Parents A to Z Guide
This guide contains information and contacts for many of the departments, areas and offices that your student will encounter at Saint Xavier. More information may be found by calling the University Information Desk at 773-298-3000. If you are unsure where to direct a question, please contact the Office for Student Affairs at 773-298-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Provost serves as the chief academic officer and is responsible for the planning, implementation and administration of the University’s academic programs, which includes the College of Arts and Sciences, School of Education, School of Nursing, Graham School of Management, Continuing and Adult Education as well as the Stump Library, the Center for International Education, the Center for Instructional Design and Academic Technology, the Orland Park Campus and other related services of the University. The provost works together with the deans and the senior leadership to develop and implement the academic vision for the University. Saint Xavier offers undergraduate and graduate programs that are administered through Academic Affairs. The provost serves in place of the president in the event of his or her absence.
A-219, Warde Academic Center
The Office of Admission's goal is to introduce prospective students to Saint Xavier’s campus and guide applicants through the application process. Students can arrange a visit to campus through Admission at their convenience and meet with an admission counselor who can help them through the admission process.
Admission – Student Ambassadors
Student Ambassadors are a select group of exemplary students who represent the University with enthusiasm and professionalism. As Student Ambassadors, students will have the opportunity to lead campus tours to prospective students and visitors.
A-226, Warde Academic Center
Advising – See Records and Advising
Alcohol & Other Drug Education Program (AODEP)
Saint Xavier has made a strong commitment to help our students make healthy choices around substance use and has a part-time, licensed CADC (Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor) to assess and make treatment recommendations for students who may be at risk for problems with substance abuse. The AODEP Committee, comprised of professional staff, faculty and students, meets regularly to review current college trends in substance use as well as plan preventative and educational outreach programming.
Modular unit behind Pacelli Hall
The Office of Alumni Relations, in collaboration with the SXU National Alumni Board, welcomes graduates, parents and friends of Saint Xavier University to explore the many opportunities to become active members of the SXU community. We host many events – networking, sports outings, wine receptions, service projects and more – in various regions across the United States to provide a means to meet fellow alumni and friends of the University. We hope you will be able to join us at any or all of our events this academic year! For additional information, please contact us at:
Nineteen intercollegiate athletic teams represent Saint Xavier University. Our teams not only compete well on the conference and regional levels, but also on the national stage. Go to www.sxucougars.com for updated schedules and join us for some exciting Cougar action! SXU’s Shannon Center is the place to be for athletic and recreational activities on campus. The Shannon Center is free to all SXU students, faculty and staff with appropriate identification. The University Bookstore and Cougar Fuel are also in the Shannon Center and are open to the public. The intramural program is structured to provide students, faculty and staff with the opportunity to participate in a variety of competitive and recreational sports activities. Intramurals feature on-campus recreation in traditional, and some not-so-traditional, sports and activities, including basketball, volleyball, dodgeball and bowling.
Room 208, Shannon Athletic Center
The Saint Xavier University Bookstore, located in the Shannon Center, offers textbooks in new, used and digital formats as well as textbook rentals. The bookstore also carries greeting cards and gifts, Saint Xavier sportswear, Cougar Spirit items, New York Times best sellers, school supplies, nursing supplies, candy and snacks. The bookstore accepts cash, personal checks (current student ID required), Cougar Card (Flex, Cougar Cash and Financial Aid) and major credit cards. Orders may be placed in advance of the semester online at www.sxu.bkstr.com and are available for in-store pick up or delivery to your home.
Bursar (Student Accounts)
All students must receive financial clearance from the Office of the Bursar each semester to ensure they have met all financial obligations. Financial clearance is needed for registration, to take out library books, to print in the computer labs and for resident students to access residence and dining halls. Some of the services offered by the Office of the Bursar include:
- Online billing and payments
- Payment plans setup
- Book vouchers
- Cougar Card deposits
- Student account inquiry
- Student health insurance billing and waivers
A-227, Warde Academic Center
The Career Services staff offers career counseling, advising and job search skills training designed to help students make informed and intentional career decisions. Internship resources, job listings and employer information are available through www.cougarjobs.com, a one-stop shop for on-campus employment, part-time work off campus and professional full-time positions and internships. Annual job fairs and several career information panels and recruiting events throughout the year offer students numerous career exploration opportunities.
