mascot National Championship, he spends his time spreading holiday cheer at other seasonal events, such as the Holiday Lighting Ceremony. The Holiday Lighting Ceremony marks the beginning of the season, a special time for the Auburn Family to celebrate tradition and diversity on our campus.

Spreading holiday cheer isn’t Aubie’s only prerogative, though. He also graces Ring Night, the Ring Ceremony and graduation to reinforce longstanding Auburn traditions and to applaud the newest graduates of the university.

Ella Cunningham, director of scheduling for Aubie, accompanies him to all of his events and ensures his schedule stays full of other commitments such as holiday party appearances. She says her favorite part of sticking by Aubie’s side is seeing the joy he brings to everyone he meets.

“I’ve never seen someone who’s not excited to see Aubie,” Cunningham says. “I think it’s especially relevant during the holiday season, when students may be stressed about classes and finals, to see their stress melt away from hugging their favorite furry friend.”

For more information about the Aubie Program, please contact Aubie Advisor Corey Edwards by email at edwarcm@auburn.edu, or by phone at 334-844-1285.

 

In Memoriam: Chih-Kai Lai

 

Auburn University will remember student, Chih-Kai Lai, beginning Monday, Dec. 2.

The memorial flag flew in front of Samford on Tuesday, Dec. 3. The flag will be displayed in the Student Center along with a memorial certificate from Dec. 4 – Dec. 18.

 

A Sound Mind: Promoting Mental Wellness on Auburn’s Campus

The fourth line of the Auburn Creed states, “I believe in a sound mind, in a sound body and a spirit that is not afraid.”

Anyone who works with college students knows that maintaining a sound mind is not always a top priority. While intentions of sleeping eight hours a night and drinking enough water may be promising, life tends to get in the way, and self-care may fall to the bottom of the to-do list.

Markie Pasternak, coordinator of outreach and peer education for Health Promotion & Wellness Services (HPWS), and Dustin Johnson, assistant director for outreach and mental health initiatives for Student Counseling & Psychological Services (SCPS), recently joined forces to launch A Sound Mind, a website rooted in mental wellness.

Planning for the website came to fruition in Sept. 2018, when Pasternak and Johnson realized the need for an all-encompassing resource to assist students with a multitude of problems, from stress management to eating disorders and everything in between.

The website has specific information for students struggling with ADHD, anxiety, depression, eating disorders, helping a friend, sleep, stress management and self-care. There is also information connecting students to various campus partners, trainings offered, involvement opportunities and resources for faculty and staff.

Pasternak hopes the website will be helpful to a wide array of students who may not be literate in all aspects of mental health.

“Mental health looks different for different individuals with different identities and different lived experiences,” says Pasternak. “We want A Sound Mind to be inclusive and accessible to everyone.”

Pasternak’s position with HPWS came from the Mental Health Task Force, a coalition of professionals and students from different departments tasked with addressing mental health on Auburn’s campus. A specific recommendation proposed by the task force was to “design and implement an integrated communication campaign that incorporates forms of traditional and social media.”

Johnson says that the Mental Health Task Force helped him see how the partnership with HPWS would help both departments collaborate to address and implement the recommendations. Part of this included addressing mental health in a more proactive manner.

“Auburn, like many other college campuses, is having more and more students coming in with mental health concerns,” he says. “We’ve recognized that we need to change the strategy. We can’t just wait for students to come to us. We are really working to get the message out there as more proactive and preventative mental health care.”

While Johnson provides the clinical care for students with mental health concerns, Pasternak and the HPWS team play an integral role in promoting the resources available to students. Both Johnson and Pasternak want students to know that feeling overwhelmed is normal, and seeking help is a brave choice.

“Getting help is a very courageous thing to do,” explains Pasternak. “Seeking out information and education is so beneficial. Leaning on your support system by telling people in your life what you’ve been living with can be very validating. It is a brave choice to seek help, and it is a choice that will change your life for the better.”

View A Sound Mind here. For more information, please contact HPWS at 334-844-1528.

 

EAGLE on WEGL

Bradley Basden beams as he enters the WEGL studio to cue up his show playlist. A rock n’ roll fanatic since childhood, Basden’s favorite part of the week is his Monday afternoons, which are spent managing the soundboard during his show, “EAGLE on WEGL.”

Basden is a student in the EAGLES Program, or Education to Accomplish Growth in Life Experiences for Success, a postsecondary education program for students with intellectual disabilities. Basden is a member of the inaugural class, and knew he wanted to get involved with music during his time at Auburn.

“My favorite part of being on WEGL is being a DJ and getting to pick the songs,” Basden says.

