Student Life Provides Integrated Learning Experiences, Empowering Students to Become Engaged, Global, and Ethical Persons
Student Life is guided by the Lasallian Core Principles:
- Faith in the Presence of God
- Concern for the Poor and Social Justice
- Quality Education
- Respect for All Persons
- Inclusive Community
Students who engage in the Student Life experience at Saint Mary’s College will apply the habits of mind to achieve the following outcomes:
- The ability to reflect on and articulate the multiple and evolving dimensions of their personal identity.
- The ability to demonstrate an understanding of personal and social responsibility.
- Competence in making connections with others, and experiencing a sense of belonging.
- The ability to advocate for the dignity of all people.
- The ability to practice leadership as a means for positive social change.
- Knowledge of and ability to model behaviors that support a balanced and healthy lifestyle.
Vice President for Student Life
The Vice President leads the Student Life area in building, sustaining, and enhancing a community focused on student learning by providing services and support for students outside the classroom. Student Life areas include: Dean of Students Office, Residential Experience, Community Life, New Student and Family Programs, Campus Housing, Counseling and Psychological Services, Campus Assault Response and Education, Health and Wellness Center, Student Involvement and Leadership, Intercultural Center, and the Center for Women and Gender Equity. Student Life administrators and staff work together and in association with other campus departments to form key relationships for the benefit of Saint Mary’s students.
Student Life Offices and Services
Dean of Students
The Office of the Dean of Students is a department within the division of Student Life, and serves as a key link between students and other areas of campus life to support student success. The Dean of Students’ staff and programs enhance the out-of-classroom experiences of students in an effort to develop responsible, civic-minded, and engaged citizens. The Dean of Students’ staff coordinates the College’s response to crisis situations that involve students, and frequently serves as a liaison between students, faculty, and other administrators or offices in a variety of situations. The Dean of Students is available to guide students and families to resolve complex issues, and provide resources to enhance the Saint Mary’s experience.
The Office of Residential Experience creates a home for residential students by developing a safe, engaging, and inclusive environment that supports resident learning and emphasizes personal and social responsibility. Committed to the College’s Catholic, Lasallian, and liberal arts traditions, Residential Experience intentionally fosters a living environment that promotes the academic, spiritual, emotional, and personal growth of each resident. The atmosphere is supported by a dynamic team of residential staff, the student programming body (Residence Hall Association or RHA), and a variety of campus partners who support our Living Learning Communities. Through intentional connection with the academic community, the Office of Residential Experience carefully assesses the holistic learning of students in the context of the residential community.
Living Learning Communities (LLCs)
Saint Mary’s College offers students residential opportunities to extend their education beyond the classroom. There are several themed living learning communities in the residence halls. A Saint Mary’s College living learning community provides resident students:
- A unified theme and shared sense of goals within the community.
- Intimate engagement with Saint Mary’s through conscious contribution and fellowship.
- Improved academic and social transition in each stage of student development.
- Increased personal and academic learning and development.
- A supporting and challenging environment in which students engage in ideas, and explore diverse views and values.
STEM Living Learning Community
For incoming first-year undergraduate students who have expressed an interest in pursuing a STEM major, a special living learning community exists in Assumption Hall, located in the same hall as the STEM center and just across the street from the Brother Alfred Brousseau Science Building. STEM-focused students seeking a residential community with peers who are taking calculus, chemistry, physics, or biology, and who are committed to an atmosphere where there is quiet time for studying at night, find this option attractive. In addition to the opportunity to live in an intellectually stimulating environment, students in the STEM Living Learning Community are supported in their academic endeavors by the presence of older students, skilled in the sciences and the humanities, who are available as mentors and tutors. Students have access to a range of enrichment activities such as going to the San Francisco Symphony and Bay Area museums. The STEM Living Learning Community is sponsored by the School of Science in partnership with the Office of Residential Experience. For further information, contact Professor Makenzie O’Neil of the Psychology Department at firstname.lastname@example.org. Students enter a lottery to live in the STEM Living and Learning Community through an online roommate preference questionnaire included in materials distributed to new students.
Honors Living Learning Community
The Honors Living Learning Community is open to both new students and returning students who are part of the Honors Program. Participants live in Aquinas Hall, which is a suite-style accomodation that has a study lounge, outdoor space and laundry room on the first floor. Live-in tutors specializing in the sciences and the humanities - along with dedicated live-in faculty - help create an intellectual stimulating and supportive community.
Honors Living Community goals:
Provide incoming honors students with a quiet, respectful community of diverse but similarly motivated peers.