Modular unit behind Pacelli Hall
Commuter students are the majority of our student population, and all of the activities of Student Life are available to them. Additionally, Transitions peer mentors serve as a resource to first-year students throughout the year, and Saint Xavier Council hosts programs aimed at commuter students. Commuters are encouraged to take part in the life of the campus by attending student events and activities, joining student organizations and intramural teams and participating in leadership opportunities.
L-103, Warde Academic Center
Counseling services are provided by licensed clinicians and include counseling for a wide variety of interpersonal and mental health issues. Free and confidential counseling services are available, as well as referral sources, to help students with issues that may interfere with academic success, such as adjusting to college life and managing stress, coping with depression and/or anxiety disorders, dealing with grief or loss issues, and fostering healthy family and peer relationships.
Modular unit behind Pacelli Hall
Dean of Students
The dean is an advocate for students and is available to help students with questions or problems related to the student conduct system, residence life, activities and leadership, student media and first-year programs. The dean is approachable and is a good person to start with when a student has a problem and is not sure where to go.
L-103, Warde Academic Center
Country House Dining Services is dedicated to providing SXU with the highest quality food and service possible. We believe in using fresh, whole ingredients and preparing our meals from scratch on-site. Dining Services is focused on promoting healthy, nutritious and most of all delicious options! We are here to work with students and any special dietary needs they may have. Students should feel free to stop by the Diner and talk to us and may schedule a visit with one of our chefs. Information about our venues and current hours may be found online.
A-106C, Warde Academic Center
Financial Aid staff members assist students and families in securing the necessary financial aid resources to attend college. It is important to file the Free Application for Federal Student Aid (FAFSA) each year as soon as possible after it is released on October 1. The Office of Financial Aid can assist with FAFSA completion, understanding your aid eligibility and reviewing additional financing options.
A-216, Warde Academic Center
The Health Center offers a variety of services including minor illness and injury care, chronic illness management, physicals, well-woman examinations, immunizations and laboratory services. Programs and initiatives encourage healthy lifestyles through health promotion, risk reduction and health education initiatives. In addition to these services, the Health Center keeps immunization records on each student as required by Illinois law. Students who do not comply with this law will have their registration for subsequent semesters blocked. For more information on the required immunizations and to download the necessary forms, please see the Health Center website.
Northwest corner of Parking Lot 4 in gray modular unit
The Hub is the first line of defense against any University-related technology issues and to reset SXU passwords. Parents are able to work with our trained staff to troubleshoot guardian accounts, or information technology staff can assist parents with Cougar Card GET Funds for student card deposits.
S-119, Warde Academic Center
Learning Center and Disability Services (LCDS)
The LCDS Office is committed to enhancing student success by providing tutoring, academic skills instruction and accommodations for students with documented disabilities. Free one-on-one tutoring is offered in writing and a variety of other academic subjects. Supplemental instruction sessions are offered weekly for students enrolled in difficult courses, such as chemistry and physics. Students who have or think they may have disabilities or learning differences must identify themselves to the Learning Center staff and provide appropriate documentation if they wish to receive accommodations for courses. LCDS also advocates for students with disabilities within the University.
L-108, Warde Academic Center
Library (The Robert and Mary Rita Murphy Stump Library)
Promoting academic integrity and lifelong learning, the Library is a student-centered space that offers 50 state-of-the-art computers, scanning stations, printers, laptops, e-readers, e-books, hardcopy books and over 6,000 educational and popular videos. Course textbooks are available for students’ use in the Library. In addition to the main Quiet Study Area, there are 10 group study rooms upstairs and three study rooms on the lower level. Students' SXU Cougar Cards allow access into the Library's world-renowned databases on the website. More than 80 databases provide valuable information on every subject in the curriculum, with full-text articles from scholarly journals not available on the World Wide Web. Librarians help students with their assignments and teach them valuable research skills, in the Library, online and in the new Library Instruction Classroom.