The partnership between WEGL and the EAGLES Program was established during the summer of 2019, when Basden was set to begin his second year at Auburn in the fall. When Basden expressed that he wanted to work at a radio station upon completion of the program, EAGLES Director Betty Patten says she began searching for a campus experience that would incorporate his love for music.

“There was a conversation about what he wanted to do and where he could do that on campus,” says Patten. “With Auburn having the student-run WEGL radio station, I was able to reach out to Brit Bowen, who immediately responded saying he would love to be involved with WEGL and support Bradley.”

Bowen, coordinator for student media in Media & Marketing, says he knew from his initial conversation with Patten that a partnership with the EAGLES Program would be a great experience for all parties involved.

“Partnering with the EAGLES Program and with Bradley has really been great for all of us, and something we hope to continue in the future,” says Bowen. “You can tell that Bradley loves music and his passion is an inspiration for everyone here at WEGL.”

Patten says that being on WEGL has given Basden a chance to explore his interests and develop transferrable job skills.

“Music is a great way for Bradley to express himself and for others to learn more about his interests and who he is,” Patten says. “His opportunity to select a playlist and be a DJ for WEGL is an opportunity for Bradley to show how musically inclined he is.”

Basden says that his favorite band is KISS.

“I love KISS,” he says. “I got to see them in concert in Birmingham this year and it was great.”

The EAGLES Program has peer mentors called WINGS, or Warmhearted Individuals Nurturing Great Success, who participate in activities and events with EAGLES students and provide interpersonal support in social and community environments. Hallie Hoch, who serves as a WING, says her favorite part of the program is the relationships she has developed with students in the program and other WINGS.

“I have loved serving as a WING because not only have I developed great relationships with other WINGS, but I have become friends with great students like Bradley, who show me that people with disabilities are really just like the rest of us,” Hoch says.

When he isn’t rockin’ out on WEGL, Basden likes to hang out with friends and support Auburn.

“I love going to Auburn football games,” Basden says. “I love to sit in the student section.”

Above all else, Basden loves music and sharing his passion for music with others.

“Music makes me feel great,” says Basden. “I love playing music for other people.”

For more information about the EAGLES Program or to discuss any desired partnerships, contact Patten at 334-844-8426 or at eagles@auburn.edu. For more information about WEGL, contact Bowen at 334-844-2170.

 

Staff Spotlight: Brandy Smith

Staff Spotlight: Brandy Smith

For some people, work is about simply going through the motions and getting a paycheck. But for Brandy Smith, Student Counseling & Psychological Services assistant director of clinical training, work is not just work- it’s a chance to make a difference every day and shape the lives of those she supervises.

Making a difference for Smith included helping launch a doctoral internship program, an initiative SCPS had been wanting to tackle for years.

“Talks of starting an internship program had been going on for about 20 years,” says Smith. “In 2015, we began the process of making this dream a reality, with support from the university’s Mental Health Task Force.”

Smith explains that the Mental Health Task Force, an alliance of a students, staff and faculty dedicated to addressing mental health on Auburn’s campus, played an integral role in facilitating the process of starting the program.

Working closely with SCPS Director Doug Hankes, Smith began taking the steps necessary to launch the internship program. First and foremost, Smith worked to secure APPIC membership and become APA-accredited. The Association of Psychology Postdoctoral and Internship Centers (APPIC) is the entity that works with the National Match Program to place psychology doctoral students in internships. The American Psychological Program (APA) grants accreditation status to internship programs that show commitment to quality and continuous improvement.

While today’s internship program is accredited, this was not the case during the 2017-2018 academic year, when SCPS began recruiting its first internship class. The challenge lay in securing interns without being listed as an APPIC member. Smith put in extra work to ensure that the program launched with success.

“We were able to fill our 2019 class, which is a statistical anomaly,” explains Smith. “Having a full cohort allows us to be more selective with our candidates.”

Smith says her favorite part of the process has been seeing all of her efforts come to fruition.

“The staff has wanted this program for so long, so it’s really been fulfilling to see that happen,” she says. “I always want to contribute to the field and to help train and supervise, so this has been a rewarding experience for me. There are a lot of great people here.”

Passing on professional knowledge to the interns is important to Smith. The internship program places a heavy emphasis on diversity, self-reflection and professionalism.

“Incorporating diversity initiatives into our curriculum is important,” she says, “because the message will continue to be shared, so it branches off and continues to have a positive impact.”

Doctoral intern Joshua McLaughlin describes Smith as a compassionate supervisor with a talent for empowering others.

“Dr. Smith carries herself with openness and compassion, and she is dedicated to making this internship a growth-promoting experience,” McLaughlin says. “I really appreciate her emphasis on approaching diversity concerns with curiosity and humility. Her passion has enhanced my own awareness of the challenges faced by persons with various identities as well as how to empower the voices of those who have been historically marginalized.”

