SIU to focus on student retention and involvement for the start of the Fall year

Fall semester starts August 19 for SIUC students

SIU students back in the classroom

CARBONDALE, Il. (KFVS) - Monday beginning the start of the Fall semester at Southern Illinois University in Carbondale for students, faculty, and staff.

With temperatures peaking at 95 degrees, students strolled across campus from class-to-class trying to get as much air condition as possible.

Lori Stettler, Vice-Chancellor of Student Affairs, said the focus of her office is the students and their retention, engagement, and involvement outside the classroom. “Students who are engaged on the college campus obviously are much more successful," she said. "They have higher graduation rates, higher retention rates, they are happier, they meet new people, they have friends.”

Walking alongside her new friend was Cameron Robinson, a freshman a pre-med student from Wisconsin. She said the hardest part of her first day on campus was the unanticipated test in her math class. “We weren’t allowed to use calculators, but all throughout high school they taught us on our calculators so it was a struggle.”

While her first day in academics may have been tough, she met a new upperclassman friend to show her the ropes.

Senior Cameron O’Brien was walking alone across campus. He said his first day is not so bad. “Pretty relaxed honestly because I don’t get too stressed out too much about all of this at this rate because I’ve been around here so much now,” he said.

As a part of the welcome week, SIU set up Saluki Stop Shops around campus to help guide students to their classes.

In addition, the transfer students had an Eat and Greet Breakfast.

This year, Stettler said students are now able to have their own single dorm, which is why they are pushing engagement."We don’t want to see students sit in their room and play video games and just be alone," she said.

Despite the normal challenges on any first day of school, Robinson said she’s hanging in there. “Living on your own, I’m adulting. Doing OK so far, I’m feeding myself, so that’s a good thing,” Robinson said.

On Wednesday, SIU will host its Saluki Job Fair.

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