Points of Pride - Student Academics, Life and Service
SIU is one of the Top 10 Campuses for Students with Physical Disabilities by College Magazine thanks to our Access Inclusive Recreation program, the Saluki Express for on- and off-campus travel, adapted services, buildings, programs and activities as well as available services such as classroom assistants, note-taking and other offerings.
Each year, students from all disciplines compete for 20 Research-enriched Academic Challenge (REACH) grants. Students work on an independent research or creative activity project with a faculty mentor. REACH also sponsors the university's annual Undergraduate Research and Creative Activities Forum, where students present posters describing their research projects.
SIU's Center for English as a Second Language (CESL) is one of the oldest and most prestigious centers of its kind in the U.S, dating back to 1964. CESL continues to provide excellent preparation to students from around the world for degree programs at SIU.
- At SIU, undergraduate students from all disciplines are encouraged to participate in a creative activity or research. The widespread opportunities produce grant-funded undergraduate creative activities and research ranging from comparing microscopic parasites to exploring the art of stage combat.
- The Saluki Research Rookies Program targets freshmen and sophomores, offering students the chance to learn more about expectations for success in their chosen interests, and to develop relationships within their areas that will fuel their interest in learning.
- Students can start conducting original research and creative activities as early as their freshman year.
- Research assistantships are valuable relationship builders, and often launch students into their own projects.
- The McNair Scholars program supports undergraduates from underrepresented populations and first-generation students interested in pursuing graduate work. The program helps students realize their full potential by providing enriching educational experiences, strong mentoring and networking.
- Last year, numerous international students participated in cultural presentations for area schools, churches and civic groups, reaching hundreds of Southern Illinoisans. SIU also has partnerships and linkages with many universities internationally.
- Each year students volunteer to spend their spring break doing service projects around the country and beyond. During spring of 2016, our students helped at a variety of places including Project Lighthouse and Coastal Discovery Museum, both in South Carolina, and with cleaning and building trails at the Chehaw Park Authority in Georgia.
- Saluki student-athletes performed 5,719 hours of community service during the 2018-19 academic year, nearly doubling the school record of 2,883 that was set four years ago. Hours are reported annually to the NCAA and have been tracked since 2010.
- University Housing composts waste from the dining halls at University Farms. The compost in turn is used on campus and at the farms. Produce grown on the farms may be served in the dining halls – meaning the chain has gone full circle.
- About 30 percent of the food products we use in University Housing dining halls come from within Illinois or a 250-mile radius of campus, and we continue to look for more opportunities to use local foods.
- Saluki softball has the second highest number of Academic All-Americans (26) in the country in NCAA softball history, trailing only the University of Nebraska.
The Student Multicultural Resource Center, a division of the Dean of Students, promotes an environment of SIU collaboration to educate, affirm, evaluate and advocate for excellence and inclusion. The center supports student success in learning and development while nurturing an institutional climate of social justice and equity and includes the Black Resource Center, Hispanic/Latino Resource Center, Women’s Resource Center and LGBTQ Resource Center.
- The university’s Touch of Nature Environmental Center is a National Environmental Education Landmark, as designated by the National Park Service in 1972.
- Touch of Nature is home to Camp Little Giant, a therapeutic recreation camp that provides a true summer camp experience to children and adults with differing abilities. Established in 1952 it is one of the first such programs in the country for special populations and the first to earn American Camp Association accreditation.
- Each February, University Housing and the Black Togetherness Organization sponsor the Tunnel of Oppression, an awareness event that draws visitors from hundreds of miles around. Organizers cap attendance at about 600 each night for the intensive experience that gives participants an understanding of oppression, racism and other issues.
- University Housing served more than 1.4 million meals last year and introduced the Saluki Anytime dining plan, which allows students unlimited access to the dining halls whenever they are open. Free nutritional counseling, a gluten-free kitchen and access to a registered dietician are also offered.
- University Housing provides more than 2,000 programs within the residence halls each year, focusing on everything from resume building to cake baking to fall festivals.
- University Housing employs nearly 600 students each year in a variety of positions: office/clerical, resident assistants, dining and other employment.