Create a nurturing and supportive environment in which students forge a solid academic foundation a) by providing live-in mentors/tutors in the humanities and sciences b) by providing well-equipped and quiet study facilities c) by providing relevant and engaging co-curricular programming.
Ease social and academic transition into college through appropriate social programming and weekly events.
Offer accurate in-house academic advising and mentoring from qualified live-in faculty member(s).
Foster and mentor future campus and student life leaders.
Lasallian Living Learning Community
For sophomore students, the Lasallian Living Learning Community at Saint Mary’s College is a residential experience grounded in the themes of faith, service, and community. In addition to living together in Becket Hall, participants in the Lasallian LLC attend a fall retreat together, engage in regular service opportunities at a local school or non-profit organization, enjoy fellowship with one another during community nights, and participate in twice-monthly classroom discussions in a .25 Community Engagement course: Listening to Life: Living Lasallian I (TRS 017). The Lasallian Community is sponsored by the Mission and Ministry Center in partnership with the Office of Residential Experience. For more information, contact the Mission and Ministry Center at (925) 631-4366 or email@example.com.
Transfer Living Learning Community
The Transfer Living Learning Community is open to any incoming or returning transfer student. Living together and sharing common experiences, the community is an opportunity for transfer students to meet other students and participate in events. The community is home to a flexible classroom space in which students may take transfer-specific courses in their residence hall. Residential staff working within the community are well-versed in the experience of transfer students and can provide unique support.
The Office of Community Life assists students in maximizing their potential as responsible and ethical citizens and leaders. The Office of Community Life seeks to reduce student misconduct by encouraging an active and healthy lifestyle, and educating students about the importance of being engaged in their community. The Office of Community Life is responsible for administering the disciplinary process. The process is intended to educate students about appropriate conduct and the potential consequences of their actions and choices. It articulates learning, personal responsibility, self-discipline, respect for others and self, and supports the educational values of our community.
The Student Handbook can be found online at stmarys-ca.edu/studenthandbook. The Student Handbook communicates important information regarding the Student Code of Conduct, the Academic Honor Code, Alcohol and Other Drugs policy, Title IX policies and procedures, and other Community and College policies.
New Student and Family Programs
New Student and Family Programs is dedicated to providing a seamless transition into the campus community for new students and their families by engaging them through programs, outreach, and publications. New Student Orientation, Weekend of Welcome, and other signature programs of the First Year Experience offer first-year students and transfer students opportunities to connect academic, personal, social, cultural, and spiritual development into their educational goals and practices. New Student and Family Programs also promotes family involvement and partnership with the College through several engagement opportunities such as a Family E-Newsletter and annual Family Weekend.
The Campus Housing Office is the central location for students to obtain all pertinent information regarding their housing needs. In coordination with Residential Experience, Campus Housing assists students in room selection and placement, facility concerns, as well as coordinating all of the opening and closing of the residence halls. The Campus Housing staff serves over 1,600 undergraduate and graduate students as well as the 21 residence halls located throughout our campus.
Counseling & Psychological Services
Counseling & Psychological Services (CAPS) is the primary provider of counseling and psychological services to the full-time undergraduate and graduate students. CAPS staff provides confidential, short-term psychotherapy to individuals, couples, and groups at no additional cost. Therapy is provided in an open, non-judgmental, and culturally sensitive environment. CAPS professional staff helps students with personal concerns, such as adjustment to college, relationships, stress, anxiety, depression, body image, self-esteem, grief and loss, sexuality, sexual orientation, and issues related to alcohol and drug use. Students who need longer term therapy or specialized treatment are referred to mental health providers in the community. CAPS has an extensive list of sliding scale referrals and refers students to providers on the Saint Mary’s College Insurance Plan or other insurance companies. Additionally, CAPS provides outreach programming throughout the year to students, families, faculty, and staff.
Health and Wellness Center
The Health and Wellness Center (H&WC) is located on the ground floor of Augustine Hall. The H&WC provides medical care in an urgent care model to all full-time undergraduate students and international graduate students. In addition to providing direct medical care, the H&WC can help with referrals to local off-campus medical providers, if needed. Please visit stmarys-ca.edu/health-wellness-center for a detailed list of services, hours of operation, incoming student requirements, and health educational materials. Local after-hours medical care resources can also be found on the H&WC website, including the After-Hours Nurse Advice Line, which is a medical advice resource when the H&WC is closed and can be reached using the H&WC number (925) 631-4254.
The Intercultural Center (IC) strives to create a safe and supportive learning environment that embraces diversity and fosters an inclusive community. The IC is committed to educating the campus about cultural competence, identity development, and social justice. IC programs and support services are designed to explore the broad definition of culture, and affirm the human worth of all individuals.
