Please identify and briefly describe officially recognized student clubs and activities at your institution that…
…foster spiritual development:
Growing in faith and love for Jesus Christ and the Church is an integral part of education at Franciscan University. The presence of the Franciscan friars and sisters of the Third Order Regular of St. Francis of Penance (TOR) contributes to the unique character of campus life and spirituality. The University’s Office of Evangelization undertakes an ambitious program of evangelization events and serves as a resource for other campus-based groups focused on spiritual development. The Festivals of Praise, held monthly, are student-initiated and student-led gatherings for those open to the gifts and charisms of the Holy Spirit through song, exhortation, and inspirational sharing. Households are Spirit-empowered, Christ-led groups of three or more Franciscan University students who seek to do the will of the Father in their lives. About 50 households operate on campus. These communities desire to help members grow in body, mind, and spirit through mutual support and accountability in the ongoing conversion process exemplified in the life of St. Francis.
SENT Ministry is an outreach of Franciscan University which promotes the Gospel of Jesus Christ through retreat ministry. Students train to give weekend retreats, youth rallies, and Confirmation day retreats each semester as part of the SENT team. Several student-founded, student-led organizations have a particular spiritual or liturgical focus, including the Byzantine Club, Militia Immaculata, and Voice of the Martyrs Club.
…engage in corporal works of mercy:
Works of Mercy, an outreach of Franciscan University, enables students to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ with the hungry, sick, imprisoned, homeless, and strangers in the Ohio Valley and nearby Pittsburgh. Through the corporal and spiritual works of mercy, students actively participate in caring for those in need. Through the Nursing Home Ministry students spend time listening, sharing, praying, and developing personal relationships with the residents of several area nursing facilities. Students bring the love of Jesus Christ to needy and homeless people through a variety of ministries, including outreach to the homeless in Steubenville and Pittsburgh as well as providing meals through the Urban Mission’s Unity Kitchen. The sick and needy are served through the Friendship Room, Men’s Mission House and Street Evangelization, prison ministry, Unity Kitchen, and other outreaches. Other ministry programs are focused on assisting youth through the local Boys and Girls Clubs, Music in Our Schools Program, and the Urban Mission’s Children’s Ministry and Youth Group. Mary’s Meals FUS supports international efforts to set up school feeding projects in communities where poverty and hunger are prevalent.
…address sexual issues (including birth control, abortion, homosexuality):
Talks coordinated by the University’s Student Life Office address a range of issues including sexuality, dating, and marriage. The series is rooted in the University’s commitment to promote the moral, spiritual, and religious values of its students and includes presentations on related teachings of the Catholic Church. The Gift of Human Sexuality Symposium is a series of presentations that tackle contemporary sexuality issues such as the hook-up culture, counterfeit love, pornography, and same-sex attraction. The popular series enriches students’ understanding of the Catholic principles that uphold the goods of marriage, family, and sexual integrity. Students for Life, the University’s largest student-run organization, promotes a greater respect for the dignity of all human life, from the moment of conception to natural death. Members are dedicated to prayer, offer education in schools and parishes, conduct weekly peaceful prayer vigils at area abortion clinics, support local crisis pregnancy centers, and participate in the annual March for Life.
…address issues of social concern:
Several student organizations have a particular focus on social concerns, including those previously mentioned in regard to their dedication to upholding the sanctity of all human life, marriage, and the family as well as promotion of sexual integrity. The Knights of Columbus student chapter is committed to fostering charity, unity, fraternity, and patriotism. Others promote student awareness of injustices throughout the world, and work toward their resolution in a manner consistent with the teachings of the Catholic Church. Missions of Peace, a student outreach of Franciscan University, sponsors domestic and international mission trips organized, planned, and funded by the students themselves. Students generously share their time and talent while on mission through various service outreaches—youth ministries, chastity presentations, prayer services, home improvement projects, village ministries, medical outreaches, and other apostolic endeavors. Among domestic trips are those to large metropolitan locations including The Bronx and Chicago as well as those to rural American Indian populations. Foreign missions are undertaken to Jamaica, Ecuador, and Honduras, among others.
…address particular academic interests:
Academic departments sponsor numerous student-led clubs providing opportunities for students to further their education beyond the classroom through meetings, on-campus activities, off-campus events, and real-life applications coinciding with their academic pursuits. Students are involved in over 14 such groups including the Chemistry Club, Chi Sigma Iota (Clinical Mental Health Counseling Program), Chiron Society (Education Dept.), Christian Students in Free Enterprise (Business Dept.), Christopher Dawson Society (Humanities and Catholic Culture Dept.), Debate Club (English Dept.), Gemelli Society (Psychology Dept.), Graduate Counseling Association (Graduate Counseling Dept.) Instruments of Peace (Social Work Dept.), Political Science Association, Student Council for Exceptional Children (Education Dept.), Sigma Tau Delta (Education Dept.), and The Troubadour Student Newspaper (Communication Arts Dept.).
