VIDEO: Newcomers contemplate how they’ll leave their mark on USI, the world

James Vaughn

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Student leaders and administrators begged a question during this year’s new student convocation: How will you leave your mark on the university?

The newest group of Eagles flocked Friday afternoon to the Physical Activities Center for a warm welcome from the USI community. The incoming freshmen put a face to their academic deans’s names, cheered for President Linda Bennett and Provost Ron Rochon, among other administrators, got to know their neighbors, whom they were instructed to stick a newly designed USI pin to and contemplated their futures, both at USI and outside campus walls.

“One student in the class of 2015 has already made a lasting impression on nearly 2,000 students by designing this year’s convocation pin,” said Alexa Bueltel, president of the Student Government Association. “It inspires me to ask: How will you leave a lasting impression here at USI?”

Provost Ron Rochon honored 24 of the university’s brightest sophomores during the event, rattling off lists of clubs, organizations and programs they were each involved in as freshmen. But before that, he turned his attention to this year’s freshmen.

“As new students at the University of Southern Indiana, your mind is probably filled with thoughts about doing well in your courses, making new friends and enjoying your new freedoms and responsibilities,” Rochon said. “I hope you are also thinking about what change you can make during your time at USI.”

Students at Eagle Convocation 2015 chant outside of the Physical Activities Center Friday. Photo by hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

Students at Eagle Convocation 2015 chant outside of the Physical Activities Center Friday. Photo by Hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

In addition to choosing a profession, students will decide how they want to spend the rest of their lives as citizens, he said.

“After college, will you use what you’ve learned here to make the world a better place?” Rochon asked the crowd. “After college, how will you serve your country as a citizen? Will you vote at every opportunity? Will you work to create positive change in the lives of people in your own communities? While considering your answers to those questions, let me also ask you this: Why wait until after college? Why wait even another moment?”

Some freshmen already know how they want to leave their mark.

Dazia Jones, a freshman English education major from Indianapolis, just moved into her dorm in Ruston Hall, but it didn’t take her long to realize she wants to be an Amigo and a resident assistant by next year.

“Our RA is so great,” Jones said. “He’s really nice and he’s really involved with us and I feel like I would love to be that person next year who makes other freshmen feel like, ‘Oh, I feel like I’m at home here.’”

Jones also plans to study abroad during her time at USI, she said, because she hopes to teach English as a second language after college.

Freshman Samantha White enjoyed getting to know her peers in the Pott College of Science, Engineering and Education, especially considering she moved to Evansville from Crawfordsville, Ind. with no friends.

White, an environmental science major, hopes to leave a green stamp on USI.

“I want to keep the world safe and clean,” she said. “I want our kids to have fresh air to breathe.”

A group of students use a selfie stick to take a large, group selfie Friday during Eagle Convocation at the Physical Activities Center. Photo by Hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

A group of students use a selfie stick to take a large, group selfie Friday during Eagle Convocation at the Physical Activities Center. Photo by Hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

 

The class of 2019 forms the the number 19 on The Quad Friday after Eagle Convocation. Photo by Hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

The class of 2019 forms the the number 19 on The Quad Friday after Eagle Convocation. Photo by Hannah Spurgeon/The Shield

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