Freshmen get help through dorm community

Daily Sundial

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The First Year Experience Living Learning Community improved its programming this semester with new ways for freshmen to better adapt to their first year at CSUN.

The FYE LLC began its third year this semester with 164 freshman students living in Heather Hall, or University Park Apartments Building 13.

The program encourages the students to enroll in the University 100 course, participate in several activities set up by the resident advisers, and participate in Career Center programming and community service projects.

“(FYE) is a good program because you get to meet other students your same age,” said Saraiah Davis, a freshman in the program.

The FYE started the semester with a new event called Fall Festival, which invites the students to move in six days before classes start rather than two to three days before like non-LLC residents.

This festival included five days of events geared toward making freshmen feel comfortable with their surroundings. The students ate dinner, attended discussions about college life led by individuals from the Department of Public Safety and the Student Health Center, and were given free tickets to a Hollywood Bowl concert the Friday night before classes began, according to Nathan Marken, community director and chair of the steering committee of the FYE LLC.

“This enables the students to adjust to their living quarters, meet other students they will be living with, and settle in before school starts,” Marken said.

University 100 is a class designed to discuss academic skills and personal life skills, with sections reserved for the students from the FYE LLC, according to Marken and Cheryl Spector, director of the freshman seminar program.

“The purpose is to prepare students to get the most out of college,” Spector said.

Spector is a member of the University 100 Committee, which designed the course. The class provides useful information at a strategic time throughout the semester, instead of packing everything into a one-day orientation, she said.

“We get to talk about the different experiences we have in the dorms,” said Shahneka Johnson, a freshman in the FYE program.

As part of the FYE LLC, students are required to attend three activities that comprise a project called Career Passport Portfolio at the Career Center.

“The goal of the career center is to guide the first-year students with resources of the career center,” said Nyla Dalferes, FYE counselor at the Career Center.

The students can choose from three sections that involve orientation on how to use the Career Center, self-assessment activities such as workshops and seminars, and relating their majors to their career.

“With the new Passport (Portfolio), the Career Center is able to reach all 164 students in FYE,” Dalferes said.

Other new programs in the FYE LLC plan include a visit from a librarian from the Oviatt Library who would go to the dorms once a week to answer questions and assist students with research. If successful, the plan would be implemented in other housing buildings, Marken said.

Melanie Saxe can be reached at melaniensaxe@hotmail.com.