L-228, Warde Academic Center
773-530- 2264 (SMS)
- Selling envelopes and stamps
- Mailing large packages
- Notifying students who receive large packages to pick them up at the mailroom; students will be notified via email
- Receiving mail from USPS, UPS and FedEx
- Shipping mail through USPS or UPS
- Sending and receiving faxes
A-107, Warde Academic Center
Public Safety/Campus Police
Public Safety, in conjunction with the other service components of the University, is committed to the highest quality of protective services in order to maintain and improve our unique educational environment and quality of life. The campus is patrolled 24-hours a day by state-certified police officers with countywide jurisdiction and security officers. The Department of Public Safety also provides:
- Professional security staff in all residence halls
- Shuttle transportation, protective escort service, vehicle registration and parking enforcement
- Vehicle lockout and battery assistance
- Lost and found
CSC-100, Campus Service Center
Records and Advising
Records and Advising services include:
- Name/Address Change
- Assistance with Registration
- Adjustments to Schedules
- Change of Major
- Intent to Minor
- Online Transcript Ordering
- Assessment, Language and Competency
- Approval for Off-Campus Coursework
- Evaluation of Transfer Credit
- Verification of Enrollment
- Program Evaluation
- Veteran Services
- Auditing Classes
- Graduation Clearance
- Academic Advising
All undergraduate students are assigned a faculty or staff advisor who assists them in planning their course of study and selecting appropriate classes to reach their academic goals. Advisors can be a resource for a student who needs academic support or direction. It is the responsibility of each student to know his/her advisor’s name and to contact the advisor for academic counseling.
Registered Student Organizations (RSOs)
Student Life works with Registered Student Organizations to provide educational and social opportunities, to encourage leadership development and, most of all, to have fun. Saint Xavier Council includes:
- Student Senate
- Finance Committee
- Program Board
- Campus Connections
L-109B, Student Organization Center
The Office of Residence Life works to accommodate students in University housing and to assist them in their transition to college and living independently. There are 25 resident assistants who serve as student staff and are on duty daily in the residence halls. RAs host programs to build community and address transition issues such as homesickness, learning about the city, how to do laundry and personal safety. This fosters an environment of healthy living, academic advancement and social interaction. Residents appreciate being steps away from campus resources such as the library, classrooms, dining facilities and the fitness center. The residential experience gives students opportunities to be involved with hall council and leadership positions. Students on campus are available for study groups, club meetings, attendance at sporting events and all activities hosted by the University.
Room 110, Rubloff Hall
The Office for Student Affairs complements the University’s mission by sponsoring programs, services and activities that assist students in developing intellectually, spiritually, socially, physically, emotionally and vocationally. In partnership with students, faculty and staff, Student Affairs helps to create an educational climate consistent with principles rooted in its Catholic, Mercy tradition. Student Affairs is a place where students come for their Cougar Card ID, purchase a replacement Cougar Card, pick up a free student planner, rent a locker or ask any general questions. Students may call Student Affairs if they will be absent from class, and notification will be made to a student’s instructors (not excused; arrangements must be made with the instructor). Student Affairs also oversees the University’s Information Desk.
L-208, Warde Academic Center
Student Leadership Opportunities
Students are encouraged to get involved on campus through various leadership opportunities. Available positions within the Division of Student Affairs include:
- Resident Assistants
- Resident Peer
- Academic Leaders
- Transitions Peer Mentors
- Orientation Leaders
- Saint Xavier Council
- Residence Hall Association
Student leaders are a highly talented staff of students who reflect the best of Saint Xavier in academic achievement, diversity of experience and leadership ability. Applications for student leadership positions are available in February. Contact Campus Life at 773-341-5060 for more information.
