Opinion: New students left in dark about welcoming event


Ashlee Nicholson (center), Director of Activities, speaks at an American River College Clubs and Events Board meeting on Aug. 30th, 2016. Welcome Day was discussed during the meeting. (Photo by Jared Smith)

Jared Smith and Lidiya Grib

Twice a year, thousands of students pour across the American River College’s campus on their way to their first classes.

Often in the fall, many of these students are freshmen and they don’t have clear directionsthis is where Fall Welcome Day comes in.

Hosted by ARC’s Associated Student Body Clubs and Events Board (CAEB), Welcome Day is scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 22 a full month after the first day of the semester and is listed as an event that welcomes new and old students back to the campus.

Welcome Day would be a great idea if not for being held so late.

CAEB Adviser Juan Blanco said that the reason behind their scheduling was that “(they) don’t want to bog down students.”

It would make more sense to have Welcome Day on the first week of school, to make students feel more welcome and less nervous about the first week.

Returning ARC student Tarrance Ross said he’d be more likely to go to the event in September, though.

He thought that the event was scheduled well because of how many students would still be getting oriented with their schedules during their first week.

During the first week of school, when most students are looking for somewhere to go, the event is underpublicized.

Freshman and culinary arts major Brandon Obas didn’t know that Welcome Day was an event at all.

“Not really, no,” he said when asked about whether he knew what Welcome Day was.

The job of welcoming or orienting new students doesn’t fall solely on the shoulders of CAEB, who are hosting the first Club Day on Sept. 22 as well.

This summer, ARC’s Student Success and Support Program held a “Freshman Welcome” on campus, another function that missed many members of its target audience.

Often, new students turned to others to help guide their transition to ARC.

“My friend Kristen was my source of information,” said Gabrielle Porter, another freshman and a history major.

Returning student Chris Rowe claimed that, “(The) only orientation I know of is the online orientation,” when asked if he was aware of the freshman orientation.

These are problems that hamper such events’ success; they have to be better publicized and spoken about with new students, otherwise they’ll be entirely missed.

By informing more students about these events or by moving them closer to the first week of classes, ARC could benefit not from not just a potentially improved attendance rate but also a more connected campus community.