This spring, the Office of the President launched an effort to engage students in the strategic plan in a meaningful way by offering to support at least one student-identified initiative from those vetted by the Student Government Association. About 40 ideas surfaced during a month-long campaign by SGA to solicit initiatives students would like to see implemented as part of Grounded in Mission, the university’s strategic plan.
“This entire process has been quite eye-opening, and a wonderful conversation starter among students,” says Nahal Hashemian, the outgoing SGA president. “We would love to see all of these ideas come to light.”
The Office of the President invited SGA to share student ideas, and SGA forwarded a slate of suggestions garnered from students. SGA solicited student input during forum-based discussions, social and student media and by speaking individually with students. Ideas SGA selected went through a vigorous review process, according to Hashemian.
“The Student Government Association took this opportunity seriously and spent a substantial amount of time evaluating ideas,” says A. Gabriel Esteban, Ph.D., DePaul’s president. “These ideas deserve similar consideration on our part.”
SGA proposed new programming for first generation students similar to programs at other universities. DePaul already has a new program under development, and the pilot will launch in the fall. “Generation Success” is a yearlong, cohort-based curriculum that will provide holistic, individualized support for students who are the first in their families to attend college. It will launch with a three-day immersion experience before the start of the fall quarter.
SGA also proposed increasing Monarch Butterfly Scholarship funding. In response, the university has agreed to make the Monarch Butterfly Scholarship an option for donations during Blue Demon Challenge Day, beginning next year, and to include this scholarship as a priority for additional fundraising during the university’s next capital campaign.
These proposals are a clear reflection of how important the mission—welcoming marginalized, low-income, first-generation and immigrant students—is to DePaul students, according to Chief of Staff Steve Stoute.