Offices plan for spring

Every mid to late November, APU updates their fact sheet for the current school year. This fact sheet includes, but is not limited to, the total number of students in the undergraduate population (currently at 5,770) and graduate population (currently at 4,250), as well as the percentage of female and male students.

In obtaining this data, the Director of Institutional Research, Chris Olson, has seen a significant increase in the population of transfer students.

More than 600 students transfer to APU each year. Due to the fluctuating number of students, several offices on campus are beginning to set goals to develop their mission and cater to a greater body of students.

The Student Center for Reconciliation and Diversity (SCRD) has begun thinking about some of their plans for the upcoming semester. As an office that promotes recruitment and retention, leadership development and the pursuit of academic success and graduation, Executive Director of the SCRD Aaron Hinojosa is looking to engage with incoming students by hearing their stories. He said that this strategy will help the office gain perspective on how to better serve the community.

In an effort to get more students into the office, Hinojosa anticipates introducing the SCRD alongside ethnic organizations during the first week of spring semester.

“[We aim to] help the new incoming spring students gain awareness of what SCRD has to offer,” Hinojosa said.

Though the SCRD may be perceived as only serving students of color, Hinojosa wants to reinforce the fact that they seek to work with all students.

“We work with SGA and Communiversity to expand on this mission,” Hinojosa said.

Hinojosa said the SCRD is looking forward to hearing from more students in the spring. They are hoping to get more students involved in some of their upcoming events, like the PIO luau in April and the monthly speaker series featuring both faculty and staff members.

Residence Life is also putting together a plan of action to effectively integrate their transfer students into their mission .

“[We are] creating spaces for residential students to explore their God-given identity and purpose within the communities they live,” Smith Hall Resident Director (RD) Scott Kolmer said.

Though Kolmer doesn’t expect many new students in his hall this spring, he is looking to accomplish his second semester goal of going deeper with his current residents and the few new ones he does have. He, along with his staff of 11 resident advisors (RAs), will be using much of their time to focus on things like life stories. With the understanding that many residents experience homesickness, Kolmer said that Residence Life is hoping to make sure that no one, whether they are a current resident or a new one, feels as if though they don’t belong.

“I think we just go out of our way to not just make sure that person feels welcomed, but also fast-track some of that connection so they can jump right into going deep,” Kolmer said.

With a resident hall of roughly 130 students, he anticipates losing a few students due to transfers. In welcoming new students, he wants for all students to know him, their RAs and neighbors.

“I’ll make sure that the RA welcomes them and make sure that the RA keeps an eye on them,” Kolmer said.

Though its primary goal of first semester was to get residents connected, Residence Life is encouraging students to dig a little deeper in the spring and to thoroughly comprehend and understand their neighbors and brothers and sisters in Christ.