The co-curricular student life area empowers the growth of students in intellectual, spiritual, emotional, social, cultural, physical and vocational competencies. A small liberal arts university such as Saint Mary’s is well-suited for this kind of growth. We intentionally create a learning environment which is sensitive to individual differences while at the same time fostering an appreciation for community. In the spirit of Saint John Baptist de La Salle, the commitment is to the total growth of students. The student development area, through team effort of all its offices and personnel, seeks to challenge and support students in this teaching and learning process. It is a collective responsibility to enhance the total growth of each individual and the development of community toward our mission of leading “ethical lives of service and leadership.” The community planner and the online handbook describe additional aspects, policies and procedures of student life in greater detail. It is the responsibility of every student to be aware of the policies as members of the SMU community.
Community Living and Expectations
Saint Mary’s University is a residential community in which over 80% of students live on campus. The community is established on the premise that students are responsible adults, indeed the leaders of the next generation. This process expects scholarliness, holiness, and thoughtful concern for others. We extend to students degrees of freedom but then in turn expect that they be responsible with this freedom. The creation of such an environment is possible only insofar as people are willing to accept the responsibilities for and the consequences of their actions. While individuals are afforded a great deal of attention at Saint Mary’s University, they cannot abdicate their responsibilities to the rest of the university community. No institution can operate without standards and expectations. The standards of Saint Mary’s University reflect the necessity for the individual to demonstrate a willingness to respect the rights and situations of the rest of the university community. The community expectations of Saint Mary’s University are reasonable and are established by and for the university community for its benefit and service.
The university provides reasonably priced and well-maintained living/learning environments, which are designed to foster community, self-growth, responsibility, respect for others, leadership and positive citizenship. The residence hall team consists of an administrative team of professional staff who are responsible for the operation of all residence halls; hall directors, trained professional staff who provide leadership and supervision in each building complex; and various student staff members who are assigned a floor or wing, and who help to create and maintain an environment which promotes academic and personal success while building a strong sense of belonging and community.
Residence living is intended to provide the student with opportunities for personal behavioral development. In order to realize this goal, each resident must share in the responsibility to make the living unit a pleasant, stimulating home for all concerned. The university residence halls have single, double and triple rooms, and three- to four-person suites. The student villages accommodate four persons in two-room furnished apartments, complete with bath and an efficiency kitchenette; each apartment has its own outside entrance. New students may apply for housing as soon as they have confirmed their attendance. Preferences are respected whenever possible. Rooms intended for two occupants are not assigned to a single occupant; however single rooms are available for sophomores, juniors and seniors upon request. Specific regulations and procedures relating to room occupancy and student accountability are spelled out in the room and board agreement.
The office of campus ministry celebrates the image of God in each human person while inviting all to become the hands and feet of the Lasallian Catholic mission. Through faith, service and community the gospel message is taught, reflected upon and lived. Faith is brought to life through vibrant liturgies, thoughtful prayer and dynamic retreats. The core area of community nurtures the relationships on the Winona campus with Lasallian Collegians, social activities and by providing opportunities for staff, faculty and students to meet outside of the classroom. As people of compassion and awareness, campus ministry dedicates time and talents to answer the needs in the Winona community, nation and globe. Service allows students to bring lessons learned in the classroom out to the real world to build their lived experiences and knowledge base.
Student leaders are the emphasis of campus ministry. As we appropriate the life and love of Jesus and Saint John Baptist de La Salle to the community of Saint Mary’s, we recognize the important roles students will take in churches and communities after graduation. Campus ministry depends on responsible and creative student leaders who minister to peers in each core area: faith, service and community. Campus ministry understands that the chance to walk with young adults on their faith journey is a privilege and seeks to challenge, rejoice and work for a community of understanding and justice.
Student Health Services
Student health services adheres to the philosophy that the decisions one makes in many aspects of life (i.e., nutrition, exercise, relationships, sleep, recreational choices and stress management) greatly affect the overall state of health and impact academic success. The goal of student health is to enhance the educational process by either modifying or removing health-related barriers to learning. Students are encouraged to strive for an optimal level of wellness and make informed decisions regarding their health-related concerns and choices. Services include treatment of minor illness and injury, case management of chronic health conditions, non-emergency health care, some laboratory testing, health and wellness education, referrals and certain medications. One full-time certified university health nurse and one part-time registered nurse are in attendance during the academic year. A medical provider is available on campus several hours a week for consultation. All visits to student health services are confidential; except in the event of an emergency, information is not released to anyone, including parents, friends, faculty and others, without prior consent of the student. As part of the registration process, students are required to complete a health and immunization history and proof of insurance. Students who fail to comply with this requirement will not be able to register for classes in subsequent semesters. Students with medical disabilities requiring accommodation in housing or other areas of daily living should complete the disabilities request form. Student health will then assist the student in having these needs met. A physical examination by the student’s family physician is required of all students with chronic health conditions or those planning on participating in intercollegiate athletics. Examinations by a physician may be required at other times during the academic year at the discretion of the school officials.
