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About the Campus Theme

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Campus themes constitute one example of a high impact practice that provides students with common and collaborative educational experiences, opportunities to connect curricular and co-curricular learning, and explorations of disciplines through a common lens.  While participation is optional by students, faculty, and staff, we encourage the integration of our campus theme in your classes, events, and activities.

Campus Theme 2023-24: Community and Belongingness

This year’s campus theme is Community and Belongingness. 

Vision Statement: Cultivate community, embrace belongingness, Live Western.

Mission Statement: The Campus Theme Committee will work collectively to promote a culture of belonging by supporting, recognizing, and interconnecting our communities and its members. We seek to provide opportunities to bring communities together to embrace the varying perspectives, experiences, and backgrounds within WCU and the region we serve. Our goal is to promote understanding of individual differences and support each other's expression of self as we grow and discover shared interests. We seek to cultivate a community of belonging where every member of WCU is engaged, valued, and respected.

We have concluded our application process for the 2023-24 Campus Theme. We thank you all for your submissions and support for the Community & Belongingness Campus theme.

Community & Belongingness Funding Request Form 2023-24 has been closed.

Marketing Supported Events: These activities will receive marketing assistance, the use of the campus theme mark for digital and printed marketing materials, and the advertisement of the activity on the theme’s website via its calendar of events. 
Financially Supported Events: Funding for financially supported activities will vary between $100 and $2,500; the average amount of funding will be a few hundred dollars.

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2023-24 Members

Carol Burton – Vice Provost (Co-chair)

Mariana Da Costa - Faculty, Nursing (Co-chair)

Patrick Hinkle - Public Communication Specialist, University Communications and Marketing

Paige Dagenhard-Trainer - Faculty, Health Sciences

Caroline LeBoeuf - Assistant Director of Retention

Jane Hughes - Faculty and Associate Dean, School of Art and Design

Alesia Jennings - Faculty, Chemistry and Physics

Wesley Satterwhite - Director, Accessibility Resources

Sky Sampson - Director, Cherokee Center

Heather Gordon - Associate Director for Degree Plus, Center for Career and Professional Development

Jenny Stewart - Director of Student Success, Education and Allied Professions

Peter Koch - Education Associate, Mountain Heritage Center

Julia Heckert - Associate Director, Center for Community Engagement and Service Learning

Jane Adams-Dunford - Associate Vice Chancellor of Student Affairs

Alei Coleman - Executive Assistant to the Vice Provost

Requests for support will be accepted on a rolling basis with the committee meeting multiple times throughout the semester to vote on submitted requests. Requests can be submitted through the end of January 2024 while funding is available.

*Campus theme Funding Requests have been closed. We appreciate all of the diverse experiences offered to our campus.


Eligibility for Marketing & Funding Supported Events

Any WCU constituent, including faculty, staff, students, departments, offices, programs, and student organizations is eligible to submit requests for marketing and financial support for events.

Evaluation Criteria

Goals: The extent to which the proposed activity and its associated goals are consistent with the overall mission of the Campus Theme, Community and Belongingness.

Novelty: The extent to which the activity or event will provide students with an experience not obtainable through current classes or campus programs.

Student Engagement: The extent, and manner in which, the event or activity will actively engage students in the campus theme. 

Student Learning: The extent to which students will learn more about Community and Belongingness through this event or activity, and whether some method is included to assess this learning.

Budget: The size of the event budget and the extent to which the budget appears to be sufficient to support a successful event, and the presence of alternative funding sources to close any budget gap.

Impact vs. Cost: The number of students that will be directly involved with, or impacted by, this event or activity as compared to the cost or expense of the event.

Likelihood of Success: The apparent ease, or difficulty, of achieving the event or activity’s stated goals.


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