Transfer students and new students who start in the spring should have a Wildcat Week specifically created for them.
Wildcat Week has a big impact on freshmen’s lives and is one of the most influential times in their time here. Wildcat Week is where new students make friends, form connections and explore Abilene; It should be extended to those who miss it or who transfer in during the spring semester.
“I felt a great sense of community at ACU as a result of Wildcat Week,and I was able to meet several people,” freshman Tori Castaneda said.
Wildcat Week is so important to freshmen that the university allows freshmen to move in a week earlier than needed. During this week, freshmen are given the opportunity to meet their RA’s, learn about the university’s mission and really learn what it is like to be a Wildcat. Wildcat Week is a great time for freshmen to make friends before they have to worry about classes.
This week includes fall transfer students and even gives them a chance to have a wildcat group that consists entirely of transfer students. However, this opportunity is only extended to fall transfer students and not to spring transfer and new students.
I propose that we have a shorter Wildcat Week for all transfer students in the spring.
ACU should offer a shorter version of Wildcat Week that is offered for spring transfer and new students. This ‘week’ would actually only span over the course of three days. These three days would be Jan. 5 to Jan. 7. Jan. 5 is a Wednesday where some students will already be on campus due to January intensive courses starting on the Monday of that week. Jan. 7 will conclude this week. Jan. 7 is the set date for new student orientation, and would be a great way to conclude this short three day program to acclimate new students and transfer students into ACU in a more intensive way.
Over the course of three days these students will have a shortened version of Wildcat Week. This three day program will give students the ability to see Abilene together as a group. Similar to Wildcat Week the students would be separated by their cornerstone group and allowed to do all the activities together.
Since this is a much smaller scale of the intensive week that happens in the fall, ACU would not need a large group to help guide the students. Instead, they would only need at most three people to be peer mentors and guides to the new and transfer students.
Currently, spring transfer and new students only have new student orientation to get to know each other. While the university does allow them to participate in a transfer and new student only cornerstone, they do not have the same bonds as those who had a week to get to know their group before actually having class with them in person.
“It was difficult for me to form relationships with other students at ACU, because everyone else had already formed those bonds” said Christian Williams a spring transfer student.
This week could give spring new students a sense of community and kinship that was not offered before.
For new students who start in the spring, it can be difficult to find a home in a campus that has moved on without them. By offering a shorter version of Wildcat Week, these students can find their own place on campus and really get a chance to see the ‘ACU difference.’
Many spring new students feel as though they have missed out on a large part of their college experience, and by simply adding a small three day program to help them smoothly transition into a new place we can cause more transfer students to not only love ACU but also to thrive here.