The Office of Student Life sponsors programs and services designed to enhance student involvement in the SXU community, thus supporting their academic, social and community engagement. Student Life oversees student activities and commuter programs, new student programs and multicultural and leadership programs. Within each of these areas, Student Life provides resources, programs and services that enrich and support students educational experiences, helps them develop positive connections with peers, upper-class mentors, staff and faculty and to become active and engaged members of the SXU community. With Student Life's help, students themselves learn to create programs and services for their peers, and grow and develop as lifelong learners and leaders.
L-103, Warde Academic Center
SXU students run the radio station and the student newspaper. Students are encouraged to participate as writers, editors, deejays or producers.
The Xavierite (student newspaper)
Room 102, Campus Service Center
WXAV 88.3 FM (student radio station)
Room 109, Campus Service Center
Student Success Program (SSP)
SSP is a federally funded TRIO Student Support Services Program that supports retention and graduation of SSP members. The SSP staff works closely with all students to determine their areas of need and develop strategies to meet those needs. SSP offers numerous services free of charge including : academic planning, financial aid advising, counseling, laptop loans, leadership opportunities, cultural and academic activities and grant aid awards for those who qualify. Enrolled students may apply to be in the program and must meet one of the following criteria:
Be a first-generation college student (neither parent has a bachelor's degree)
Be from a low-income background (as determined by the federal government)
Be an individual with a documented disability
For more information and applications, please contact the SSP office.
L-111, Warde Academic Center
University Information Desk
The purpose of the Information Desk is to assist any student, staff or visitor at SXU with any questions, directions or other information. The desk is in the Warde Academic Center at the main entrance and may be contacted at 773-298-3000. Student staff at the desk will transfer calls to the appropriate office, professor or staff member.
The Office of University Mission and Ministry includes the Office of Campus Ministry, the Office for Mission and Heritage, the Center for Religion and Public Discourse, MercyCare, collaborations with the Archdiocese of Chicago and wider outreach to our local community. University Mission and Ministry is committed to sustaining the Catholic identity and Mercy character of Saint Xavier University by highlighting the essential connection between faith and reason and involving all to recognize how faith informs every dimension of life -- intellectual, social, political, personal and religious.
Most college students change significantly in their first years at the University. The pace of change may be rapid and show itself after the first week of classes or evolve slowly over an entire college career. It may be reflected in preferences for clothing, changes in academic major or assertive new positions taken on political and social issues. Strong preferences on one visit home may be replaced by equally strong, but very different preferences the next visit.
Dealing with Homesickness
If your student is an on-campus resident, he or she may experience homesickness. Many factors are at play, but homesickness may become most evident halfway through the first semester. At this time, the excitement of the new college experience is fading and visits with friends, being with families for celebrations and regular parental contact may be missed. This is a time to support your student, encourage campus involvement and offer reassurance that college is a worthwhile experience. Stay in contact, but encourage your student to remain on campus rather than coming home every weekend. Support from Counseling Center, Residence Life, Campus Ministry and others can be helpful.
Encourage your student to visit professors during office hours to get help or discuss academic performance. Professors truly care about the success of students, but may not seek out students who need assistance. Some classes have only two or three tests per semester, which can be shocking for students if they do not score well on the first test. Encourage your student to talk to his or her professors and to visit the Learning Center for free tutoring.
Reassure your student that the few weeks before final exams can be stressful and challenging, but you are there for support. Be aware that students may not earn the same grades in college that they did in high school. Encourage your student to attend class review sessions, study with friends when appropriate, use the library and attend professors’ office hours. Offer support but avoid putting other demands on your student’s time unless absolutely necessary. Send a care package with enough goodies for your student to share with friends, roommates or classmates. This surprise treat goes far in showing your support and concern for your student.
Communication with the University/FERPA
When a student turns 18 years old or enters a postsecondary institution, all rights afforded to parents under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act transfer to the student. However, FERPA provides ways in which an institution may, but is not required, to share information from an eligible student’s education records with parents without the student’s consent. Schools may disclose education records to parents if the student is claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, a health or safety emergency involves the student or if the student has violated any law or policy. Questions regarding student information should be directed to Records and Advising at 773-298-3501.
