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Freshmen become familiarized with campus organizations

By Rachel Taylor
On September 9, 2017

Project PULL was one of the many organizations that came out to "Let's Get It Started". The goal of the event was to help freshman get to know what organizations were available to them on campus. Rachel Taylor/ The Lion's Roar

Organizations came together on Sept. 6 for “Let’s Get It Started,” an event geared towards familiarizing freshmen with campus life as well as informing them of the services and opportunities available to them. The event was a joint project between the African American Alumni Chapter, Black Student Union, Project PULL and Multicultural and International Student Affairs.

Michael Kyles, member of the AAAC as well as vice principal of Hammond High Magnet School, hosted the event and guided a panel of five through the night’s presentation.

“This is an event that was originally started by BSU as a way to introduce to the minority students various ways to get involved on campus,” said Kyles. “In order to have a well-rounded college experience, they should try to get involved in something on campus and also try to engage in some of the different businesses in the community as well.”

President of BSU Mikayla Times, a senior sociology major described the goal of the event.

“This event is a welcoming event to get them started and get them accustomed to campus, to get them familiar with other organizations, and to get them comfortable with asking and getting advice,” said Times.

Cedric Dent Jr, a junior social work major and a panelist at the event spoke of the help he received when he first started at the university. He started his freshman year as a mentee in Project PULL, a mentoring program that stands for Promoting Unity through Leadership and Learning.

“My freshman year, I met so many people, and you learn so much about yourself,” said Dent.  “You step forward using Project PULL.”

He stayed involved with the program and became a mentor himself.

In addition to Dent Jr., the other panelists were Indya Major, Aron Walker, Marcus McMillian and Tamara Alexander. They spoke on their collegiate experiences, some of them being current students and others as being alumni and gave advice on how to have a successful college career. Then, they opened the floor to audience questions.

Among the questions asked, Eddie Hoffman, a freshman engineering technology major sought advice on how one might go about reaching out and getting involved on campus, especially if the person wasn’t naturally outgoing.

The panelists advised him that while studies should always come first, student organizations provide an outlet for socialization.

“I want to get out, branch out, make connections, talk to people and get a feel of how the environment is,” said Hoffman. “The panel has a lot of different people with different backgrounds and different reasons why they came. It was pretty good hearing about their insights.”

Afterwards, attendees were given free rein to browse the booths. The Office of Disability’s Services, Student Support Services, Auxiliary Services Office, the University Counseling Center and local businesses were all there to give information to the students as well as sign off on passports they had been given. Once the students learned all they could, they were able to move outside where their filled passports could be redeemed for free food. More booths were set up there, ran by student organizations such as the Black Student Union, Project PULL and various Greek life. A DJ was also present, and the students were able to socialize to music while enjoying their pizza.

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