…address particular cultural interests:
Over a dozen student-led organizations provide opportunities for members and others to pursue their cultural interests and employ their talents. Among them several have a unique ethnic focus including German and Latino groups. Others are centered on dance, including the Irish Dancers club, the fine arts, animation, board games, comedy, drama, literature, music, or film. One student group is specifically engaged in the promotion of unity among Christians by means of private and common prayer, personal dialogue, fellowship, service, and education, with particular emphasis on ecumenism among other colleges, according to the vision of the Catholic Church.
…provide opportunities for athletic pursuits:
Franciscan University fields 18 Baron varsity teams and is a member of the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC), NCAA Division III for men’s and women’s basketball, track and field, tennis, soccer, lacrosse, cross country, baseball, women’s swimming and diving, volleyball, softball, and golf. The rugby team is in the Three Rivers Rugby Conference.
…please list all student clubs not listed in the above categories:
American Red Cross, Anime Club, Baron Pep Band, Board Game Club, Byzantine Club, Chemistry Club, Chesterton Society, Christian Students in Free Enterprise, Christopher Dawson Society, Engineering Club, Faith, Family and Smash Brothers Club, Fr. Michael Scanlan Scholarship Society, Filipinos for Christ, French Club, Gadfly, German Club, Hounds of the Lord: Dominican Spirituality Group, Intercollegiate Defense of Equality and Solidarity, International Coffee Club, Instruments of Peace, Irish Dancers, Juventutem Club, Knitting Nook, Life Runners, Mary’s Meals, Mercy through Mary Club, Militia Immaculata Musical Theatre Troupe, Outdoors Club, Philosophy Club, Political Science Association, Pre‐Medicine Club, Pre-Physical Therapy Club, Psi Chi Honor Society, Pun Intended, Rock Climbing Club, ROTC, St. Justin Martyr Debate Club, St. Vitus Social Dance Club, Sigma Tau Delta, Student Creative Arts Network, Student Government, Student Leadership Association, Veritas Society, Voice of the Martyrs Club, Young Americans for Freedom.
If applicable, in which athletic Division and Conference does your institution compete? (Please specify NCAA, NAIA, etc. as well as Division level.)
Franciscan University is a member of the NCAA Division III and competes in the Presidents’ Athletic Conference (PAC). The rugby team competes in the National Small College Rugby Organzation and plays in the 3 Rivers Rugby Conference.
What athletic teams are offered for men and women?
Franciscan fields 18 Baron varsity teams; men—basketball, cross country, lacrosse, rugby, soccer, tennis, track & field, and baseball; women—basketball, cross country, lacrosse, soccer, softball, swimming & diving, tennis, track & field, golf, and volleyball.
How do you help develop the mind, body, and soul of student-athletes?
Franciscan’s thriving intramural program, which includes flag football, volleyball, Ultimate Frisbee, basketball, and futsal, allows many students who are not on an NCAA team to participate in competitive sports at levels that match their interests and abilities.
Franciscan intercollegiate athletics is guided by the motto: Faith. Virtue. Knowledge. Self Control. Student-athletes are formed spiritually, emotionally, and physically in many ways. In addition to a chaplain who oversees all Baron athletic programs, most teams have their own chaplain and participate in a retreat at the start of the school year. Every team prays together before the game, most also attend Mass as a team on game days, and it is a long-standing tradition for all Baron teams to invite the opposing team to pray with them following the game. While driving to away games, the teams pray the Rosary, Divine Mercy Chaplet, and other prayers.
Franciscan University has embraced a philosophy that a well-rounded athletics program including intercollegiate, intramural, and recreational sports as well as wellness programming, should be offered as a part of its educational mission. Toward that end, the University partners with SportsLeader, a Catholic virtue-based formation program that charges each varsity coach to be involved in the spiritual growth of their student-athletes. The program incorporates the four pillars of virtue, mentoring, ceremony, and Catholic identity.
Does your institution require all student clubs and activities, including those listed above, to operate in accord with Catholic teaching? (Yes/No)
How does your institution address student clubs and activities that may conflict with Catholic teaching?
If a student club or activity conflicts with Catholic teaching, the responsible students and the club itself are subject to disciplinary action. Serious or repeated conflicts with Catholic teaching would result in the deactivation of the club.
Does your institution require student services like health care, counseling and guidance to conform to Catholic ethical and moral teaching and directives? (Yes/No)
How does your institution restrict student access to obscene and pornographic material, including computer and network access, the library, and the bookstore?
Through a firewall “URL filtering” feature that is constantly maintained and updated, Information Technology Services enforces an Acceptable Use Policy that prohibits accessing obscene and pornographic materials. Library patrons must adhere to the same Acceptable Use Policy. All Bookstore materials adhere to the mission of Franciscan University and the teachings of the Catholic Church as found in the Catechism.
Additional Student Activities information, clarification, or description (optional):
Student leadership development is fostered through over 100 student clubs, households, and organizations. A Student Leadership Conference is hosted on campus each January to teach and inspire student leadership. The Center for Leadership sponsors campus speakers and provides co-curricular formation for select students that fosters virtues, imparts knowledge, and cultivates practical skills necessary for effective, lifelong Christian leadership.