Reflective of our Benedictine heritage and sponsorship, the first goal of the student life program is to welcome each new student into membership in the Christian, Catholic and Benedictine learning community known as the University of Mary. As members of this community, students experience education in the Benedictine Wisdom Tradition where learning is understood to be a part of the process of developing one’s God-given gifts and potential for use in service to others. In this Benedictine philosophy of education, a high value is placed on learning that occurs outside the classroom. Consistent with this philosophy, the student life program actively creates learning opportunities in the residence halls, campus ministry, student activities, student organizations, and in student services.
Each year, Residence Life provides a home away from home for more than 1,000 students. The location of the campus atop a bluff overlooking the Missouri River and the City of Bismarck provides a unique residential campus environment in a natural setting with beautiful views. Each residence hall is characterized by a strong sense of Benedictine community where residents enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance to classes and campus services. Residence Directors (RD’s) are professional-level staff living in within the residence halls who provide leadership for the residence life program within a particular residence hall or group of student housing facilities. RD’s are assisted by a team of student employees or Resident Assistants (RA’s) who live in the residence hall they serve. Together, the RD’s and RA’s provide programming in each residence hall to build community and to promote learning outside the classroom. They serve as resources for their residents, plan activities and enforce community standards.
The university offers students a variety of residence hall options including traditional residence halls, suite-style and apartment-style facilities. The descriptions of each residence hall may be found on the University of Mary website. All students who wish to participate in the Residence Life program must apply. Applications are available online at my.umary.edu under the Life at Mary tab, Residence Life Policies and Forms page.
Upon enrollment at a University of Mary location that provides student housing, a traditional undergraduate student under the age of 21 is required to live on-campus for a minimum of five consecutive semesters (summer session may be included in the total if the student is enrolled in a minimum of 6 credit hours at the University of Mary during that summer semester) or until the semester after the student reaches his/her 21st birthday. Any exception to this policy must be approved in advance by the On-Campus Residency Committee.
The complete University of Mary Residence Requirement is published as Community Standard 13 in the University of Mary Student Handbook, where additional information is provided for students with questions about the policy.
The University of Mary Student Handbook is the university’s official source of information for students about student rights and responsibilities to the university community. The handbook includes important information about the university’s conduct standards for students, residence hall policies, and other policies that govern student life. It is also a valuable resource for students about the many services available for students at the university. Upon enrollment, each student is responsible to access the student handbook and abide by the policies and regulations in it. The handbook is available in electronic form from the Student Life section of the university’s web site and from the university’s portal site (my.umary.edu). Printed copies are available at the Student Development Office located in the Benedictine Center.
Students have the opportunity to serve in leadership positions and actively participate in the decision-making process of the University through student government and membership on various committees and councils.
Each spring students elect the student body president, vice president and student senators to a one-year term. Students representing the first-year class are elected in the fall. Senators are elected from various representative districts to ensure broad representation. Through this system, each student is represented on the Student Senate through their academic division and by class level (class is determined by the number of completed credits), whether on-campus or off-campus. The Student Senate is a forum to consider issues important to students and participates in the University of Mary decisionmaking process as the voice of the student body. The student body president nominates students, with the approval of the Student Senate, to serve on various campus committees and councils.
Student Government Offices are located in the Student Involvement Center on the lower level of the Lumen Vitae University Center.
Over 40 student organizations exist at the University of Mary including professional organizations, service organizations, and special interest clubs. Each offers students the opportunity to meet new people, learn interpersonal skills, and develop leadership abilities. A complete listing of campus organizations is available from the “Student Life” section of the university’s web site.
The University of Mary encourages each student to pursue an active spiritual life and to participate in the spiritual community of one’s choosing. The University of Mary community, in keeping with its Catholic tradition, celebrates the Eucharistic Liturgy. Schedules and locations are posted around campus
University Ministry serves the spiritual needs of the University of Mary community by offering retreats, studies in Sacred Scripture, prayer groups, volunteer opportunities, and social gatherings.
