Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014

New Students at UNO Adopt the Privateer Promise

New students at the University of New Orleans are adopting a credo: The Privateer Promise.

"Often times, many students come to college unsure of what will be expected of them and, unfortunately, call fall short of succeeding," said UNO student success counselor Nick Fuselier. "The Privateer Promise is a way to communicate those expectations as soon as they get to campus in an incredibly simple, yet effective way."

Learn More About the Privateer Promise

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The Privateer Promise is a new initiative for incoming first-year students that will assist them in their transition to becoming responsible members of the UNO community, said student success counselors in the University's Office of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs. The components of The Privateer Promise are philosophies that all UNO students should adopt in order to have a successful and meaningful college experience.

From here on, new students will begin learning about the Privateer Promise at New Student Orientation and will continue to learn more through New Student Convocation, Privateer Plunge and other welcome programs for new students. The Privateer Promise will also be furthered in UNIV, a mandatory one-credit course taken by all UNO freshmen that introduces the new students to skills that will help them succeed in University life, such as time management and goalsetting skills, for example.

"...Many current students have already been exposed to The Privateer Promise through student leader trainings and these student leaders have, in turn, introduced the initiative to incoming students during some Orientation sessions, Privateer Camp, and Transfer Retreat for Leadership," said UNO student success counselor Emily Horne, who said her office is "...already receiving such positive feedback from these students, I think the initiative will only continue to grow and be more impactful."

The Privateer Promise stemmed from similar programs such as Texas State University's "We Are Bobcats." Enrollment services staff worked with the University's First-Year Advisory Council to gain student input. The First-Year Advisory Council is a group of first- and second-year students dedicated to assisting other students with their transition from high school to college. The group helped to flesh out what the tenets of the Promise mean to them and played a critical role in developing the subtenets of the Promise.

The Office of First Year Experiences is now collaborating with campus partners to help spread the word and gather buy-in, Fuselier said. Already, students, faculty, staff and visitors are seeing large posters on campus that sport the key five tenets of the Promise.

  • We are CARING
  • We are HEALTHY
  • We are PROUD

Subtenets of the promise call for going to class "prepared and on time;" adhering to the principles of academic integrity; and using resources to achieve academic goals. They also call for students to "treatall members of our community with respect; follow through with commitments and adhere to expectations; and accept responsibility for our actions."

By taking the Privateer Promise, new students will also promise to understand and maintain personal wellness, care about people around them and throughout the world and nurture a clean, safe, litter-free environment. The promise calls for students to uphold and maintain the tobacco-free campus environment, instituted Aug. 1. It also calls for students to develop and promote consistent and healthy habits and find balance in all the aspects of their lives.

The promise moreover encourages students to "get involved," show school spirit and stay connected while on campus long after graduation. It calls for them to appreciate the diversity seen on campus and in our community. It asks that they "get engaged and invested in the City of New Orleans."

The program will be rolled out this fall to incoming first-year students, academic departments on campus, student organizations, faculty and staff.

Deploying and upholding the Privateer Promise on campus and in the community will be an all-hands affair. Campus partners include the Office of Communications, Marketing and Public Relations; the Department of Career Services; the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership; UNIV courses; Counseling Services; Student Accountability; Student Health Services; Housing and Alumni Affairs.

The Office of Enrollment Services and Student Affairs will continue collaborating with campus partners to develop and implement this initiative; help students to understand their responsibilities; develop consistent, accessible language; show students the important role they play in retention; gather buy-in; promote the initiative through posters and tables at events; and introduce the program to students through New Student Orientation, Convocation, UNIV, and Privateer Plunge.

"The Privateer Promise is going to serve as a new, accessible way to communicate expectations to students," Fuselier said. "While right now this initiative is directed towards first year students, we really hope that The Privateer Promise will become a staple of the UNO campus culture over the next few years.  With more and more students taking the promise, we are confident that this will assist students with their transitions to UNO, specifically as that relates to understanding and fulfilling the expectations of a Privateer."