Most scholars who study the impact of college on students agree that what occurs outside the classroom contributes significantly to student learning outcomes (Astin 1993; Pascarella & Terenzini, 1991). Furthermore, a large body of theory and research has concluded that there is a positive correlation between student engagement and persistence (Astin, 1985; Pace, 1984; Tinto, 1993). In order to positively influence student learning outcomes and increase the rate of student persistence, Student Affairs offers UMSL students a variety of social experiences which help foster campus engagement including, but not limited to, 120 student organizations and clubs, Division II Athletics, peer mentoring programs, student carnivals, school spirit events, family-oriented programs, student engagement fairs, welcome events for new students, welcome back events for returning students, recreational/intramural sports, and access to local community activities and events.

Additionally, Student Affairs provides our students with environments which foster social interaction and campus engagement such as residential housing, study lounges, game rooms, student organization work stations, recreational spaces, fitness facilities, programming spaces, and campus dining and food services.