The ministry staff consists of a director, an assistant director, a chaplain, an event coordinator, and student peer ministers. The Saint John Paul II Center for University Ministry, located in the Benedictine Center next to Our Lady of the Word Chapel, is open to all.
University Ministry Team and University Ministry Volunteers
The University Ministry Team assists the Director of University Ministry in planning and offering spiritually- oriented activities for the students from all faith backgrounds. Team members assist with liturgical celebrations, music ministry, and retreats both on and off campus. In addition, team members serve as role models and promote active participation in spiritually-oriented activities. In addition to the positions on the team, students from all faith traditions are invited to volunteer as musicians, to assist with liturgies, and to help plan social events.
All students attending the University of Mary are invited to participate in a musical activity, regardless of their major. The University sponsors a diversified number of performance ensembles where participation earns credit toward graduation. Instrumental and vocal ensembles perform at civic and University functions and several groups conduct annual tours throughout the region.
The University of Mary provides opportunities for participation in men’s football, soccer, cross country, basketball, wrestling, indoor track, baseball, and outdoor track. Opportunities for participation for women include soccer, volleyball, cross country, basketball, indoor track, softball, tennis and outdoor track.
The University of Mary is a member of the Northern Sun Intercollegiate Conference (NSIC) and the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA).
Students who participate in University athletics are expected to meet the same academic standards as all other students.
The NSIC and NCAA set eligibility and scholarship standards.
Student Recreation and Wellness
Student Recreation and Wellness offers a wide variety of fun options for students to incorporate physical activity, wellness and sport into their weekly routine. Located in the Field House, programs include intramural sports to provide both men and women the opportunity to participate in competitive activities ranging from basketball, flag football, dodge ball, softball, and volleyball to table tennis, swimming and racquetball. Throughout the year, there are league seasons for several sports as well as a variety of short-term or one-day tournaments to provide everyone a chance to participate in their favorite sport. Students interested in wellness and fitness are able to participate in group fitness classes such as zumba and kickboxing or they may pursue their individual fitness goals by using the fitness center, indoor walking track, or outdoor walking path at their own convenience. The Director of Student Recreation and Wellness is assisted by a group of student employees known as the REC Crew. Various campus facilities, including the fitness center, racquetball court, track, volleyball courts, and basketball courts are available for student use during regularly-scheduled times.
Students interested in photography and journalism have an opportunity to contribute to the student newspaper, Summit.
Convocations and Cultural Events
University convocations give students an opportunity to learn about such areas as the arts, politics, and history through presentations by well-known experts in their fields. The University has hosted such groups as the Minnesota Opera and the New York Repertory Theatre.
The proximity of the University to the Bismarck and Mandan communities also provides opportunities for cultural experiences. The Bismarck- Mandan Symphony, the Bismarck-Mandan Civic Chorus, the Bismarck Art and Galleries Association, the North Dakota Heritage Center, and the Bismarck Event Center are examples of various cultural resources found in the city.
Mission for Life Program
The Mission for Life program provides volunteer opportunities for students in all areas of study, and serves as a resource for faculty in developing service learning experiences. The program is based upon the Christian, Catholic and Benedictine tradition of service and encourages students to actively serve others, the University, the larger civic community, their church and their country.
Campus Safety and Security
Located on the lower level of the Benedictine Center for Servant Leadership, Campus Safety and Security is available 24/7 to assist students with safety concerns including a night-time escort service. Throughout the year a variety of educational programs are offered beginning with Safety and Security month each September.In compliance with the Jeanne Clery Disclosure of Campus Security Policy and Campus Crime Statistics Act, or “Clery Act,” the University of Mary annually publishes a Campus Security Report. It is available to all enrolled students, prospective students, employees, and prospective employees of the University. The report includes a description of campus security procedures and it provides security and safety recommendations for members of the community. A three-year history of crime statistics at the University of Mary is also included in the report. An electronic version of the report is available at www.umary.edu/student-life/campus-safety-security/index.php. All University of Mary students are responsible for obtaining a copy of the report, to be familiar with its contents, and to follow the recommendations included in it regarding safety and security.