Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Dean Of Student Life, Leroy Wright, Welcomes Students Back To Campus

Below is a letter from Leroy Wright, the dean of Student Life at Ferris State University, to students returning to campus this fall.
Thinking of you this semester, I decided to focus my Fall 2010 letter on “Being Respectful.” After all, you are here to get a degree and to have a rewarding college experience. As I engage with you throughout the year, I can only hope that you are being safe, responsible, and cautious in all your interactions both on and off campus. I hope you know that you are valued and you are appreciated for your positive contributions and future leadership.

Many of you will face some challenges over the course of the next 15 weeks and will need to be prepared to formulate the most effective plans of action to find solutions to these challenges. I recognize that your academic and social experiences will include phases of frustration and sadness and would invite you to connect with our Counseling Center and/or Academic Support Services for assistance. Most literature available today, suggests that many college students struggle to deal with conflict or are under-prepared to successfully problem solve, resolve disagreements, or engage well with others. In order to find the most effective solutions to aid you in seeking a peaceful discourse, you are encouraged to utilize the following actions:
  • Have an open mind,
  • Understand not only your needs but the needs of others,
  • Acknowledge how your decisions and choices may impact others,
  • Exercise effective listening skills,
  • Maintain a level of patience and civility,
  • Minimize levels of aggression that may escalate the issue, and
  • Seek out opportunities to collectively find the solutions for all involved.
With that said, our community should be about learning from others, exploring new ideas, engaging in healthy dialogue, and being creative in our collaborations. I recognize that our students come from a variety of situations and backgrounds. I consider it of prime importance that we are all actively looking for opportunities to come together as well as to take responsibility for our own actions and decisions. You will need to remember that every problem or issue that you may be confronted with is an opportunity for success to occur.

Think about your interactions with faculty members when you didn’t get the grade you wanted on an exam. Reflect on whether or not it was a great idea to laugh at someone because of who they are. Challenge yourself to be civil when confronted by staff about something you may have done. Explore ways to resolve roommate problems before they become a major issue. Finally, suggest ways that we as a University can improve as a whole, versus what’s in it for me. There are a lot of resources, services, and policies to help you stay healthy and focused on your academics.

We are a University that is interested in how you are prepared to address not only your life issues but also issues impacting our world at-large! Your hard work and positive attitude during this semester will help us support not only your academic and social needs but also help us to continuously fulfill our mission and core values as a University. We welcome and encourage your continuous feedback, especially in how we are doing and how we are supporting your learning at Ferris State University.

Go Bulldogs!
Keep checking out the Ferris State University Blog for more updates on activities designed to welcome students back to campus for the Fall 2010 semester.

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