The Signal

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Monday October 3rd

The Division of Inclusive Excellence gives first generation students a chance to connect over coffee

<p><em>Pictured left to right: Sarah Adamo, Crystal Tran (Arianna McCleod / Correspondent).</em></p>

Pictured left to right: Sarah Adamo, Crystal Tran (Arianna McCleod / Correspondent).

By Arianna McCleod

The College’s Division of Inclusive Excellence held a coffee hour on Feb. 28, which allowed undergraduate and graduate students who identify as first generation students to connect over a cup of coffee and some treats, all while listening to representatives from various organizations at the College. 

The coffee hour was organized by Julia Melito, a graduate assistant for the First Generation Success Initiatives within the Division of Inclusive Excellence. Light refreshments and an assortment of food were provided by Eickhoff Hall. 

The event was the second of its kind, after Melito found success in the first one she planned last semester. This time, she worked to include representatives from various resources available on campus. 

“[The first event] was just a simple coffee hour, so I thought it would be nice to have some additional services offered at this one,” said Melito.

Representatives from Campus Police, the Tutoring Center, and The Center for Student Success set up tables filled with informational pamphlets and merchandise. 

The three services, each with their own individual tables, allowed the first-generation students to talk to each of them and learn about what they had to offer.

Junior history secondary education major Sarah Adamo and senior psychology major Crystal Tran, both students and tutors at the College, represented the Tutoring Center with the objective to inform first-gen students of the academic help the College offers.

“In the tutoring center, we’re not here to teach you, that is the professor’s job, we’re here to help you figure out the best way to attain the knowledge and help you be better prepared for class,” Tran said. 

The Tutoring Center, located in Roscoe West Hall Suite 101, offers free tutoring sessions for all students both in-person and virtually.

Adamo described the tutoring center as a “nonjudgmental friendly atmosphere.”

The Center for Student Success (CSS) attended the event as well, advertising ways that they help students navigate their way through college.

Located in Suite 131 in Roscoe West Hall, CSS offers various resources to help ensure every student has a successful college experience and are prepared to enter the workforce as a college graduate. 

The informational pamphlet provided by the CSS at the coffee hour contained some of the resources that the center offers all students, such as Academic Coaches, the P.R.I.D.E Mentoring Program, Peer Academic Coaches and Academic Success Workshops.

“I learned from going to the different tables about the different resources available to me,” said freshman first-generation math major, Anna Jorge. “For example, The Center for Student Success, I didn’t know that existed.”

Students like Jorge are precisely why Melito felt an event like this was very important. 

“If you’re a first-gen student and you’re in need of support with something that you not entirely sure of, like what the financial aid process is or where to find the tutoring center or any other resources that we offer, I’m serving as a bridge to connect people to those resources,” said Melito. 

The coffee hour was not only meant for first-gen students to learn about various resources available to them at the college, it was also a way for first-gen students to talk amongst each other and share advice. 

“Having an event like this for first-gen students is a way for us to help each other out in the sort of way that maybe we didn’t have before,” said freshman first-gen education major Kiara Molina. 

For Melito, this event was about showcasing the different resources on campus that are dedicated to helping first-gen students become successful throughout college and throughout life.

“There are people here to support you through your journey,” she said. “You don’t have to be completely self-reliant, but know that you do have the drive to be here.”


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