New Year, New Inaugural Vice President for Student Affairs

Welcome back and happy new year!

With this new year brings Grand Valley’s first Vice President for Student Affairs, Jennifer Hall-Jones. Vice President Hall-Jones brings extensive knowledge and experience, having spent 25 years working in higher education. 

Elevating the Vice Provost position to that of a Vice President will bring voice to the important work all of you do within our division and was the main recommendation from our divisional external review (May 2021). We thank you for your patience and feedback throughout this process and look forward to the opportunities to come with this structural change.  

I would be remiss if I did not also share my gratitude for allowing me to serve in the acting role for the last six months. I have learned so much from you and our colleagues across campus. Your continued dedication to our students during this ever changing and challenging time reaffirms my commitment to Grand Valley and the Division. I look forward to welcoming Vice President Hall-Jones and sharing the amazing work we do. 

-Aaron
GVSU commencement ceremony in the Fieldhouse with people sitting in audience students sitting during commencement with caps and gowns on

Fall 2021 Commencement

On December 10 and 11, the Grand Valley community gathered to celebrate the achievements of over 1,000 GVSU graduates. Commencement was modified this year with the intent of allowing graduates to celebrate with their families as safely as possible. 

All three ceremonies took place in the Fieldhouse located on the Allendale campus. The program was modified to be more concise than a typical commencement ceremony while still ensuring that graduates were able to walk across the stage; traditional commencement elements such as the procession of the platform officials and the president’s remarks were also included. 

Congratulations to all of our Fall 2021 graduates! Planning for the Winter 2022 Commencement Ceremonies is underway, so make sure to visit the Commencement website for updates.   

Question. Persuade. Refer. Ask a question. Save a life from suicide.

QPR Training

QPR is a highly effective, nationally recognized program that teaches how to identify and intervene when someone is struggling with thoughts of suicide.  Attendees become certified suicide prevention gatekeepers and are integral to the health and safety of our campus community.  The University Counseling Center strongly encourages anyone who is new to Grand Valley, hasn’t been QPR trained, or could use a refresher to attend an upcoming QPR – no registration required!  Please spread to word to students or colleagues who might also benefit from this life-saving training.
Individuals in wheelchairs playing adaptive basketball Individuals in wheelchairs posing together on the basketball court

Inclusive Sports

Recreation & Wellness hosted their second wheelchair sporting event, before the holiday break, in collaboration with Michigan State University’s Adaptive Sports Club. In an effort to create more socially inclusive opportunities on campus, this event welcomed students, staff, and community members with and without disabilities. 28 wheelchair users and able-bodied participants played wheelchair basketball and floor hockey at this event. Participants were able to learn the specific rules and modifications associated with each sport, which they then demonstrated out on the courts!
The event allowed the Recreation & Wellness team to gauge interest and gather thoughts from participants about future inclusive programming on campus. In a post-event evaluation, 100% of the participants responded that they are "very likely" to participate in a future event. One Grand Valley student said, "I had never played wheelchair sports before and learning how to play was such a fun and rewarding experience! I can't wait for the next one!" This was a great opportunity for the GVSU community to come together to learn, have fun, and play sports.  

DEI Committee Meeting Dates

DSA's DEI Committee will continue to meet this semester and welcomes anyone interested in this work to join! See below for Winter 2022 semester meeting dates.
Wednesday, January 19, 2-3 p.m. - Virtual
Wednesday, February 2, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, February 16, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, March 2, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, March 16, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, March 30, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, April 13, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, April 27, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
Wednesday, May 11, 2-3 p.m. - Location TBD
For questions about this committee, please contact Takeelia Garrett (garrettt@gvsu.edu), DEI Committee Chair.
PRSSA students standing at their student organization table during campus life night

Introducing the 2022 Winter Student Org Showcase

Due to health and safety concerns pertaining to COVID-19, Campus Life Night Winter 2022 was cancelled. However, it is still an incredibly important time for students to get involved in Student Life. Joining a student organization helps students stay connected to the campus community, develop lasting relationships, and truly make the most of their time at Grand Valley. 

Student Life is introducing a brand new involvement event called the Winter Student Org Showcase. From January 24-27, student organizations will be tabling in the Kirkhof Center, handing out freebies, and recruiting new members. This new format allows student orgs to still be valued and promoted while also prioritizing student safety. 

Students currently involved in a student org can register for the event on the Winter Student Org Showcase website to reserve a table and select a time slot. Students interested in learning more about getting involved can find a regularly updated list of student orgs attending the showcase also on the Winter Student Org Showcase website

DSA Training & Development

GVSU Division of Student Affairs, 2021-2022 Training & Development

CARE
January 26, 10-11:30 a.m.
*Please note, this will now be a virtual event

*RSVP required to receive zoom link


Division of Student Affairs Film Series


When They See Us (Part 1 & 2)
January 20, 12 - 1 p.m. (Virtual)
*Hosted by: Meghan Veltri

*RSVP required to receive zoom link




DSA Professional Development Scholarship
Looking to attend a conference this semester, but low on funds? Apply for our DSA Professional Development Scholarship!
Shanikwa Cruickshank posed, leaning against a brick wall

Meet the Division:

Shanikwa Cruickshank, Housing & Residence Life


Name: Shanikwa Cruickshank
Title: Living Center Director, Housing & Residence Life
Position Description: Administrative duties, managing conduct, supervising an RA staff, and providing support to Residential students.
Share something about yourself that others may not know: I am new to Michigan and the snow!
What do you enjoy doing outside of your work at GV? Recently, I've enjoyed resting! Since I'm new to Michigan, I have been trying to explore a lot in the Grand Rapids area. I am always open to suggestions, email me!
What is your favorite or funniest college memory, either as a student or as a staff? I was fortunate to go on an alternative spring break trip to Give Kids the World Village in Kissimmee, Florida. Give Kids the World Village is an 89-acre, nonprofit "storybook" resort. Here, children with critical illnesses and their families are treated to week-long, cost-free vacations. As a volunteer, I didn't expect to learn much, but I had the opportunity to talk to so many amazing chidlren and their supportive families. It was a time to laugh, cry, and learn.
What do you love about helping college students? I love helping residents develop their skills to have crucial conversation. I enjoy helping them develop effective communication skills when dealing with their roommates and friends and showing them the importance of advocating.
students smiling students walking on campus
Grand Valley State University
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