A Milestone in Student Life at IUPUI
Hine Hall Auditorium, IUPUI
Thank you, President McRobbie, and thank you all for joining us for today’s celebration.
A little over three weeks ago, I was delighted to be a part of Move-In Day at IUPUI. I met the first official North Hall resident De’Jayla Young.
I don’t mean to exaggerate, but it felt like we were making history at that moment. De’Jayla is one of seven hundred students whose lives will be transformed by North all, and North Hall has already changed the life of the IUPUI campus.
My conversation with De’Jayla reinforced the vital role campus housing plays in creating opportunities for student engagement and student success.
North Hall is just the type of space that our 21st century students need.
The design of this wonderful space draws on the very best ideas from across the country, creating the optimal student living and learning environment. This new hall balances open, collaborative spaces with rooms that provide the quiet privacy that many students need to concentrate while studying, preparing for classes, tweeting, snapchatting, and other things our students do these days.
This is just the type of space that our 21st century students need.
According to a recent National Survey of Student Engagement, compared to their off-campus counterparts, first-year students who live on campus spend more time preparing for class and more time in co-curricular activities, both of which are key indicators for future academic success.
Researchers at UCLA have also noted the strong connection between living on campus during the first year of college and graduating—we hope—four years later. At the four year mark, those who lived on campus as beginning students were nearly 65% more likely to be graduating than those who lived off campus.
Since I joined the university in 1985, I have seen the IUPUI student population change dramatically. Over the past decade alone, we have seen a steady increase in the percentage of the freshmen population living on campus at IUPUI, going from 8% in 2007 to 49% this year. That deserves a round of applause.
It’s no coincidence that these years align with Michael McRobbie’s tenure as president of Indiana University. In his leadership and vision, President McRobbie has laid the foundation for generations of student success, and that too deserves a round of applause.
Students at IUPUI are literally lining up for the opportunity to live on campus. In fact, we currently have 313 IUPUI students on our housing waiting list or living at Park Place, outside housing with whom we contract. This demonstrates the great interest in and need for additional on-campus housing.
Add this interest and need to the increased graduation rates of those who live on campus, and North Hall becomes an important variable in the formula for student success, one of our strategic priorities at IUPUI.
As President McRobbie mentioned, student success is closely tied to creating a sense of community and a feeling that students belong.
In conclusion, I would like to express my gratitude to President McRobbie and the IU Trustees not only for your leadership and support of North Hall but also for helping IUPUI students succeed.
I would also like to thank Interim Vice Chancellor Tralicia Lewis and her staff in the Division of Student Affairs for all that they have done to transform the student experience at IUPUI through student housing and so many other engagement opportunities.
A few weeks ago when I helped with Move-In Day, I was reminded of my sons’ first days of college. It was about ten years ago that my wife and I dropped one son off at a university to the north.
We got there and didn’t know where to go.
We didn’t know what to do.
That confusion added to our own strong emotions as we left our son behind.
A year later, we had a similar experience with our second son at a different institution. What was nice was in the middle of all that, we had a big argument, so we were happy to leave him behind.
Against this emotional background, Move-In Day at IUPUI went like clockwork thanks to our expert team in the Division of Student Affairs.
It was just the way we hoped to begin the life of North Hall.
Thank you very much.