The Office of Residential Life at Assumption College in Worcester, Mass is utilizing the Freshman Survival Guide to educate students on issues they may encounter during their first year at Assumption College. We are planning multiple intentional programs through the first four weeks that the first year students are here. We will use the book throughout the entire year, but the first four weeks will be intensive.
Move-in day will consist of area or building welcome meetings where we discuss how college can be a fresh start (“keep the skeleton, lose the skin”), introductions to the RA staff and finally the “Homesickness Pledge.” The “Homesickness Pledge” will be introduced at our resource fair the first night. Students will sign a banner and receive an item (t-shirts, Survivor bracelets). The reason behind this pledge is to get students to commit to staying on campus until Columbus Day Weekend and become an interactive part of the Assumption College community.
We will incorporate the “Bill of Rights” section of the Freshman Survival Guide book into our Roommate Agreements and are adding a section that will be called “Rights and Responsibilities.” This section will help students understand what rights they have as a resident of that room as well as the responsibilities they have to ensure their rights are being upheld. The rights and responsibilities will be discussed the first night, and then the students will have two days to discuss how they would like their room to be for the year.
We have also organized themed weeks leading to Columbus Day Weekend that will focus on chapters one through ten. Although not completed, some of these programs ideas consist of:
- Walk the line-where students listen to statements from the book, and can agree or disagree. There will be opportunities for teaching as the program goes along.
- The Roommate Game-Where students will compete for a prize that will bring roommates together to spend time. The questions will reflect questions from the book and others from the original “Newlyweds” game show.
- “Battle of the sexes” where students would be split by gender to ask questions and give input of their perception and reputation of the opposite gender. The groups would then be given the questions to answer and then come back together to hear both genders answers.
- Students will have a chance to reflect on what they have learned over the past two weeks. This will be a great chance for us to assess the effectiveness of what we have done.
- Stay tuned, programming still in progress.