October 2020
Love is… Wait! What month is this?

Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is love correcting everything that stands against love. -- Martin Luther King, Jr.
When you read this letter, you might think I’ve gotten ahead of myself. Love is a February topic, isn’t it? Where are the fall leaves or haunted house references we expect in October?! But I’ve been reading a lot of Richard Rohr lately, and his message just seems so pertinent to this particular time. Let me share a bit of his writing with you. 

Rohr, contemplating the power of love, writes,

What had I learned about love? One of the central things was that the experience of being understood by another was of primary importance. Somewhere deep within was a “place” beyond all faults and virtues that had to be confirmed before I could run the risk of opening my life up to another. To find ultimate security in an ultimate vulnerability--this is to be loved. 

We have been through so much turmoil this year as individuals and as a nation, and love, however defined, has been put to a severe test on so many levels, in so many contexts. Data gatherers are already telling us that depression, alcohol, and substance abuse have increased dramatically during Covid, that violent interactions are on the rise, and distance and disparity have featured in a heartbreaking number of news reports. We are also learning that employees are struggling to maintain their enthusiasm even about jobs they used to love and that our nation’s university students are struggling to stay engaged even though their programs represent their dreams for their futures. 

What can we do?

In Student Affairs, we “do” a great deal every day. We carry out important processes that enable students to get in school, stay in school, and graduate, but the most impactful thing we can do every day is help someone love being here. In every encounter, in the midst of every application or process, as we respond to every email or phone call, we have the opportunity to create a positive experience between human beings that will enable all of those other important, action-oriented things to get done, but which will also enable love--love for jobs, love for programs, and love for our community--to flourish. This is true if we’re helping someone fill out FAFSAs or encouraging face-covering compliance, and it is also true about the larger work we need to get done, like facilitating social justice, equity, and equal access to education and opportunity. 

Love doesn’t need a grand stage; love is just as potent in the day-to-day. If you don’t love Zoom, I get it. If you don’t love masks and plexiglass, I get that too. But if you need help loving your job, I’d like to help. Invite me to your staff meetings, and let’s find answers together. If you’re burned out and need a break, let’s talk. Join me during my open office hours, come to my monthly “The VP Is In” chats, or reach out to me on email. If we all love--our jobs, our students, our fellow human beings--intentionally, we’ll see each other through the difficult questions and the challenging times.


October Spotlight: Student Leadership and Engagement Center

Like all the other units in Student Affairs, the Student Activities Board (SAB) has had to engage in some creative thinking to restructure our plans for students this year! In the month of October, board members would normally be recovering from the grueling programming of Homecoming activities while finalizing plans for Bootacular, the annual Halloween carnival. However, we are not in a normal year. This year, SAB programmers have literally stepped up to the challenge of not only hosting online events, but being creative with in-person activities. Figuring out how to host quick and casual events with gatherings limited to no more than 50 people has been challenging, but the SAB has come up with several alternatives, including providing students with grab-and-go treats, relocating to outside locations when possible, and hosting online events.
TRIO-Student Support Services Grant Renewed

Idaho State University Access and Opportunity Programs is proud to announce that ISU has received a renewal TRIO-Student Support Services (SSS) grant in the amount of $1,704,295 over the next 5-years. This grant is critical to serving ISU-Pocatello campus first generation, limited income students, as well as students with disabilities with critical student success services. This grant has been continuously funded at Idaho State University since 1968 and is one of the oldest programs in the country. READ MORE
ISU Scholarship Grid Adapts to Ensure Access

When ACT and SAT testing was suspended in spring 2020, the Idaho State Board of Education waived the test score requirements for college admissions. Test scores were one of the criteria our Idaho State Scholarship Office used to determine awards from our scholarship grid, which was only recently revised. In response, we have adapted our grid for Fall 2021 incoming new first-time freshmen, basing awards on GPA only. Our goal has remained the same: to ensure greater access to scholarship funding for a larger population of students. We are the only institution in the state offering a full tuition scholarship for qualifying students, and our revised grid offers a competitive 4-year award to all students with an unweighted High School GPA of 3.0 or higher. 
K-4 Book Drive

The Graduate School is hosting a book drive. The final call for fall book donations is October 15. 

Our goal is to increase the K-4 grade level books in our classrooms throughout Pocatello, representing all cultures, ethnicities, and races. Our Amazon wish list makes it easy for donations to be purchased and shipped directly to the Graduate School office. Other book recommendations are welcome and may also be dropped off at our office in the Museum Building, Room 401, Pocatello campus, between 8:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.
Breaking the Traditional Mold: The Dichotomy of Merging Cultures
October 7, 12:00 p.m.
Hispanic Women and Politics: The historical remarks and contributions of Hispanic women in the United States
October 8, 12:00 p.m.
From Fields to College - A Migrant Journey
October 8, 3:00 p.m.
Outlook on Diversity within the Veterans
October 9, 9:00 a.m.
Student Activities Board Bengal Wednesday
October 7, 11:30 a.m.
Student Affairs and Bengal Service Corps are teaming up with the Idaho Foodbank to provide 1,000 boxes of stuffing for their Thanksgiving boxes. All holiday food items will be accepted and will benefit the Foodbank and Benny's Pantry.

Donation boxes will be located in key buildings around campus. For a complete list of locations visit isu.edu/service/large-service-events/

Please email letserviceroar@isu.edu with any questions.

Let's help those in need this holiday season!
Student Activities Pumpkin Decorating Contest
Join us on October 15th, from 3:00 to 4:30 p.m. for "What is Dating Violence?" A panel of experts will discuss this very important topic in honor of Domestic Violence Awareness Month.
Student Affairs | isu.edu/studentaffairs