Student Life Newsletter

Fall 2016


After a full and busy start to the fall semester we are settling into the routine of the year. Late September brought us two events, both of which could have been so much worse. Two students plummeted 800 feet over the edge of Gibraltar Road, emerging with only scratches and bruises. Four days later a small fire in Page Hall was an inconvenience for students who had to be evacuated for 6 hours, but we were spared a much worse situation because of the quick work of firefighters who were on the scene promptly. We have much to be grateful for, not only in the protection provided for us in these two situations, but for the covering we receive every day from God. There are so many things that happen every week in a community of 1500 people with countless opportunities for something terrible to happen. Let’s not forget to thank God for His safeguarding watch care.

With our increased attention to enrollment, we in Student Life are playing our role to ensure that current students are well cared for and supported through the events of their lives and the demands of their academic work. Among other initiatives we have:

  • launched student success initiatives for a number of particular student populations (i.e., students of color, international students, transfer students and newly enrolled students).
  • administered a survey in the third week to all new students, inquiring, among other things, about their physical and emotional well-being, their academic engagement, their sense of “fit” with Westmont, and the start of a relationship that might turn into a good friendship.

Each of the sections below provides highlights from within the various areas of Student Life. Of particular note is the update from Stu Cleek on the Mixed Class Halls and the Enhanced Residential Experience. We are spending a lot of time and effort this fall ensuring students have accurate information about the changes and that we are addressing their largest concerns. Thanks for reading about the happenings in Student Life!


Congratulations to Dr. Angela D’Amour, director of campus life, who received her Doctor of Philosophy in Education at UCSB in March, 2016. Angela’s dissertation explored college women's hopes, expectations and fears for the future as well as the influences on their future thinking.

Angela's dissertation reveals that while women now outnumber men in college attendance rates, the gender gap in occupations, salary and leadership persists. The purpose of this study, undertaken by Angela, was to extend the research on college women’s future thinking by exploring the possible selves and the influences on these selves of women at a private 4-year religiously affiliated college. Results of Angela's research suggests that college women most hope to serve others, expect to get a job, and fear disappointing others. College women most aspire to use their gifts and talents in a career, and least aspire to stay at home with children. Results revealed gender differences between men’s and women’s possible selves where women express greater fear of not getting married and not having a family, juxtaposed by greater hopes for adventure and travel abroad than their male counterparts. More information on Angela’s findings can be found here.


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