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The Division of Student Affairs
Winter quarter 2019

Student Affairs: A culture of caring

UCI’s annual Homecoming festivities and Anteater Family Weekend evoke feelings of warmth and Anteater pride across the campus. This year’s event was the most lively yet, and I am thankful for all students and families, alumni, staff and friends of UCI whose energy, dedication and hard work contributed to the weekend’s tremendous success.

Anteaters volunteer during spring break
Anteaters in SLL’s Alternative Break Program engage in community service and experiential learning.
I also want to take a moment to reflect on our UCI community. We strive to create a community of caring; it is a cornerstone of the work we do within Student Affairs. When faced with a tragic loss early in the quarter, our community came together to provide support and promote positive change in the campus culture. To that end, I have convened the UCI Task Force on Campus Culture – Alcohol, Drugs and Behaviors comprised of interdisciplinary experts and stakeholders committed to the campus health and well-being. I look forward to receiving the task force’s recommendations and will update the campus in the coming months.
– Edgar J. Dormitorio, Interim Vice Chancellor, Student Affairs
Student Affairs Conference - March 5, 2019

Student Affairs Conference March 5

Student Affairs is hosting a one day conference, The Present & Future of UCI Student Affairs, on March 5, 2019. The conference is designed to enhance staff engagement, professional networking, educate and inform colleagues on different higher education practices through the sharing of experiences and interaction.

Visit the conference website »

Inés Cabrera, second from left, checks in on some of her Mesa Court residents.

A helping hand and a smile

The campus has grown exponentially in the 29 years since Inés Cabrera started working in Mesa Court. Though she’ll be retiring in June, her ability to give a helping hand and a smile to students as a way to impact their success outside of the classroom is at the heart of what she continues to do today.

As a custodian for two buildings housing 96 residents, many of whom are away from home for the first time and struggling with homesickness, Inés has taken the opportunity to get to know students on a personal level.

Inés recalls one student who would never respond when she greeted them with, “Good morning,” but at the end of the year, the student wrote her a heartfelt letter thanking her for always acknowledging them. Another student was very homesick during her first quarter, so Inés would occasionally bring her home-cooked food to let the student know she cared. When the student’s parents visited from Northern California, they made it a point to find Inés and thank her personally for helping their daughter find a sense of belonging.

To this day, many Mesa Court alumni come back to check in on Inés and other staff, say hello and express their gratitude for helping them through their first year at UCI. Art Perez, Associate Director of Operations at Mesa Court, believes that Inés embodies the profound difference Student Affairs custodial staff make in the lives of students. “Former students care so much as to go out of their way to track [the staff] down and say hello to them years later.” Inés and her colleagues value helping others when they need it, always extending an affectionate hand so students feel like they are at home in the residence halls. And it leaves a lasting impression.


Mark Deppe to speak at SXSW Gaming Festival

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UCI tops lists in world rankings

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Campus Recreation and Special Olympics

Campus Recreation:
Partnerships that make a difference

UCI Campus Recreation has been forging a number of inspired partnerships. UCI Intramural players and coaches came together in December for the Unified Sports Flag Football Clinic to train and develop Special Olympics athletes. “We are thrilled to work with an organization that believes in the inclusive ideals of sports and strives to serve all those with a desire to play,” remarked Andy Christopher, Director of UCI Intramural Sports. In January a sold-out women’s clinic for students and staff called ‘She Gainz’ taught weightlifting in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Also this winter UCI Intramurals teamed up with UCI Esports to offer UCI’s first intramural esports league giving students the opportunity to compete in an Overwatch league in the esports arena. Focusing student employment opportunities toward leadership training and professional growth programs, Campus Rec’s very first job fair brought in more than 300 interested students.

Green Dot:
Intervention with intention

CARE Green Dot
Green Dot, UCI CARE’s bystander intervention program, is an interactive training geared toward ending power-based personal violence. Students learn tangible skills and how to proactively make a difference on campus and in their communities. Green Dot preventative and intervention actions taken are logged on the CARE website’s interactive Green Dot map, visualizing their cumulative effect.

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MLK Day of Service

Anteaters take ‘A Day On’

This January, the Cross-Cultural Center presented the Martin Luther King Jr. Symposium, a series of collaborative programs and events designed to honor Dr. King’s commitment to social justice. The symposium included the MLK Jr. Day of Service where a group of 150 UCI students, staff, faculty, retirees and alumni stepped up to participate in ‘A day on, not a day off’ and helped to organize and package over 4,200 food boxes at the Orange County Food Bank. The food boxes were donated to families and individuals in Orange County.

The office of Campus Organizations and Volunteer Programs (COVP) in Student Life & Leadership has organized the MLK Day of Service program for over 10 years in partnership with the OC Food Bank and other campus units including the Cross-Cultural Center. Dean of Students & Assistant Vice Chancellor Rameen Talesh appreciates that the Day of Service has become “an occasion for students, staff, alumni and faculty to come together and give back, honoring the legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.”

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