Transferring to UR can be challenging new faces, new classes and a new campus. Incoming freshmen can bond with their halls and floors, but for transfer students, finding a base can be more difficult. A transfer student’s first semester can be, as sophomore and transfer student Margaret Healy wrote in last week’s issue of the Campus Times, a ‘time of muddled ambiguity.” This is especially true when transfer students lack a support group of other transfer students with whom they can keep in touch after an inadequately short transfer orientation. Transfer students also need a way to make connections with other students.

As Healy discussed, transfers are dispersed in dorms around the River Campus and lack the opportunity to bond with a freshman hall. While housing transfer students on a single floor is not the best option because it only serves to further insulate the transfer community from the rest of the student body, there should be outlets for maintaining connections. One such outlet, the Transfer Connection Club, is now defunct, but a revival of that club or a similar venture started up by established transfer students would help transfers form a community of their own.

Another possibility is a partnering program, which could be organized by the Rochester Center for Community Leadership. Each transfer student would be paired with a UR upperclassman before they arrive at school. The returning student would provide the incoming student with an anchor on campus and could be a go-to person for questions about student life.

Director of Orientation Eleanor Oi has expressed interest in meeting with transfer students who want to share ideas to improve their orientation experiences. The Office of Undergraduate Admissions and other offices that work with transfer students should take note of Healy’s article and transfer students’ experiences and continue to consider further improvements.

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