Smith hopes the program continues to secure four interns each year and will continue to recruit a diverse applicant pool. Above all else, she is grateful for those who helped get this program off the ground.

“There were many people who played an instrumental role in getting this program up and running,” says Smith. “The president of the university, Doug Hankes and [Senior Vice President for Student Affairs] Bobby Woodard all worked within their offices and within Student Affairs to get this internship program started. I am very appreciative of the Auburn Family.”

For more information about the Doctoral Internship Program, contact the SCPS office at 334-844-5123.

 

NPHC Shakes Up The Beat

NPHC SHAKES UP THE BEAT

The National Pan-Hellenic Council (NPHC) of Greek Life recently hosted its annual Tiger Stomp step show, where culture was brought to life through a variety of intricate steps and exciting dance moves.

The show took place on Sept. 27 at the Beard-Eaves Memorial Coliseum in front of more than 800 people. Seven organizations performed, including organizations from Auburn and from surrounding areas.

The show is performance-based, with each team given 13 minutes to perform. In first place was Delta Sigma Theta, performing a themed dance from the movie “Us.” In second place was Iota Phi Theta, performing a themed dance from the movie “Life.” In third place was Alpha Phi Alpha, performing a dance with a “Dragon Ball Z” theme.

Greek Life Coordinator and NPHC Advisor Benard Goins said he was impressed with the turnout and enthusiasm for the step show.

“I think the event went very well,” he says. “The venue made a difference as far as capacity, and the event overall was a great way to highlight the NPHC community.”

Another development within NPHC is the upcoming construction of the NPHC Legacy Plaza, a project that has been in the works for many years.

The NPHC Legacy Plaza will celebrate the past, present and future of Black Greek-Letter Organizations on Auburn’s campus. The goal is to provide space on campus that commemorates African American culture at Auburn University and cultivates a spirit of inclusion and diversity for all minority students as a whole.

As advisor to NPHC, Goins has been involved with much of the planning of the project, from developing a vision for the plaza with NPHC students to launching web content. He says he is excited about the project and looks forward to NPHC students having a place to call their own.

“It has been a group effort with support from across the Auburn community,” says Goins. “I am looking forward the community recognizing NPHC’s impact on campus. I think it’s going to be a fantastic project.”

Construction of the plaza is set to begin in 2022. For more information about the step show or the Legacy Plaza project, please contact Goins at btg0016@auburn.edu.

 

Student Spotlight – Plan, Sleep, Repeat

 

Plan, Sleep, Repeat

From planning hall socials to fielding noise complaints, resident assistants lead busy lives. Though balancing these responsibilities may sound like a tough act, Resident Assistant Jaylah Goodson says she wouldn’t change a thing.

Goodson, a junior majoring in biomedical sciences, is a resident assistant in Aubie Hall in the Village neighborhood. This is Goodson’s second year serving as a resident assistant, which she says she became interested in after learning about the opportunity from her mom.

“My mom has a good friend whose daughter served as a resident assistant,” explains Goodson. “She always had great stories about the experience, so I decided I should apply.”

Goodson spoke to her resident assistant and attended informational meetings before deciding to apply for the position, saying that serving as a resident assistant is one of the best decisions she has made during her time at Auburn.

“The relationships formed with my co-workers and my residents are really special; I can’t really put it into words,” she says. “It is such a rewarding experience.”

As a resident assistant, one of 77 at Auburn, Goodson is expected to work between six and 10 hours at the front desk of the residence hall each week and be on call for 5 nights every six weeks, which entails being available during all hours of the night.

Additionally, she is responsible each month for planning a social, which is a themed event targeted at facilitating interactions and engagement between residents. She recently planned a “Chips, Dips & Tips” event, where residents were served chips and various dips while hearing from faculty members about personal development and life skills.

Goodson says that the key to succeeding as a resident assistant is knowing how to manage your time efficiently.

“My major is biomedical sciences pre-medicine, so I have a lot going on at all times,” says Goodson. “I have a great staff [in University Housing] that works with me on my schedule, but I also have that skill within myself to be disciplined with my time and make my workload more manageable.”

University Housing Graduate Assistant Xavier Mundell says that Goodson’s sense of care for others is what distinguishes her from other resident assistants.

“Jaylah is an exceptional resident assistant because you can tell she cares about other people so deeply,” he says. “She always takes the time to consider both her residents and her co-resident assistants to ensure that she can help in the most effective way.”

Applications for resident assistants for the 2020-2021 year will open on November 11. For more information about the resident assistant program, please contact University Housing by phone at 334-844-4580 or by email at housing@auburn.edu.