Student Engagement

Ryan Hawkins, Associate Dean of Students for Student Engagement
260.399.7700, ext. 6741
[email protected]
Trinity 102

Student Engagement within the division of Student Affairs recognizes that each student holds unique interests and ideas. In light of this, students are encouraged to explore a variety of activities until they find ways in which they can connect to the university in a meaningful way. Research, along with countless interactions with students over a number of years, shows that those students who are involved on campus outside of the classroom are much more likely to be satisfied with their college experience. In addition, satisfied students are more likely to persist to graduation.

Student Engagement enhances the quality of the student experience by providing opportunities for learning, involvement and leadership development. We provide activities, programs and opportunities where students are supported and challenged in the development of skills and values. Programming covers a broad spectrum of areas, including holistic student wellness (social, intellectual, physical, environmental, spiritual, financial, and emotional) and our Franciscan Values. These services and programs are provided for all student constituencies—traditional students, non-traditional students, residents, and commuters.

Student Engagement powers the following areas:

  • Cougar Den Student Center
  • Student Activities Council (SAC)
  • Intramural Athletics
  • Student Clubs and Organizations
  • Den After Dark
  • Wellness Programming
  • Cougar Life


In collaboration with other student leadership advisors, the Director of First Year Experience and Student Leadership initiates, organizes and evaluates development opportunities for students holding leadership positions on campus. Student Leadership formation, Student Leadership Awards in the spring and ongoing student leadership training are the goals of this subdivision of Student Activities.

Cougar Den

The Cougar Den is located behind Trinity Hall on the west side of Mirror Lake. It is an excellent place to relax, study or have a bite to eat. Comfortable seating, internet and wireless access, a printer, and televisions are there for your use and enjoyment.  The Cougar Den also houses the offices of the Assistant Directors of Residential Life and student office for Student Activities Council (SAC). Keep an eye out on Cougar Life for events held in The Den as well!

Student Government Association

The Student Government Association represents the student body of the University of Saint Francis through integrity, leadership and servitude. Their goal is to enhance the life of every student. The University of Saint Francis Student Government Association (SGA) is the official voice through which student opinion is heard. It acts as a liaison between the student body and the university administration in all matters affecting the welfare of students. The members of government act as a sounding board for student opinions and to represent the students on various committees throughout the university.

The Student Government Association exists to develop a community in which the members of the student body have an opportunity to express themselves in a cooperative manner. Student Government Association is composed of four executive officers, four senators from each undergraduate class, two senators from each academic school, three residential senators, three non-residential senators, a representative from the Crown Point site, a graduate student, and a staff advisor.  Student Government Association meets weekly and students are encouraged to attend. See the SGA website for more information on senator openings, meeting times, events, and office  hours. The SGA office is now located in Trinity 151 in order to assist any member of the student body. Student Government accomplishments include increasing student discounts from 10 to 40 at local vendors for all USF students, addressing parking and security issues with administration, providing free tickets to home playoff games, providing buses to away athletic events, implementing online voting, providing morning newspapers, and advocating for twenty-four hour study space in the Hideout.  SGA also grants additional funding to eligible clubs and organizations. Additionally SGA represents the university in the community through service.

Student Activities Council

The Student Activities Council (SAC) is responsible for planning, promoting and coordinating campus activities, programs and events including entertainment, dances, speakers, and traditional programs. SAC strives to provide events to meet the needs and interests of all students—commuter, resident and non-traditional. A schedule of events and contact information is on SAC’s Cougar Life page.

Intramural Athletics

For organized sport and competition, the Intramural program offers students the opportunity to engage in learning outside the classroom. This is done with emphasis on connection, safety, sportsmanship and the Franciscan values, including reverencing the unique dignity of each person. We offer league play throughout the year (pre-registration is required), walk-in single night tournaments at least three times per semester, and weekend activities at least twice a month. Programming includes, but is not limited to basketball, corn hole, dodgeball, kickball, soccer, volleyball, and whiffle ball. For information on all Intramural offerings and to register a team, visit Intramural’s Cougar Life page.

Wellness Programming

The purpose of wellness programming is to encourage the development of balanced and well-rounded persons through holistic integration of the mind, body, and spirit. Specifically, the mind focuses on social and emotional wellbeing, the body on physical wellbeing, and the spirit on personal and spiritual wellbeing. Programming includes monthly information on a specific wellness topic, and the Wellness Team collaborates with other USF offices, clubs, and organizations to host events and provide accurate information and resources.  For more information, please visit