Annual Report 2016-2017 UNO Office of Student Involvement & Leadership

In alliance with the mission and strategic plan of the University of New Orleans (UNO) and the Division of Student Affairs, the mission of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL) is to foster student success and lifelong learning by providing all students with meaningful opportunities for involvement in campus and community life. This will be achieved through initiatives such as: cultural activities, leadership and citizenship development, community involvement programs and partnerships in service-learning.

The Office of Student Involvement and Leadership's programs and services are committed to the development of the whole person in conjunction with the mission of the University of New Orleans. The areas that fall within the purview of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership include: Development and advisement of registered student organizations, Leadership programs and retreats, Community service initiatives, Fraternity and Sorority life, Commuter initiatives, Student Governance, the Student Activities Council, and the UNO Social App.

Registered Student Organizations (RSO's)

Participating in a student organization is one of the most rewarding ways in which a student can be involved.

Registered Student Organizations (RSOs) are a vital part of campus life that grant students the opportunity to interact with their peers while fostering learning outside the classroom. The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) provides training for RSO leaders and their advisors, resources for planning and implementing programs, and verifies that organizations are following university procedures.

# of registered student organizations in 2016-17

There were over 93 RSOs at UNO in 2016-17, with 12 new organizations that were founded in that year, including a student chapter of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), a student chapter of Toastmasters, and the Creative Arts Movement.

Leadership Programs

The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) executes an array of leadership programs throughout the year, including retreats, workshops, networking events, and the leadership awards ceremony.

Many of these leadership programs have seen a growth in participation. The Fall 2016 Leadership Summit has experienced a 51% increase in participation since 2011 (113 participants).

The 2016 Leadership Retreat, a 30+ year tradition, demonstrated a small decrease in attendance but an increase in student satisfaction from 2015. The 2017 Leadership Recognition Ceremony experienced a 25% increase in award nominations from students and faculty since the 2013 ceremony.

Student Feedback from 2016 Leadership Retreat Evaluations

Emerging Leaders

The Emerging Leaders program supports first and second year students in developing their leadership skill set by creating opportunities for them to nurture interdisciplinary thought, critical thinking, and complete leadership development activities.

Through weekly meetings during the spring semester, participants gained the confidence and tools needed to become responsible citizens of the world and ethical leaders in the UNO community.

Participant Self-Assessment Results

The Emerging Leaders completed a self-assessment to evaluate their development in skills from 1 to 5: 1 being that the program did not provide opportunities to capitalize on the skill, and 5 being that the program helped enhance the skill. The graph above illustrates the average of their responses.

“The most valuable thing I learned from being an Emerging Leader was how to lead small groups because I can use that in my organization to foster better relationships with our members.”

Service Initiatives

The Service Coalition is a student-run service/volunteer resource of the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL). The organization serves as the connection between volunteers, student groups, non-profits, and service providers. Service Coalition works together to address New Orleans' social, environmental, and educational needs by volunteering with various non-profit organizations throughout the community.

2016-17 Service Highlights

  • 1,240 service hours completed by student volunteers
  • Average 100 hours served per monthly service day
  • 100+ UNO students participated in the city-wide Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service, including over a dozen project coordinators

2016-17 Donation Drives

  • Flood Relief Drive: delivered 8 cars full of supplies (diapers, clothing, nonperishable food, etc) to relief organizations
  • Silent Auction for Haiti: 14 items donated by local artists and businesses, $250 raised and sent to Hope for Haiti, a disaster relief organization, following Hurricane Matthew’s devastation
  • Tornado Food Drive: 120 pounds of non-perishable food collected for the survivors of the New Orleans East tornado
  • Mardi Gras Bead Drive: 430 pounds of Mardi Gras beads collected for ARC of Greater New Orleans
Members of the Service Coalition executive board at a spring service day
“Service Coalition gives my academic career a sense of purpose, camaraderie, and perspective. It’s perfect and I’m grateful to be a part of this group.”
“I love how Service Coalition has become this really active voice on campus. We’re everywhere now. It’s like, no matter where you go, you can’t escape us, like that annoying fly in your ear but with community service opportunities and recycling and environmental impact.”

Fraternity and Sorority Life

The University of New Orleans recognizes 15 Greek organizations, each of which is a campus chapter of a national group.

