The Friday Letter Archive

A collection of the president's weekly messages to the Vandal family

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Friday Letter 2017-09-01:
A Culture of Safety at UI

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The Friday Letter
Sept. 1, 2017
Letter from the President
Dear Friends,
This year, like most years, I joined faculty and staff in helping students and families move in to the residence halls in Moscow. For any parent, it’s a time filled with excitement and pride. You want your child to dive into academic life, take on new challenges, and expand his or her world. That exploration can come with concerns. It’s natural: You want your child to be safe.
 
Let me state clearly up front: No college campus is immune to accidents or unfortunate events. These are large, multifaceted institutions. That said, we work very hard to cultivate a culture of safety, starting from the time students arrive on campus. All new full-time students are required to complete the interactive “Think About It” orientation, which examines relationships, substance abuse and violence. That bolsters the discussions students have with Student Life leaders on campus.
 
We also focus on safety during our annual Safety Week, which starts Sunday, Sept. 10. The week promotes a culture of safety and asks the Vandal family to proactively look out for one another. The annual “Take Back the Night” rally, a partnership between the Women's Center and the Violence Prevention Programs at UI, is Sept. 14. Mary Beth is looking forward to attending again and raising awareness about interpersonal violence and support for those affected. The annual Katy Benoit Safety Forum also takes place on Sept. 14.
 
Our Violence Prevention Programs include the “Green Dot” campaign, which offers bystander intervention training. The “I Got Your Back” campaign, a series of trainings, events and resources, amplifies that message throughout the year: speak out, get involved, look out for one another. Last year the Women's Center was awarded a $300,000 grant from the U.S. Department of Justice for a multi-year Campus Violence Prevention Project; our Vandal Athletics program is joining that effort to engage male student-athletes, coaches and administrators in addressing interpersonal violence  and sexual assault. I am proud of this institution-wide commitment. In addition, this year a number of campus entities — the UI Counseling & Testing Center, Beta Theta Pi fraternity, Campus RecreationVandal Health Education and To Write Love On Her Arms WSU — have come together to host the second annual “We Got Your Back” Suicide Awareness 5K on Sept. 12.
 
Proactive involvement when others are facing danger or other challenges is central to our approach as a campus community. We look out for each other. We educate ourselves and others. We speak up, we get involved. We are a Vandal family.
 
Despite our best efforts, we may face a difficult situation. I hope we will approach any problems in the same spirit with which we prepare for safety — as a Vandal family committed to the safety and well-being of each other. That is how we honor the promise we make at move-in day and every day at UI.
Chuck Staben
Go Vandals!

Chuck Staben
President
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The University of Idaho is pleased to announce it has awarded more than $25 million in scholarship support to students for the 2017-18 academic year. The funds were awarded to over 6,800 undergraduate students from 49 states. More than 4,700 of the scholarship recipients are from Idaho, receiving over $12.8 million in support. “The University of Idaho is committed to making education affordable for all students, from Idaho and around the nation. Scholarship support is a huge part of that commitment,” said Dan Davenport, director of Student Financial Aid Services. “We understand that a college degree is something worth investing in — and we believe our students are worth investing in, too.” The scholarships are a combination of merit, need-based and outstanding achievement awards. Many of the scholarships are funded privately by the University of Idaho Foundation Inc., through the generosity of donors and alumni. For more information about scholarships at UI, go to www.uidaho.edu/financialaid/scholarships. The lists of scholarship recipients by state is available at uidaho.edu/news/lists.