Student engagement is a widely used and highly useful framework for both scholars and practitioners in higher education. Despite that utility, student engagement fails to fully capture the richness of student experiences by washing away variations in identities and activities – in who is being engaged, and in what they are doing when they are or are not engaged. To better understand and act upon the complexity of engagement, scholars and practitioners should focus their attention on the qualities of the human relationships – both student–faculty/staff and also student peer–peer relationships – that profoundly shape student experiences in and outcomes from higher education.