UNO is the home to six active sororities and one inactive sorority: Alpha Xi Delta, Delta Zeta, Delta Sigma Theta, Sigma Kappa, Zeta Tau Alpha, Zeta Phi Beta, and Sigma Gamma Rho. Since Spring 2012, sorority life has grown by 48%.

In addition to seven sororities, UNO also has five active fraternities and two inactive: Alpha Phi Alpha, Kappa Sigma, Lambda Chi Alpha, Kappa Alpha Psi, Phi Beta Sigma, Phi Kappa Sigma, and Theta Xi. Since Spring 2012, fraternity life has grown by 6%.

Since Spring 2012, Greek Life overall has grown by 29%.

During the 2016-2017 academic year, membership has slightly declined. Noting this trend, SIL will continue to work with student leaders to increase programming and visibility to build a values-based community for upcoming semesters. In addition, SIL will continue to provide resources such as various leadership development workshops, event equipment, and general assistance in the hopes to continue the pattern of building a bigger and stronger Greek community.


  • All Greek CUM GPA - 2.994 (compared to 2.833 University Overall CUM GPA)
  • All Sorority Women CUM GPA - 3.133 (compared to 2.889 University Overall Female CUM GPA)
  • All Fraternity Men CUM GPA - 2.844 (compared to 2.774 University Overall CUM Male GPA)
  • 658 service hours completed
  • Over $700 raised for NORDC
  • Over $66,000 raised toward philanthropies
  • Over 180 events hosted, including philanthropy, social, and educational programs

Commuter Initiatives

Commuter Services seeks to assist the University of New Orleans’ sizable commuter population in ways that will enhance the on-campus experience of these students. Commuter students can oftentimes feel disconnected, unsupported, and uninformed regarding university expectations and events. Commuter Services seeks to reach out to these students with initiatives designed to reach students who do not spend a large amount of time on campus outside of class.

Student Lounge

This year space was approved for a new Student Lounge downstairs in the UC. This space will be for all students, but will provide some services that are particularly helpful for commuters. Services will include: daily locker rentals, 3 video game areas, pool table, ability to check out video games and other equipment from SIL, and will be staffed by a student worker from SIL.

Funding for the remodel, furniture, and equipment was approved by the SGA and we hope to see this space open in the Fall of 2017.

Student Activities Council

The Student Activities Council (SAC) is the primary programming board of the University of New Orleans. These students are dedicated to hosting events on UNO’s campus that build community and provide educational experiences outside of the classroom.

Events vary in size and scope; major SAC events include campus traditions such as Homecoming, Welcome Back Luau, International Night, and SUCbAUF Annual Crawfish Boil. SAC events are organized by type: entertainment (music & performance-based events), cultural arts (educational & diversity events), special events (campus traditions), and lagniappe (miscellaneous events such as the annual Welcome Week, Organization Fair, and Fresh Fest).

2016-17 Highlights

  • Won the National Association of Campus Activities (NACA) 2016 award for Outstanding Diversity Achievement for the "Cultural Conversation Series"
  • Consistent increase in attendance for Welcome Back Luau over five years, 60% growth from 2015-16 (from 500 to 800 attendees)
  • Each monthly daytime novelty to reach commuter students met its maximum capacity (250+)
  • Hosted 73 events in 2016-17
  • 16 events with 250+ in attendance

Student Governance

The Student Government Association (SGA) offers their support to students by providing funding for their efforts, free services for their college success, and advocacy for their grievances.

2016-17 Highlights

  • $25,000+ in legislative funding provided to 10+ offices, colleges, and student organizations
  • $27,000+ in academic travel funding provided to 50+ students
  • $60,000+ allocated for departmental/organizational budgeted projects including: Jazz at the Sandbar, International Night, the Tocqueville Project, and Privateer Camp
  • $15,000 in study abroad scholarships provided to students
  • Other operating services funded by SGA include: free scantrons, hand sanitizer dispensers, free legal services, and the on-campus recycling program
"SIL provides a real insight into the wants of students."

First Year Transitions

First Year Transition programs are initiatives co-sponsored by the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership and the Office of Enrollment Services.

These programs are designed to assist students as they adjust from being a perspective student to being a successful Privateer, from application through their collegiate experience. They include:

  • Privateer Plunge
  • First Year Transition Camps (Privateer Camp and Transfer Retreat for Leadership)

Privateer Plunge

Privateer Plunge is a six-week collaboration to connect new students (e.g., freshmen, new transfers) to the UNO community and get them involved in events, activities, and organizations in the first six weeks. Studies have shown those initial six weeks to be integral in student retention (Astin, 1984).

