Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Student groups provide early involvement for freshmen

Freshmen have far more opportunities to get involved on campus than just attending class and football games.

Until 5 p.m. on Monday, Sept. 19, the UA First Year Council selection committee is accepting applications. The FYC is an opportunity for first-year students to have a clear voice in the Student Government Association.

In the past, FYC has been responsible for multiple contributions around the UA campus. The FYC brought Redbox to campus, created the University of Alabama mobile application and created more crosswalks.

“FYC has participated in an advising help hotline so students can call with any questions they have during the advising process,” said Sara Lavender, SGA director of FYC. “First Year Councilors raise awareness and assist with events such as Hands on Tuscaloosa, Beat Auburn Beat Hunger and Higher Education Day. First Year Councilors are really able to choose any project they would like to see tackled and make it happen.”

By becoming a member of FYC, students can take ideas and visions and make them realities, because they are offered the tools and resources that aren’t always available to students, especially as freshmen.

“First Year Council is an excellent way for freshmen to get involved on campus,” said Katie O’Laughlin, SGA press secretary. “FYC allows freshmen to use SGA’s many resources to implement projects and programs that benefit the freshman class.”

The FYC will be an active participator in many SGA meetings, projects and decisions.

“Beginning in October, FYC will meet every Monday night as a legislative body,” Lavender said. “FYC will select a speaker of First Year Council and will operate fairly similar to the SGA Student Senate. First Year Councilors will be exposed to each of SGA’s three branches and help execute their projects and goals with a special emphasis on first-year students.”

Students from all backgrounds are encouraged to apply. Applications are available online at and can be turned in to the SGA office, room 231 in the Ferguson Center.

Another opportunity for freshmen who are beginning their first semester at UA is a new program from the Division of Student Affairs called First Year Experience.

“The idea behind our office is to offer programs and resources that provide the tools for students to build the foundation of their Capstone experience,” said Litsa Orben, First Year Experience coordinator. “It is my hope that, with the growing number of first-year students we are admitting, our office will provide a sense of comfort and support to first-year students in transition.”

The FYE has two main focuses: inside the classroom and outside the classroom. The opportunities to advance the experience inside the classroom include Freshman Learning Communities, Living Learning Communities, Compass Courses and Freshman Seminars. These communities and classes are all ways for new students to get to know other students, as well as faculty members, in an environment that is conducive to learning.

“Freshman Seminars at The University of Alabama seek to engage first-year students in meaningful relationships with their peers, faculty, and/or the campus community,” according to a statement on the Freshmen Seminars’ website. “Seminars should be designed to engage students in intellectual discourse in small classes taught by faculty who have a deep subject matter knowledge and passion for a topic.”

Outside the classroom, freshmen have the chance to get involved with Freshman Forum, Peer Mentors and the Tau Sigma National Honor Society.

For more information about the First Year Experience and the events involved, visit Also, visit the FYE Facebook page and follow them on Twitter @FYEatUA.

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