Published: Aug. 16, 2021

JB BanksAs your dean of students, I’m excited to welcome you to campus for a new academic year! I am here to support you, advocate for you, hold you accountable and help you get connected to resources throughout your academic journey.

Whether you’re starting your first year or final year at CU Boulder, I have some advice to help you start out strong. 


Maybe you’re new to Boulder, or perhaps you’re living in a new neighborhood off campus. Either way, use these first few weeks of the semester to explore. Take time to settle in, meet new community members and get familiar with your surroundings—both on and off campus:

  • Introduce yourself to floormates or neighbors. 
  • Try out different routes to your classes, and find a favorite study spot or place to relax between classes. 
  • Visit the many dining locations on campus
  • Walk the Boulder Creek Path to explore more off campus. 
  • Check out The Hill and Pearl Street for favorite local restaurants, shopping, live music and more. 

This is a unique city that you will call home during your time at CU, so I encourage you to make the most of your time here.


CU Boulder can seem like a large place. Participating in your classes, events, student organizations and other opportunities can help you make new friends and find your niche.

There are many ways to participate and get involved at CU Boulder, wherever you are in your academic journey. A great place to start is by attending the Be Involved Fair this Wednesday to meet with student organizations, campus departments and local non-profits. 

As you explore over these next few weeks, try new things and check out a variety of options: 

Know that it’s never too late to get involved, and you can customize your experiences here based on your interests and hobbies. Whether you’re interested in arts and crafts, social justice, esports and gaming, politics, leadership or sustainability, there’s a place for you here to meet other Buffs with fellow interests. If you try something and find that it’s not what you expected, that’s okay! Move on to the next opportunity and keep trying until you find what works for you.


Remember that you’re now a part of the Buff family. Families support each other, celebrate each other and look out for each other. Take time in these first few weeks to make connections and find community on campus. Introduce yourself to your neighbors, floormates and classmates. If you see someone eating alone in a dining center or UMC, ask if you can sit with them and get to know them. As you connect with others, try scheduling a weekly study group or lunch date to stay in touch through the semester. Touch base with faculty during their office hours to understand the necessary requirements for your courses.

Your time in college is a chance to try new things, learn, grow and figure out what you like and don’t like. As you get to know others, remember that we all play a role in creating a positive and welcoming environment. You are responsible for yourself and your actions, both on and off campus. Be courteous and kind to others. Wherever you are, act with honor, integrity and respect

Buffs, I’m here to advocate for you and help you have a great year. I’m known as the “dean on the go,” and am often out-and-about on campus meeting with students. I hope you’ll stop by my office hours and introduce yourself—I’d love to hear about your experiences and the new things you are trying this semester.

Let’s make this a great year!

JB Banks
Dean of Students and Associate Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs