The Holbrook Student Union complex serves as the central clearinghouse for diverse student life programs and activities designed to engage students in University and community life, recognize student academic success, and promote linkages with key community stakeholders. Encompassing over 75,000 square feet, these facilities are headquarters for multiple student-funded and student-led initiatives that add value to the collegiate experience by nurturing leadership development; promoting philanthropy and service to others; creating awareness about local, regional, and global cultural issues; providing social and entertainment events; and fostering advocacy for an array of student and campus concerns. Holbrook Student Union houses several venues utilized for campus programs, campus dining options, and offices for student entities. The facility is often referred to as the family room for the campus.
Through a student self-assessed fee, the University will be constructing a new, modernized, and vibrant student union facility. Operations from the old student union will transition to the new location. Additionally, the updated student center will include numerous student-centric elements such as enhanced meeting and event spaces, student organization work areas, outdoor seating, and other communal gathering areas.
Student Engagement and Leadership
Getting involved and engaged on McNeese’s campus is an excellent way to enjoy a fulfilling collegiate experience. While academics are the most important aspect of college life, McNeese offers multiple ways that students can connect to the University beyond the classroom. There are numerous benefits associated with campus involvement. Here are some of the most important ones:
- Students who are involved have several opportunities for scholarships and salaries that help supplement the cost of their college education.
- Involved students can hold leadership positions within student organizations, which become notable experiences as they pursue a profession after college.
- Involved students are less likely to have conduct issues due to having more responsibility and accountability.
- Students who are involved maintain GPAs higher than the average student.
- Involved students report more satisfaction with their McNeese experience.
- Students who are involved have higher graduation rates and progress through their curricula at a faster pace.
- Involved students have more opportunities to broaden their social skills.
- Involved students have the opportunity for direct interactions with faculty and staff.
The administering functional area for student engagement is Student Engagement and Leadership, and operations are led by student life administrators (the director of student engagement and leadership and the assistant director of student engagement and leadership).
C.A.R.E. Mentorship Program
The C.A.R.E. Mentorship Program has been developed to support student retention and academic proficiency of McNeese students. The program is a component of wellness programming within the Recreation and Wellness Programs area. It contributes to academic and social wellness by linking current students with a member of the faculty/staff community, who serves as a guide and resource. The program is open to all McNeese students and targets those students who have faced challenges and obstacles that threaten their academic standing.
The acronym C.A.R.E. breaks down as follows:
- C (onnect) - Students will be connected to resources and opportunities the University offers.
- A (ccelerate) - Students will accelerate progression toward completing a degree.
- R (etain) - Students will be retained due to the connections they build.
- E (ngage) - Students will be engaged to the campus and student life.
The success of these outcomes will be achieved by connecting C.A.R.E. program students with a personal resource on campus that will serve as their mentor. Mentors are faculty and staff members of the University or successful graduate students and seniors that have a passion to assist with the development of their peers. For more information about the C.A.R.E. program, visit www.mcneese.edu/studentservices/care or the Presence online platform.
Cowboy Camp: New Student Orientation
Cowboy Camp: New Student Orientation is designed for first-time freshmen and provides them with essential information and tools necessary to be successful McNeese students. The experience assists freshmen in adapting to the University environment and becoming a part of the campus community. Sessions are scheduled during the summer for students who will be first-time freshmen in the fall. Freshmen participate in several programmatic elements including general assemblies, engagement activities, and content-specific breakout sessions. Students learn McNeese traditions and processes while developing skills necessary for a successful collegiate experience. Cowboy Camp participants are more than ready for their first day of class once they have completed the program. The program is hosted by Student Engagement and Leadership. All first-time freshmen are required to attend a Cowboy Camp session to gain credit in ORIN 101. For more information, see the Cowboy Camp: New Student Orientation page of the catalog or visit www.mcneese.edu/studentservices/cowboycamp/.
Non-traditional and transfer students are eligible to attend a shortened version of orientation provided for students who may not need the rigorous two-day experience provided at Cowboy Camp sessions. To be eligible for this orientation option, a student must be:
- enrolling at the University for the first time in the spring term;
- a first-time freshman who is age 21 or older before the start of their first semester;
- a transfer student coming to McNeese with non-dual enrollment credits from a previous institution; or
- a current McNeese student needing orientation credit to fulfill degree requirements.
Even though it is condensed, this orientation model still provides students with essential information necessary to prepare them for a successful career as McNeese students. Foundational information is provided, and there is an opportunity for expanded knowledge shared in optional extended breakouts. Information regarding non-traditional and transfer orientation is available at www.mcneese.edu/studentservices/ntrd-orientation.
Presence Online Student Engagement Platform
Presence is an online engagement portal used for communications and operations within campus life at McNeese. It is an excellent tool for students that offers the ability to remain connected with student engagement activities and student organizations. Presence also allows students to track their campus involvement and leadership experiences. Student life areas use Presence to communicate opportunities for a deeper connection to the University. Presence is accessible to students through the MyMcNeese Portal or by visiting mcneese.presence.io.
Student organizations receive official status at the University by registering annually through the Presence platform. All student organization members are linked to their counterparts in Presence groups. The following benefits are provided for student organizations:
- A website for each student organization;
- The ability to conduct organization elections online;
- The ability to track student attendance to meetings and activities;
- The ability to promote upcoming events in Presence for all students and employees to view;
- The ability to send messages to members of the organization and the student community; and
- The ability to manage a repository of organization records such as meeting agendas, minutes, and financial reports.