Staying informed about what is happening on campus can be a rewarding experience for parents. Knowing that midterm examinations are about to begin can help parents understand why students may be acting edgy. Many resources on campus can assist you in this regard including the University’s SXNews page (news and events) at news.sxu.edu.
Personal struggles are a reality for most college students. Relationship issues and managing stress consume a great deal of a student’s energy and can cause worry for family members. The “instant” friendships developed initially due to proximity in activities, classes and living arrangements may not withstand the test of time. There may also be a broken heart or two along the way. It is crucial to understand that these struggles are an important and natural part of your student’s development. Having an understanding and sympathetic ear may be the best thing you can do to help your student. Remind your student that counseling services are available free of charge from the Counseling Center.
The undergraduate curriculum expresses the University’s commitment to the values of a liberal education while providing flexibility and diversity. Liberal education at Saint Xavier has two main components: one emphasizing breadth and generality, the other emphasizing depth and specificity. The former, the general education curriculum, is designed to be foundational and exploratory, developing the critical skills of writing, speaking, reading and thinking, as well as an understanding of the methods, findings, approaches and thought processes of the liberal arts disciplines. The latter, the major or professional program, is designed to prepare students for specific careers or for specialized, advanced study in graduate school by providing thorough exposure to the origins, structures, contents and purposes of the diverse academic disciplines and professional programs. Liberal education at Saint Xavier leads students to precise expression, analytic thought, systematic inquiry, clear judgment, effective decision making, personal integrity, ethical responsibility, aesthetic sensitivity, informed citizenship and an active posture toward the examined life.
As in all communities, your student should be vigilant about safety on campus. Advise him or her to lock doors when leaving rooms, apartments, houses and cars. Check your homeowner’s insurance policy to see if it covers property in your student’s residence hall room or off-campus residence. If not, consider purchasing renter’s insurance. Remind your student to not leave valuables in plain sight or unattended in vehicles, rooms, in the SXU Diner or at the library. Your student may use Public Safety’s protective escort service, 773-298-4400, if he or she is out late at night on campus. Also, remind your student to use safe practices when using the Internet and not post personal or incriminating information or pictures on social networking websites such as Facebook, YouTube or Twitter.
Once your student has completed the academic year, changing majors may be on his or her mind. This often creates worry and concern for you and your student. It can be a good opportunity for your student to explore interests and determine what he or she really wants to study. The best way to prepare for a career is to get a sound education and gain career-related experience through internships, community service, part-time jobs and campus involvement. Encourage your student to contact Career Services or an academic advisor to explore the variety of available options.
Listening to Your Student
Although students will interact daily with many faculty members, advisors, friends and acquaintances, when facing situations that are difficult, do not be surprised if they turn to you for support and encouragement. If this happens, it is important to remember that one of the most effective tools you have at your disposal is your ability to listen carefully. Nonjudgmental listening is one of the most important interventions a parent can make. When listening, however, take care to avoid rushing in with quick-minded solutions. Instead, ask them what solutions they have considered. You may be surprised to discover that they are much closer to resolving the matter than you may have realized.
Talk with your student ahead of time about your expectations when or if he or she returns home. Be aware that your student may be experiencing sadness over leaving new friendships and/or significant relationships at school. Independence is asserted more in the first year than in all the other previous years combined. Now is a good time to discuss expectations regarding curfew, social activities and family responsibilities. Clarity, consistency and compromise can go a long way in finding common ground. It is also an adjustment if your student chooses not to return for the summer, opting instead for an internship, summer school or other opportunities away from home. Ask your student about what was most helpful in terms of your support and communication. Be open to your student’s feedback about those things that may not have been helpful as well.
By sophomore year, your student should begin to select a major, refine career options and begin defining his or her purpose. Encourage your student to participate in the many employment fairs, workshops and services sponsored by Career Services and in his or her school or academic department.