The Freshman Connection, a 1-year-old CSUN program directed toward first-time freshmen, had an event in the Grand Salon of the University Student Union yesterday.
The flyer for the event said, “Come celebrate your first semester at CSUN!”
Each of the 299 students who are part of the Freshman Connection this year were supposed to participate in the event, which displayed presentations from classes within the program, said Cheryl Spector, Director of Academic First Year Experiences at CSUN.
“We wanted the students to have a chance to show what they’ve learned,” Spector said. The program includes classes for freshmen such as University 100 and Psychology 150, and each class worked on display boards for the event, she said.
The various boards displaying what the students of the Freshman Connection have learned so far included how to turn down drugs, stay out of dangerous situations and other things freshmen might not have known about in high school.
The event also included a reflection paper, which was a form that each member of the Freshman Connection was asked to fill out. The form listed questions for the students to fill out regarding their first semester. If the students wanted to, they could answer their questions on video. What the video will be used for is not yet known, Spector said.
The Department of Student Affairs at CSUN paid for most of the event, buying T-shirts and lunch for the members of the program, and renting out the space for the events, Spector said.
“It was an assignment,” said Mike Schwartz, an 18-year-old freshman majoring in business. “I don’t know how much it’s worth.”
Schwartz went on to say that the event, along with the entire program, was something that he never really wanted to do. He said he was put into the program without realizing it, and then had to take the classes for the program when there were better ones to take.
As a business major, Schwartz said that Economics 160 would fill the same requirement as Psychology 150, but he was obligated to take Psychology 150 as part of the program, instead of the class he wanted to take.
Students who are part of this program are required to take two or three specific classes, so the students can gain and maintain relationships with peers. This way they do not have different people in all of their different classes, said Todd Wolfe, Freshman Connection adviser for the social sciences.
The reason to increase peer relationships for freshmen stems from freshmen leaving CSUN and going to different schools, Spector said. The idea is that if students know a lot of people and have a lot of friends here they will not want to leave and go somewhere else, she said.