Student Life has been working hard to find ways that will improve the campus experience for day students.
The effort for change began after a focus group of day students met a year ago at the instigation of Dr. Eric Newton, dean of students. His goal was to get their feedback about life as day students. One common reaction was that the students felt disconnected from campus life and unsure of whom to go to for assistance.
Mrs. Jennifer Cox, assistant dean of women, and Mr. Stephen Wetterlund, assistant dean of mentoring, are heading up these efforts.
“We’ve got to let them know ‘we are here for you,’” Cox said.
Initial efforts included placing information on BJUOnline in the Day Student section, but this medium was not as effective as they had hoped. Some students had trouble logging on, while other students never saw the information.
Not to be discouraged, Student Life brainstormed over the past summer and decided to launch the Day Student Blog at blogs.bju.edu/dsc/. Cox and Wetterlund use this blog to post videos letting students know of upcoming events, both required and extracurricular. For example, two of the student body officers were recorded inviting the day students to the InstaMeet that took place around the BJU campus on Sept.13.
Wetterlund and Cox said they would particularly like to see the day students get involved in the discipleship groups that meet Monday nights. Day students can stay on campus and meet in a Monday night discipleship group of their choice, or they can form a group of their own. Even if they cannot come to a Monday night group, Cox said any student, faculty or staff member is encouraged to put together a group that includes day students.
Cox said that if a day student wanted to be connected to a discipleship group, but was uncertain how to join a group, he or she could email Cox or Wetterlund, and then they would connect them to a group.
Additionally, Wetterlund and Cox are trying to encourage day students’ involvement within their societies. Society officers can help these efforts by finding out who the day students are in their society, and reminding them when society events are coming up.
Finally, Wetterlund and Cox said Student Life’s location change from the Administration Building to the first floor of Reveal has helped them connect with both residential and day students. They hope this connection will continue to strengthen and that students will feel free to give feedback and ideas to Student Life for ways they can better inspire unity among all the students at Bob Jones University.