Event tracks to encourage student engagement during Privateer Plunge.

2016-17 Highlights

  • 175 events hosted (up from 149 in 2015-16)
  • 1,300 freshmen and transfer students attended Privateer Plunge events (a 37% increase from 2015-16, 950)
  • 4.7 average number of events attended

First Year Transition Camps

Student Involvement and Leadership co-sponsors two transition retreats for new students with the Office of Enrollment Services:

  • Privateer Camp (P-Camp): a retreat for first-year students to improve upon their leadership skills, learn about UNO resources, and prepare for their first year at the University of New Orleans.
  • The Transfer Retreat for Leadership (TRL): a two-day retreat for incoming transfer students to learn about UNO resources, meet other transfer students, and participate in leadership development activities.

2016-17 Highlights

  • 84% of participants said they would participate again if given the opportunity
  • 95% of attendees said they would recommend Privateer Camp to other incoming students
  • 10+% higher retention rate than the campus rate (participants in Privateer Camp were retained at 95.8%, compared to 85.3% overall)
“[Privateer Camp] was an amazing experience that built my leadership skills and made me realize my self-worth and potential.”
“It’s a great way to make the transition from high school to college better.”
“I feel like I am ready for UNO.”

Digital Engagement

The University of New Orleans “UNO Social” app is an indispensable tool in supporting the journey of students from orientation to graduation. Today’s student body is diverse and multicultural with constantly evolving challenges and expectations. In our annual student survey:

  • 64% of students reported that using the app contributes to a positive feeling of being on campus
  • 73% reported that the app makes them feel like they belong to the university community fostering a sense of community at UNO
  • 68% of first year students said the app helped them get off to a good start at UNO
  • 95% of students would recommend the app to their peers
Students use the app to talk about campus life.

According to our annual student survey, the mobile app is a preferred medium for finding campus information at UNO. Students have immediate access to the entire array of campus services via the app with:

  • 75% stating that they were able to learn about campus services
  • 71% using the app to inform themselves of extracurricular activities
  • 57% of students saying that mobile technology helped them stay organized during their school year
  • 86% reported being confident that their school-related question will be answered on the app

Engagement Highlights

  • Through December 2016, the University of New Orleans app has received 2,045 downloads and 1,261 registrations.
  • Students are using the app to regulate their studying habits. This year, students have added 177 courses and 104 to-do’s to their schedule.
  • This year, there were 34,397 comments, posts and likes on the campus wall, along with 18,219 peer to peer messages. This shows that students are using the app to connect with the campus community and their friends.
  • There were 18,818 clicks on the Clubs tile and 8,729 clicks on the events tile. This shows that students are using the app to learn about student activities on campus and are engaging with clubs and events.
  • There were 1,413 clicks on the Services tile. This shows that students are using the app to learn about and engage with campus services.

Learning Outcomes

The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) surveys student leaders annually regarding the department's learning outcomes. Student self-assess to what degree SIL's programs have impacted their growth and development.

Through engagement with the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership, I have learned how to...

"SAC events and Leadership Retreat have helped influenced my development. SAC helps because there's always such diversity and I get chance get to work with all those different types of people, learn something new each time, and all while having fun. Leadership Retreat helps because we get to help cultivate the leadership skills of others and I get to develop my own as well."

In Conclusion...

The Office of Student Involvement & Leadership (SIL) deems 2016-17 a successful year of engaging students across disciplines and classifications. Though attendance at some programs have declined over the year, this is reflective of an overall drop in enrollment at the university and lack of adequate support from the office. (*SIL had one professional staff member from September 2016 through April 2017.)

For 2017-18, SIL plans to staff the office adequately (as possible) and to increase event attendance while finding efficiencies in resources and seeking new opportunities for partnerships to reach more students. SIL is hiring a Coordinator for Campus Programs and Coordinator for Student Governance to provide intentional advising to improve student development and programmatic success.

Contact us

For more information about the Office of Student Involvement & Leadership, please email us at or call 504-280-6349.

Prepared by LeeAnne Sipe, Director. Contact her at

Created By
LeeAnne Sipe

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