Today's Update: Tuesday, May 4

May 4, 2021

Dear Student Life Team, We talk a great deal about the extraordinary student experience. Usually we focus on the “extraordinary” part, because it is what we do best. Today, I want to feature “experience.”  

What is the Ohio State experience and what makes this place and its people so special? A major factor is the importance of the in-person student experience to our institution’s past, present and future. 

Students are certainly engaging with us virtually, and some prefer being a Buckeye from afar, but in-person engagement and residential experiences are at the core of what many of our students want. While technology and innovation will always be critical to extending our reach, serving students’ needs and advancing our educational mission, we should always remember that Ohio State’s rich legacy was born in a single building that served multiple purposes: classroom, laboratory and living space. Over the years, these complementary uses have emerged as hallmarks of the iconic Ohio State experience. 

Over the years, these complementary uses have emerged as hallmarks of the Buckeye experience: Learning. Innovation. On-campus experience. A strong focus on our virtual environments has been key so that we could advance new opportunities to deliver the incomparable Buckeye experience. Many of these digital enhancements will make our institution stronger in the long-term.  

We saw the benefits this past academic year through the virtual programs and services we offered. We provide an extraordinary in-person experience, and our team was able to deliver a quality experience in true Buckeye form during a pandemic. Our Union was open, our rec facilities were busy and the Oval was full of Buckeyes toward the end the semester.  

Now, as we plan for life post-COVID, we must remember that it is the moments and memories made on our campuses that build the core of the iconic Buckeye experience that has been sought by and delivered to hundreds of thousands since our founding.  

The residential experience has been cited by research as the single-most important piece of the collegiate experience, contributing to critical learning and student development. Residential living contributes to increased retention and persistence by creating social integration and sense of belonging for all students, and especially for diverse student populations. This is especially true for our at-promise student groups, such as low-income, first generation and students of color.  

Our planning for autumn continues, and we are on the cusp of bringing back many of the elements of that iconic student experience. I’m excited about that, and very grateful for the hard work and dedication from our team to make this possible.   

Ohio State is truly one-of-a-kind…and it’s also Scarlet and Great. It’s up to us to keep it that way.