Student Involvement and Leadership (SIL)
Student Involvement and Leadership provides opportunities for academic, intellectual, personal, social, and leadership growth through the coordination and implementation of co-curricular programs. SIL advises and mentors the Associated Students (AS), Campus Activities Board (CAB), student media, and student organizations. SIL assists students in developing their leadership skills through various roles and opportunities on campus.
Associated Students (AS)
The AS is the official student government, representing the undergraduate student body of Saint Mary’s College. As a cooperative campus organization based on mutual confidence among students, faculty, and administration, the AS constitution, bylaws, and fiscal allocations are subject to review and approval by Student Involvement and Leadership. The administrative structure of AS includes the elected Executive Council (president, vice president for administration, vice president for finance, and vice president for student organizations), and an elected Student Senate comprised of class chairs, vice chairs, and senators. In an effort to provide checks and balances it also includes a Judicial Tribunal. In partnership with SIL, the AS charters, supports, and funds over 60 student organizations, including the AS programming branch known as Campus Activities Board (CAB).
The diversity of Saint Mary’s clubs and organizations reflects the interests and commitments of our student population. Currently, there are more than 60 registered organizations with members who are actively pursuing their academic, social, cultural, athletic, professional, service, and unique special interests through student organizations and clubs. For a current listing of recognized and affiliated clubs and organizations on campus, contact Student Involvement and Leadership or visit SPOT from the Saint Mary’s portal.
Center for Women and Gender Equity
The Center for Women and Gender Equity is dedicated to creating a campus environment that empowers women and folks across the gender identity spectrum to envision and engage in a life that maximizes their academic, personal, and spiritual growth. The Center enhances students’ experiences by fostering a supportive and inclusive environment for all, while promoting and practicing acceptance and collaboration, and providing relevant programming, advocacy, and resources.
Campus Assault Response and Education (CARE) Center
The CARE Center promotes a campus culture of care, safety, and respect for all persons. It empowers students through education and outreach and provides a supportive, trauma-informed, and student-centered approach in response to gender and power-based personal violence to all students. CARE strives to promote well-being by helping students develop lifelong skills that improve the quality of life and their relationships. The Center provides a supportive space for students to explore their own knowledge, experiences, and beliefs about healthy sexuality, consent, healthy/unhealthy relationships, and communication. The CARE Center director serves as a confidential resource for students and provides direct response and intervention for victims of sexual violence and/or harassment, intimate partner violence, and/or stalking.
Public Safety is responsible for safety and security programs, crime prevention, parking control, and escort services on campus property. Public Safety officers patrol the campus; respond to reports of crimes, fire alarms, medical emergencies, and requests for assistance; and enforce campus traffic and parking regulations. While the Moraga Police Department is the official governmental law enforcement agency for our campus, the Department of Public Safety, as a non-sworn security organization, provides the day-to-day, 24-hour security and safety presence on campus. The College requests that all crimes be reported to the Department of Public Safety. While the Department of Public Safety contacts the Moraga Police Department for further investigation and follow-up on criminal matters as appropriate, all victims of crimes retain the right to contact the Moraga Police Department directly for any criminal matter. Public Safety can be contacted 24 hours/7 days a week by calling (925) 631-4282.
As provided by the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act of 1998, Saint Mary’s College of California, through its Department of Public Safety, annually provides notice, and makes available copies of the Annual Security Report to the campus community, prospective students, employees, and the public. Each Security and Fire Safety Report includes statistics for the past three years concerning crimes and incidents reported to campus security authorities (whether they occurred on campus, in off-campus buildings, and property owned or controlled by the College, or on public property adjacent to campus). Each Security and Fire Safety Report also provides campus policies and practices concerning security-how to report sexual assaults and other crimes, crime prevention efforts, policies/laws governing alcohol and drugs, victims’ assistance programs, student discipline, college resources, and other matters. The Security and Fire Safety Report is available publicly in the following ways: electronically at stmarys-ca.edu/public-safety/annual-security-and-fire-safety-report; in person at the Department of Public Safety Administrative Office, 111 Assumption Hall; or by mail or telephone request made to: Department of Public Safety, P.O. Box 3111, Moraga, CA 94575-3111 (925) 631-4052.
In addition, as provided by the Campus Sex Crimes Prevention Act, the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office maintains a Megan’s Law database of sex crime offenders. Information may be obtained in person from the Sheriff’s office, 500 Court Street, Martinez, Monday-Friday, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. or through the California Department of Justice website, which lists designated registered sex offenders in California at meganslaw.ca.gov.
