Office of the Dean of Students          

Pillars of the Forty Acres - Frequently Asked Questions

General Program Questions | Student Activities Specific Criteria | Special Criteria Guidelines

Special Criteria Guidelines

For each Core Value category, student organizations are able to submit a special criterion to be considered for a one (1) point. Submitting a special criterion does not guarantee that a point will be awarded. The special criteria should be something unique that sets your organization apart from other organizations and embodies the core value category its being submitted under. It cannot be something that is already listed in the category. Student organizations must provide a detailed description and rationale on why the submission should receive a point.

Please see below for common FAQs and the rubric to help guide your submission. If you have any other questions, please contact Student Activities at

   When is the deadline to submit special criteria?

The deadline to complete the Pillars of the Forty Acres program and submit all criteria is 11:59 p.m. CST on Monday, February 28, 2022. Special criteria should be submitted as soon as possible as possible to ensure that there is time to provide feedback per the guidelines on this page.

   Can we submit multiple special criteria?

Yes, an organization may submit multiple special criteria per Core Value category to be considered.

   How many points are available for special criteria?

Only one special criteria point will be awarded per category.

   Can I have my special criteria reviewed and approved via email or in person?

No, you must submit it via the Pillars Submission portal for review.

   When will Student Activities review special criteria submissions?

Special criteria is reviewed on an ongoing basis throughout the program cycle. All special criteria submitted by 11:59 p.m. on Monday, February 14, 2022 will be reviewed and provided status update on whether it was accepted or denied before the Pillars deadline. Special criteria submitted after that date is not guaranteed to receive a status update before the Pillars deadline.

   How will my organization be updated regarding the status of its special criteria submission?

Student Activities will notify the organizations Pillars contact by email regarding the status of special criteria submissions.

   If my special criteria is not approved, can I resubmit?

Yes, you may resubmit special criteria that has been denied with updated information or submit a completely new special criteria by the Pillars deadline.

   Is there a rubric to help guide us on how specific criteria will be scored?

Yes, the rubric is outlined below. Student Activities will utilize this rubric to evaluate the submission. Common reasons for special criteria being denied include too few or unclear details based on each of the description or rationale/connections prompts. The prompts are the minimum the look for but be thoughtful, purposeful and include any relevant information regarding your criteria.

  Meets Criteria Does Not Meet Criteria
Points 1 0
Description of Criteria Provides 1) name of program, 2) general overview and purpose, 3) goals and 4) detailed steps taken to complete the criteria. Criteria has few or no details.
Rationale and Making Connections Clearly articulates the connection between special criteria and Core Value category. Adequately reflects on criteria, its impact on the organization and/or its members, and provides detailed data/information on the program's achievement and impact. Connection between criteria and Core Value category is vague, unclear or not provided; or clearly fits in a different category.