First Year Initiatives helps students start college career

By on August 25, 2014

By Courtney Brown

Everyone who has started out at U of L as a freshman has heard about and participated in First Year Initiative events, whether they know it or not. First Year Initiative, commonly referred to as FYI, is a program set up for new freshmen and transfer students to make their transition onto campus as easy and painless as possible.

“FYI’s main goal is retention and offering students the best first year possible,” said sophomore Jeremy Ball, who was a Student Orientation Staffer this summer.  “It begins at orientation and meeting their SOSer and learning about the programs offered. Everything they do is all about giving new students that amazing and worthwhile college experience.”

Some of the first college experiences at U of L are the Book in Common and STOMP modules . The Book in Common is a summer reading assignment available to the entire campus before classes start.  It is designed to give students an easy way to explore themes and topics discussed in the text peers and faculty.

Some students are given  assignments related to the book, so if good conversation isn’t motivation enough to read the book, hopefully a good grade is.

“Overall, I enjoyed the book,” said freshman Raven Byars.  “I really like how it was set up in short little essays, and it was interesting to see different views and beliefs that people had for their lives.”

Students must also watch STOMP module video clips and take quizzes on them over the summer.  This helps with things such as finding  the writing center or learning the do’s and don’ts of talking to faculty.

The college experience often leads to hunger, so  The Fry Newsletter has all of the information on events offering free food. They also have announcements and tips to ensure success for all first year and transfer students.

One initiative you are guaranteed to hear about is  Welcome Week.  This is designed to help students adjust to their new home away from home and to help build a sense of community through social events and free food. The only requirement is to show up, be engaged and have a good time!

As the semester starts to get underway, CAPS mentors are also made available for most questions, comments or concerns. Students are able to reach out to peer mentors for a question about how to navigate campus or advice on how to stay sane during midterms.

During finals week, when flex dollars begin to run low, the one dollar all-you-can-eat breakfast buffet is helpful to students.  For one dollar or a couple of non-perishable canned goods, students will gain access to food, energy drinks and fun – all of which are necessary to successfully survive finals week.

First Year Initiatives is here to help students take ownership of their college experience.

About Jacob Abrahamson

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