Mission and Ministry Center
The Mission and Ministry Center gives expression to and fosters the Catholic Lasallian heritage and mission at Saint Mary’s College. Staff and student leaders support the Catholic Lasallian identity in the context of a liberal arts education through the promotion and animation of five Lasallian core principles: Faith in the Presence of God, Concern for the Poor and Social Justice, Quality Education, Inclusive Community, and Respect for All Persons. The Center welcomes and serves students of ALL faith traditions who are seeking deeper understanding and expression of their faith, and relationship with God.
The core areas of the Mission and Ministry Center include faith formation, Lasallian mission and education, liturgy and prayer, justice education and immersions, a Living and Learning Community (integrating faith, service and community), retreats, and developing student leaders as ministers.
The area of Faith Formation in the Mission and Ministry Center provides a focus on the sacramental preparation process, academic partnerships, spiritual direction, and ecumenical, and inter-religious dialogue. The Mission and Ministry Center is attentive to our Catholic heritage and tradition, each person’s faith and religious traditions, and those who are seeking support in their spiritual development.
The Lasallian Mission area provides opportunities for Lasallian Mission programs on campus, partnerships with the Lasallian Mission in local, national, and international settings, and close collaboration with the College’s Office of Mission. Aware that we are a Lasallian Catholic college, each person is invited and encouraged to become more deeply involved in the expression of our Lasallian heritage and mission at the College. Further, we offer a January Term course each year, Lasallian Service Internship, that provides students an opportunity to serve in Lasallian ministries domestically and internationally, live in community, reflect on issues of economic justice in light of Catholic Social Teaching.
Justice and Education
An expression of our commitment to social justice and service rooted in Catholic Social Teaching is at the heart of our Lasallian mission. Our primary opportunities to explore issues of justice in a faith based context while providing service are: Immersion trips during academic breaks, our Jan Term course-Lasallian Service Internship, Fair Trade Fridays, Solidarity Suppers, and educational events inspired by resources from Catholic Relief Services.
Liturgy and Prayer
The expression-of-the-faith life of the campus, as well as the Catholic sacramental life, is expressed through the Liturgy and Prayer programs and experiences of the Mission and Ministry Center. We actively seek ways to nurture the liturgical life of the College community, and foster opportunities for spiritual development and prayer experiences. Weekday and Sunday Masses, as well as campus-wide liturgies, provide a visible witness to the Catholic identity and sacramental life of the College community. Additionally, as a Catholic community of inclusion, we celebrate the religious diversity of our campus community through regular interfaith prayer opportunities. Further, the Mission and Ministry Center also offers an Interfaith Sacred Space on campus for those who seek a place for regular prayer and meditation outside of the main Chapel.
Saint Mary’s College provides intentional opportunities for students to build and experience life in a community committed to faith and service. Residential Ministry within the Mission and Ministry Center consists of the Lasallian Living and Learning Community in Becket Hall, and the Santiago Living and Learning Community in Ageno West Hall, as well as outreach to all students in the residence halls through partnerships with the Office of Residential Experience, resident advisors, resident directors, and other departments on campus.
Retreats and Vocation
Opportunities for time to reflect, pray, and build community are an important aspect of the College community. The Mission and Ministry Center is committed to the development of a yearly retreat series that includes retreats such as the annual New Student Retreat in September, a Koinonia Retreat in the spring, a Meditation Retreat during De La Salle Week, and other thematic retreats. Attentive to the call by God that each of us has been given; opportunities to reflect, pray, and discuss God’s presence and call in our lives happen through opportunities for discernment, prayer, and discussion groups. Post-graduate volunteer opportunities, such as the Lasallian Volunteer Program, are a viable possibility for many students.
Approximately half of the students at Saint Mary’s College currently self-identify as “non-Catholic.” In order to support the spiritual growth and faith development of all our students, the Mission & Ministry Center collaborates across the campus to develop programming, foster relationships, and create spaces that welcome, celebrate, and nourish other faith traditions. In dialogue with the College Council for Inclusive Excellence (CCIE), the Intercultural Center, CILSA, and the Center for Engaged Religious Pluralism (CERP), we are reaching out in an intentional and sustained way to a broader cross-section of our students in order to more fully honor, value, and support the diversity of faith traditions within our campus community. Further, the Mission and Ministry Center also has the Interfaith Sacred Space on campus for those who seek a place for regular prayer and meditation outside of the main Chapel.
The Mission and Ministry Center is located next to St. Mary’s Chapel and the Interfaith Sacred Space along the Arcade. (925) 631-4366 or firstname.lastname@example.org.