Student Blog: My 7 Top Resources at BCU! | Kylee Lukes

March 31, 2022

College is tough. We get it. Here are a few of my favorite resources on campus that have helped me make my experience worthwhile.


The Compass

The Compass staff are the definition of the Briar Cliff experience. It was created to support and help every type of student navigate through their college journey. Whether it be athletes looking for a study hall, first generation students needing guidance on how to apply for FAFSA, a chemistry major seeking help on their resumé, or even if a student is feeling home sick. Students can be referred to The Compass if they show academic concern or self-referral; the student will then get assigned to a Compass navigator.

The Compass enhances the educational experience, increasing student success and surpassing institutional learning outcomes through advising, innovation, advocacy, and authentic relationships within the BCU campus community. They lead the practice of curricular and co-curricular navigation services within the campus community.

As a student, this is highly useful for me. Whenever I am struggling, need guidance, or even need someone to discuss my concerns, I know I can count on The Compass to guide me in the right direction. Even if I don’t have any concerns or questions, I always know I can count on Jay Rhodes to make my day!


TRIO Student Support Services

Are you a student, a first-generation, income-eligible, or have a disability that may be in the way of achieving your goal to graduate? TRIO Student Support Services is to the rescue! TRIO Student Support Services is funded by the U.S Department of Education and created to promote educational access for those who have been traditionally underrepresented in higher education. They provide academic support, career readiness, and financial wellness with the ultimate goal of college graduation.

I soak up all TRIO has to offer because why not? I touch up and learn more about financials through TRIO events, workshops, and fun little worksheets. Participating in career assessments, workshops, and virtual job shadows sounds like a good time to me. In my first year, I couldn't count the number of times I would go to Brenda Parkhill (my first-year TRIO advisor) for any mentoring and support I needed. She nailed being my go-to person, and I know I can go here whenever for whatever.

Briar Cliff Student Government

This is a good one; Briar Cliff Student Government (BCSG). BCSG is the voice and political force for Briar Cliff’s student body. BCSG’s primary function is to represent the line of communication between students, faculty, and administration. Along with programming like the annual Francisco de Mayo Sand Volleyball Tournament, Bingo, Leadership Development Summits, student senators represent all facets of student life, including academics, clubs and organizations, security, dorms, diversity, and more. Any student can apply or bring a concern to senators to be discussed at the biweekly meetings. Student Government actively works to solve student issues and develop student leaders for all campuses to use as a resource.

I don’t even know where to begin with this resource. Without BCSG in my life, I wouldn’t have evolved into the leader I am today for BCU. I have built powerful connections, created change where change was required, and developed my expertise in making a difference. I learned to hear out my peers, professors, and the faculty on what we need on campus and strive to get those changes done. I am grateful to be a leader around campus and be a listening ear and helpful guide to those in need.


Bishop Mueller Library

The Bishop Mueller Library has resources upon resources. They offer over 50 online research databases, an online library catalog, physical circulating book collections, and Research Assistance. Utilize the Digital Media Creation Studio to boost your English presentation. Rent the newest and coolest technology like the Oculus Go or the 360° Digital Camera just for fun. The Charger Cupboard ensures no student goes hungry or without basic needs like toiletries and school supplies. Take advantage of the Writing Center before turning in your paper that’s worth a big chunk of your grade!

With three floors of space to get work done, the library is one of campus’ main study areas. With designated quiet areas, the library ensures every student is able to work successfully and efficiently.

Who wouldn’t hype over a 360° Digital Camera just for fun?

In one place, I can go use the Digital Media Creation Studio to create my first YouTube video. Have my final paper checked over and ensured it is on the right track. Rent or use technology for any classes or just for fun. Print out all my assignments for class and then grab some snacks on my way out? The library really has it all! You know where to find me from now on!


Security/Res Life

Security provides peace of mind for the safety of our students, faculty, and staff. This department establishes the protection of university property, which includes locking and securing buildings, reporting suspicious activity to law enforcement, enforcement of parking regulations, and reporting any emergencies to local authorities.

With our security on our campus, I know I am always in good hands. The staff is caring and willing to do whatever is needed to ensure a safe space here at BCU. They are some of the most wholesome people, and they always are friendly to everyone.


Residential Life (a.k.a Res Life) staff are also available on campus around the clock. This includes Resident Assistants who are chosen students from all facets of campus to ensure the safety of students. Resident Assistants are those support students that you never knew you needed until you needed them. They always have a solution when you and your roommate are not getting along, and they are also the first people to be your biggest supporters when you crush that test that you have been preparing for weeks for! The RA’s on-campus embodies the values that Briar Cliff is known for.

Res Life has also been an enormous resource for me here. Having a RA on my floor has made the experience significantly less stressful. Whenever there is an issue, they are right on top of it. Whenever I have a question, I know I can count on one of the RAs to give me an answer or point me in the right direction of someone who can give me the answer. They provide fun programming for their floors and strive to make your experience here as memorable as possible.



Student Financial Services/Financial Aid team

They aren’t quite the same, and it can get confusing. We know.  Let me do my best to break it down for everyone.


Student Financial Services is responsible for billing the students for tuition, fees, and other miscellaneous charges such as parking permits, health office charges, graduation fees, room and board costs. Students work with this Student Financial Services to pay their student bills, get necessary tax information (1098T forms), set up payment plans, receive any refund owed on the account, etc.

These services offered to us on campus are a tremendous resource for me. They work through roadblocks and are flexible in finding solutions that benefit the student. Whenever I have a question regarding a bill, refund, or scholarship, I know I can go to them, and they will answer me in a timely and understandable way. With this resource on campus, students get each statement explained and carefully looked over, allowing the students and families to know that everything is clear and why.

The Financial Aid team assists students in getting federal and institutional aid to help cover their student bills. One service they provide is helping the students fill out the FAFSA for Federal Pell Grant and loans, state assistance, vocational rehab, etc. They also help assist students in applying for scholarships, both internal and external. Many rules and regulations play into the aid given to students, so it does take a team to ensure awarding is accurate and regulations are followed.

100% of first-time, full-time students receive some sort of financial aid. The financial assistance team has helped me by providing me with scholarships to enable me to focus on my studies rather than the financial struggles of college. Be sure to pay attention when the scholarship application is open to save as much as possible!



Peer Advising Leaders (PALs) are your first friends when you come to campus. With a combination of sophomores, juniors, and seniors, these students are devoted to providing first-year students the best experience possible. They assist in moving into their dorm, class schedules, course requirements, campus rules, clubs and organizations, decision making, building friendships, and making a memorable experience.

I’m honored to be one of the first upperclassmen to meet the incoming first-year students and provide them with a great first impression of the Cliff and provide them the knowledge of what to expect and ways to guide them on the right path, all the while having fun and getting to know new people. Being a PAL might be for you if you are outgoing, social, and love having fun while guiding people! I have created so many memories of being a PAL for my school and have made numerous connections that I wouldn’t have made without being a part of this program. HANDS DOWN, some of the best experiences came from being a part of this program! 

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