Here at Fontbonne, we encourage our students to connect with co-curricular activities and leadership opportunities. The LACE (Leadership and Community Engagement) Center is the place for just that. Students have access to space where they can collaborate, host meetings and smaller-scaled events, utilize various resources and leadership development materials, and connect.
Housed on the 4th floor of Medaille Hall, LACE is the home to four key departments: Campus Ministry, Multicultural Programing, Orientation, and Student Engagement, and Residential Life.
Campus Ministry serves students of all religious backgrounds and traditions without distinction to grow spiritually. Led by Joanna Boyd-Wilhite, Director of Campus Ministry, Campus Ministry seeks to nurture the spiritual lives of the students, faculty, and staff by helping them connect with themselves, others, and God. From mass to retreats to service opportunities, here are some of the amazing initiatives supported by campus ministry:
- Service/Immersion Trips launching in Spring of 2023
- Interfaith focused prayer services and activities
- Community building through spiritual dialogues and discourse
- Catch the Fire ceremony to orient new students to Fontbonne and its Mission
When asked what prospective students should know about Campus Ministry, Joanna said, “Even though we are housed in a Catholic institution, Campus Ministry serves all students from all faith backgrounds; all are welcome! We want to meet you where you are at and accompany you on your journey to personal and spiritual discovery. Lastly, Ministry is about more than spirituality: it is about personal discernment and learning more about yourself, your purpose, and how you can make the world around you a better place.”
Multicultural Programing is overseen by Special Assistant to the President for DEI and Alum Deanna Williams and led by Sierra McClellon Coordinator of Multicultural Programing. MCA’s mission is to cultivate and affirm the value of diversity, equity, and inclusion by developing an inclusive community where all students can thrive. The office advises several student organizations, promotes cultural awareness through multicultural programming, and encourages dialogue around issues of social justice.
The Black Student Union (BSU), Sexuality and Gender Alliance (SAGA), and Griffins Achieving Progress (GAP) are all supported by this department. BSU improves the conditions of black students’ experience: culturally, socially, and intellectually as minority students at Fontbonne. SAGA aims to provide a safe environment for communication, celebration, and education of the LGBTQ+ community on the Fontbonne University campus and beyond. GAP seeks to increase the recruitment, retention, and graduation of underrepresented college students and ease the transition of students to college life. From cultural heritage month celebrations to mentorship & student support, as well as diversity leadership conferences; these student organizations have it all.
Deanna says “All students, no matter their identity, can get involved with the Office of Multicultural Programing. You can start learning about racial inequities and gender inequities at any time. Be the change you want to see in the world. Student advocacy is important and Social Justice Matters!”
The Office of Orientation and Student Engagement supports many different student organizations:
- University Programming (UP)
- Omicron Delta Kappa
- Disney Leadership Institute
- WING Leaders
- Griffins Obtaining Leadership Development (GOLD) Program
- Senior Committee
Each with one mission, to develop student leaders through involvement opportunities and experiences that enhance the students’ leadership skills, civic responsibilities, social interests, and professional marketability.
“As a former student leader, I can directly speak to the significance that campus engagement can have on a student’s collegiate experience – so much so that I was able to cultivate a career from my time spent working with my undergraduate peers!,” says Joel Hermann, Senior Director of Leadership and Engagement. “Being involved allows a student to connect directly with the university culture and carve out their own special place within the community. Plus, studies show that involved and engaged students tend to do better in classes!”
Being engaged on campus can be what makes the difference and further enhances your college experience. Getting involved on campus is a great way to make connections and form your circle of friends! It can be as simple as just showing up to all the great events we offer and discovering what you like! Involvement comes in stages – and you can start with as much or as little as you want. If you aren’t finding a group that piques your interest, stop by the Office of Orientation and Student Engagement.
Residential Life is more than picking a dorm. Supported by Karmen Tovar, Interim Director, Residence Life. Res Life is dedicated to the growth of the whole person. Through this program, Fontbonne provides opportunities for leadership, dialogue in a diverse community, and the fostering of values and skills important to the development of relationships and mature decision-making. Res Life offers programs that enhance student life and help students to create an atmosphere that fosters interdependent living and learning, open communication, and respect for university policies. This program is committed to maintaining standards to ensure the quality of residential living through well-maintained and sanitary facilities, quality contract services, effective management, and support services.
Student organizations and campus life are such important aspects of having a great college experience. Learn more about ways to get involved here!