First 40 days named “vital” for college success

Cara Meeks

The first six weeks of college are critical for students.

Amanda Story, assistant director of Student Development Programs, said “it is the most vital time.”

First 40 lists events the university recommends freshmen to attend in their first 40 days of college.

Along with the Director of Student Development Programs Carmen Stoen, Story orchestrated the new events compiled in the First 40 as a way for freshman and transfer students to connect with others and participate in activities outside of the classroom.

Previously, the university promoted Freshman 15, or fifteen activities freshmen should participate in during the school year.

Housing Check-In Event, Convocation and Welcome Week were some of the events that helped students get used to campus and the community.

“We compiled a list of what is beneficial for students during these first six weeks of school,” Story said. “We’re hoping to get students connected.”

Story mentioned the Student Involvement Fair on Sept. 2.

There was a large turnout at the fair, and plenty of students were able to see a snippet of the 130 plus clubs and organizations hosted through the university.

Story said the idea for First 40 is to make sure students are successful–academically and socially–at the university.

Events such as the 50th Anniversary Celebration Week, Employee Wellness Fair, Career Link, Late Night and events hosted by the Multicultural Center are some of the various upcoming events.

Story said that during the 50th Anniversary Week, there will be giveaways and activities.

“It’s a great opportunity for students to show school spirit,” she said.

The main goal of the First 40 is to create an “impact on retention and highlight the importance of the first six weeks,” Story said.

Students who are more involved with the university and the community are more likely to succeed academically and graduate on time.

The First 40 helps other students connect with one another outside the classroom and participate in cultural activities at the university.

Students have found many resources on campus to help them get connected.

“It’s really easy to get involved,” freshman history major Mark Foster said. “Our RA told us a lot and the student involvement fair helped a lot.”

Meeting other students also helps freshmen succeed.

“My roommates got me to sign up for the dance marathon,” sophomore pre-dental hygiene major Rachel Louviere said. “The involvement fair is the most important, and I even went to it this year (as a sophomore).”

Junior engineering major Collin Klostermann said his freshman year went “really well.”

He participated in Welcome Week activities like glow-in-the-dark capture the flag and the Rim Rockers basketball tournament.

“At first, I didn’t want to be here,” Klostermann said, “but the first month let me know it was the right decision.”