A letter to students from Dr. Xavier Cole, vice president for student affairs

As the new vice president for student affairs, let me welcome you to campus and express how excited I am to be here. Marquette is experiencing much change and growth in ways that are student centered at the core. It’s an honor to be at a university that truly embraces its mission.

Part of living the mission is having an expectation for creating spaces for civil dialogue. We will not always agree as a campus community, but through sharing perspectives and respecting the dignity of others’ perspectives, we can create a climate that is inclusive, where people feel safe to be their authentic selves.

The recent civil unrest in Milwaukee demonstrates the need for civil dialogue in our community, especially as it pertains to issues of social justice. Student safety is always our priority. Marquette Police Chief Paul Mascari’s recent letter emphasizes what the university has done to increase safety in the neighborhood surrounding Marquette. As a key stakeholder, Marquette needs to engage in the issues we face as a community.

The University Forum, sponsored by the Office of the Provost, is one opportunity we have as a campus to engage in civil dialogue around issues of race. More information on the forum will be shared closer to the events. There are also events sponsored by Intercultural Engagement, MUSG, Mission and Identity, Campus Ministry and others that provide spaces to engage in civil dialogue. I will be attending as many of these kinds of events as I am able, and I encourage you all to do the same.

Please introduce yourself to me if you see me there.

In addition, I want to call your attention to other ways to be engaged and involved on campus.

Student representation:

Get to know your student representatives in RHA, MUSG, the Graduate Student Organization and other coordinating councils and committees. These students are in regular contact with university leadership, and they can convey student experiences and concerns in those venues. A lot of change on campus has occurred because of what students have voiced.

Fall elections:

There’s no better way to exercise your civic engagement than by voting in the fall elections on Tuesday, Nov. 8. I highly recommend registering to vote in advance of Election Day. Information about voter registration requirements and voting itself can be found at marquette.edu/vote. In addition, a voter registration drive will take place in the AMU, Sept. 7 through Oct. 19.

Fall activities and social events:

In addition to the many educational programs planned for fall, there are a number of programs that allow students to meet new people, experience Marquette and explore Milwaukee. Late Night Marquette, the Annex, MUSG, RHA and others have programs planned every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from Sept. 1 through Oct. 13, including Marquette’s Homecoming October 2–9.

Service and retreat opportunities:

The Center for Community Service has a number of ways you can get involved in service on campus and in the community. You can meet a number of community agencies and student organizations focused on service at O-fest on Wednesday, Aug. 31, from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. on Central Mall. (The Taste of Milwaukee event will follow.) It’s also important to take time to intentionally reflect on your experiences. Campus Ministry has a number of retreats throughout the year that allow students to do so.

I invite you all to take advantage of all this campus has to offer, including recreational opportunities offered by the Department of Recreational Sports, academic support programs through Student Educational Services, and internship and job search support from the Career Services Center. I look forward to meeting as many of you as possible. Have a great fall semester.

Dr. Xavier Cole
Vice President for Student Affairs

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