Fraternity and Sorority Life
Since their inception in 1952, McNeese fraternities and sororities have been the cornerstone of student involvement, leadership development, and campus traditions. This continues today. Currently, there are 17 charters for fraternities and sororities comprised of nine groups in the National Pan-Hellenic Council, five groups in the Interfraternity Council, and three groups in the National Panhellenic Conference. McNeese Fraternity and Sorority Life (FSL) students represent over 500 members of the student community, totaling just over eight percent of undergraduate enrollment. FSL students hold all levels of campus leadership positions, serve on numerous campus committees, and represent McNeese at local, state, and national conventions. Fraternity and Sorority Life is considered an elevated level of campus involvement. FSL is overseen by the director of student engagement and leadership in the Student Engagement and Leadership office.
The following FSL organizations have charters at McNeese:
- Alpha Delta Pi
- Alpha Kappa Alpha
- Chi Omega
- Delta Sigma Theta
- Phi Mu
- Sigma Gamma Rho
- Zeta Phi Beta
- Alpha Phi Alpha
- Iota Phi Theta
- Kappa Alpha Order
- Kappa Alpha Psi
- Kappa Sigma
- Omega Psi Phi
- Phi Beta Sigma
- Pi Kappa Alpha
- Pi Kappa Phi
Intramural Sports and Recreational Sports Complex
Intramural sports are housed within the Recreational Sports Complex with office hours from 7:30 a.m.-5:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday, and 7:30-11:30 a.m. on Friday. Intramural sports programs provide outlets for the physical and recreational talents of the student body. Intramural contests are held in flag football, basketball, softball, volleyball, e-sports, table tennis, racquetball, cornhole, spikeball, dodgeball, and other popular sports. Awards and recognition are given to student winners. Students enter competition representing fraternities, sororities, residence halls, clubs, organizations, and independents. There are opportunities to represent McNeese at intramural sports competitions in other areas of the state and region.
McNeese State University is not responsible for any injury that a student receives in any intramural activity. Students engage in these activities at their own risk.
Recreational facilities include: a 50-meter swimming pool, steam/sauna room, shower/locker rooms, four racquetball courts, three full-length basketball courts, 8,000-square foot wellness center, 200-meter indoor track (six-lane), equipment rental options, 12-acre intramural playing fields, and outdoor tennis courts.
Hours of operation are posted but are typically 9:00 a.m.-9:00 p.m. Monday-Friday and noon-6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. The Recreational Sports Complex is closed for holiday breaks and other University closures. A valid McNeese ID is required for admission.
McNeese offers several opportunities for multicultural engagement. There are several programs to contribute to the cultural development and cultural awareness of McNeese students. Numerous student organizations represent different cultures of students or a commitment to cultural diversity. The director of student engagement and leadership in the Student Engagement and Leadership office collaborates with campus personnel and student organizations to provide various multicultural experiences for the McNeese community.
Student Government Association
The Student Government Association (SGA) is the student body’s official voice for representation and advocacy for student concerns within the campus community. SGA is governed internally by a constitution crafted by its Legislature and adopted by the student body through referendum. SGA is governed externally by applicable state law pertaining to matters including but not limited to purchasing, procurement, and travel; University of Louisiana System Board of Supervisors policies, by-laws, and rules; and University policies related to student employment, scholarships, payroll, facilities use, student organization regulations, and other operational issues. The Legislature is the sole, legally constituted body recognized by the University to authorize requests for expenditure of Student Government Association Fee and Organization Fee funds. Weekly meetings of the Student Government Association Legislature are held each Wednesday at 4:00 p.m. Contact the SGA office, located in the Holbrook Student Union (also known as the Old Ranch), for information about meeting location and issues of current interest.
Student Life Coalition
The Student Life Coalition contributes to the social, recreational, cultural, and educational development of students, faculty, and alumni through an array of programs and services. The entity conducts activities reflecting the three, student-funded areas of engagement: Student Union Board, Leadership Programs, and Multicultural Programs. Student Life Coalition is staffed with student program coordinators who plan, implement, and assess events and activities. Events are open to the campus community and any student who has paid fees that accompany tuition. Most events sponsored by Student Life Coalition require no admission fee, but a valid McNeese student identification card may be required for entry at events. The Student Life Coalition office is located on the second floor of the Holbrook Student Union Annex (also known as the New Ranch).
Student organizations are a great way to become involved on campus. Annually, over 100 student organizations register with the University. These organizations offer students opportunities to exercise and practice the professional skills they learn inside the classroom. Potential employers look to hire those who have demonstrated leadership, commitment, and excellence in all facets of a campus environment. Student organizations represent different areas of interests, beliefs, and professional ambitions. The categories of organizations at McNeese are as follows: academic, campus ministries, chartered, Greek, honors, multicultural, political, professional, service, special interest, spirit, and sports/recreation. If none of the current organizations meet a student’s interest, there is a very simple process to start a student organization (see Student Organizations Handbook). To see the full list of student organizations, visit the Presence online platform from the MyMcNeese Portal.
Three student publications are officially recognized by the University: The Log, Poke Press, and Arena.
The Log is the official yearbook of the University. Fees collected from students support the yearbook’s production and provide for a copy for students who wish to receive it. The Log is managed by the Office of Marketing and Communications.
Poke Press is the official student newspaper of the University. It is published online and is periodically distributed to students’ McNeese email accounts. Fees collected from students support the electronic newspaper’s production. Poke Press is managed by the Office of Marketing and Communications.
The Arena is an artistic and literary student journal published in the spring term each academic year. McNeese students may offer submissions including photographs, photographs of pottery and paintings, poems, essays, and short stories for consideration. An editor is chosen from among the members of Sigma Tau Delta English honor society. A faculty member from the College of Liberal Arts serves as advisor.