BY Jasmine Washington| PHOTO BY Hope Hynson
The Student Success Initiative welcomed the University of Maryland freshman class with their annual Freshcon, a freshman student welcome. The Student Success Initiative is led by Tony Randall and made up of three sub organizations; UM Success, Student Success Leadership Council (SSLC) and Students Toward Educational Progress and Philanthropy (STEPP). All three of these organizations came together to make Freshcon happen once again.
Freshcon, the largest welcoming event for incoming African American students, provides first year students with the tools they need to be successful at Maryland. This year the event was hosted by seniors Imani Yorker and Amani Walker.
The event began with a first look fair that included representatives from over 50 student organizations. Students had the opportunity to walk around and see which organizations were fit for them.
The reps from the Ethiopian Eritrean Student Association (EESA) said, “finding an organization that you can identify with feels like home.”
Students had the chance to walk around at the first look fair for 45 minutes. Yorker and Walker began the program with one of many chances students had to win prizes.
“What year was the University of Maryland founded?” they asked. Freshman began rambling as they tried to quickly find the answer to the question.
Tomi Ajiboye, junior double major in public health and public policy, performed a spoken word piece titled “It was…” to inspire the incoming class about the events they may encounter during their freshman year.
“It was a culture shock being the only black person in the classroom,” Ajiboye said.
She ended her performance stating for every negative there’s a positive, encouraging students to continue to work hard no matter what is going on around them.
Other performances included a spoken word by recent alumna Bree Osei and a unity stroll by the organizations in the National Pan-Hellenic Council.
Breakout sessions highlighted important tips for students to be successful during their time at Maryland. Some tips included: time management, remember you’re a student first, don’t plan procrastination, and to use a planner. The breakout sessions also provided students with information on resources available on-campus such as tutoring, counseling and office hours.
After the breakout sessions, the student who arrived first at the event received a prize to show students how important showing up first will be during the year. They also rewarded one student who was sitting in the first row to show the importance of sitting in the front row in class.
The freshman class was welcomed with a bang this year, and all of SSI can’t wait to see what they become!