Centre of frosh concerns
By Sabrina Carinci
New places, new faces, new friends and new problems being a new student at Western is not always easy. It is not uncommon for first-year students to feel out of place, confused and even a little frightened.
In an attempt to put the minds of university newcomers at ease, Western has created the Centre for New Students. Located in room 65 of the Stevenson-Lawson Building, the centre is available to new students who have concerns of any nature.
Debra Dawson, director of the centre, described the service as a place to facilitate the transitions of entering a post-secondary institution. "It will help make life at Western as comfortable as possible for new students, especially those who have moved away from home," she added.
Dawson said many students drop out after their first year of university and the new centre hopes to reduce these numbers by providing answers to questions or anxieties carried by many new students.
Some first-year students, however, said they are not aware of the new centre and wished it had been advertised better during orientation week.
"I have never heard of it," said Angela Harper, a first-year social science student, adding she would use the service for academic counselling.
"The sophs should have informed frosh about it," said first-year arts student Jeff Stevens.
The centre was introduced this summer during the academic orientation program for first-year students. "We ran a day-long program for new students to ask any questions, pick their courses and even sign up for an email account," Dawson said.
The centre has also organized a study group program in which staff assist first-year students in coordinating effective study groups, she said. "It is important for first-year students to find an effective manner of learning and studying in order to succeed in upper-year courses."