While student health does provide some direct professional care on campus, these services are limited; professional staff will provide case management for significant health concerns including off-campus referrals to area health facilities. All undergraduate students are required to maintain adequate health insurance either individually or through their parents. The university does not provide a university-sponsored health plan.
Counseling services promotes the psychological growth and mental health of SMU students through counseling, advocacy and education. Counseling services offers assessment, short-term individual and group counseling, referrals, educational workshops and personal development classes, and consultation for concerned others. Students bring a wide variety of concerns to counseling services ranging from issues of a developmental nature to severe psychiatric illnesses such as mood disorders. Counseling services assists many students dealing with issues involving the use and abuse of alcohol and other drugs. Counseling services is prepared to work with the increasing number of students who have already received services at home from a psychologist or psychiatrist and, when feasible, will coordinate care with providers from their home community. Counseling services also coordinates care of students as needed with other SMU offices such as student health, student life and disability services.
The most requested service from counseling services is one-to-one personal counseling. Personal counseling sessions are confidential; that is, information presented by clients is not released to others without the expressed consent of the client. Through honest self-reflection, supported by the respect, care and expertise of the counseling staff, students are encouraged to awaken and grow in self-knowledge and self-management skills. Clients are assisted to address their immediate concerns so that they may maximize their success at the university and also develop problem-solving skills that they can use throughout their lifetime.
The extracurricular aspects of student life prove invaluable in the development and growth of the person. The university directly and indirectly encourages and provides for a wide variety of such activities. Numerous student-run organizations and clubs provide students of Saint Mary’s University occasions for personal and social growth. The director of student activities facilitates the organization and club process, and advises the Student Senate. The director of student activities also advises the Student Activities Committee (SAC), SMU Crew, and the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance Committee.
The Student Senate
Student government at Saint Mary’s University is vested in the student senate, composed of executive officers elected by the student body at-large and senators elected by representative segments of the community. The student senate conducts its business without interference from the university administration and provides an active forum for student opinion and a practical means for student participation in the life and governance of the university. The student senate has voting representatives on various university committees. The student senate maintains its own budget and it delegates to the student activities committee (SAC) the responsibility for providing an extensive program of activities and social events. The student activities committee presents a variety of cultural and recreational activities and programs. Concerts, comedians, novelty acts and weekly movies are regular features throughout the school year. In keeping with the residential nature of the campus, programming meets the needs of students on weekends as well as during the week. The university social calendar is maintained and distributed on a regular basis by the student activities director with assistance from SAC.
Saint Mary’s University athletic teams are members of the Minnesota Intercollegiate Athletic Conference (MIAC). Approximately 25% of students participate in 21 varsity sports. Men compete in baseball, basketball, cross-country, golf, hockey, soccer, swimming/diving, tennis, indoor track and field, and outdoor track and field. Women compete in basketball, golf, cross-country, hockey, soccer, softball, swimming/diving, tennis, indoor track and field, outdoor track and field, and volleyball. First-year students and students transferring from other institutions are eligible to participate in accordance with NCAA, MIAC and Saint Mary’s standards. A transfer student’s class standing is determined by the number of transfer credits accepted from the other institution(s). A student has 10 full semesters to compete in four seasons of any sport. Eligibility requires that a participant be a full-time student and must successfully complete 24 credits during the two terms (full-time) of attendance that immediately precede the term during which he/she participates. Freshmen must complete a minimum of 12 credits in their first term of attendance to be eligible to participate with a team in the second term. Repeat courses previously passed do not count toward the 24 credits. Saint Mary’s University has determined that a student on academic probation is ineligible to participate in intercollegiate athletics during the probationary semester(s). Refer to the academic penalties section elsewhere in this catalog for information regarding academic probation standards.
Intramural Sports and Activities
The intramural program at Saint Mary’s is an important element of student life and offers every student the chance to participate. Its goal is “an activity for everyone and everyone in an activity.” Intramural sports provide healthful exercise, promote leisure education, enrich social competence, develop group loyalty and promote higher academic achievement. It is hoped that the Saint Mary’s community will take advantage of the many opportunities available, including competition in basketball, softball, hockey, flag football and volleyball along with various non-competitive activities.
The ingenuity of the students and the energy of organizations and classes result in a series of special events throughout the year which add variety and interest to the regular campus calendar. Variety shows, such as the annual Blue Angel and Gaslight, and special activities such as Cardinal Days, the Taylor Richmond Benefit Dance, International Showcase, and Family Weekend augment the professional entertainment sponsored by the student activities committee. The vigor of the social and cultural life on campus is directly proportionate to the involvement of the students, faculty and staff in these activities.
New Student Orientation and Registration
All new students participate in a one-day orientation in summer. When they arrive on campus in the fall they participate in activities during move-in weekend. Students living on campus also participate in activities in the residence halls. The activities are designed to ease the transition to university life.