Students celebrate SYE launch

May 11, 2016 by Ryan Kelley, News Editor

Last Sunday, the new Sophomore Year Experience (SYE) program kicked off by inviting the members of the Class of 2019 to the ’62 Center for Theatre and Dance for SophLaunch. The event featured information about the sophomore year and introduced the new Sophomore Ambassadors (SAs).

The Class of 2019 will be the first class to experience the new SYE program, created by Assistant Dean Rashanda Topp.

Dean of the College Sarah Bolton opened the event by congratulating the first-year students in attendance for almost completing their first years at the College and addressing new obligations for the sophomore year.

“You are going to be living outside your entry next year, and this time next year you are going to need a major,” Bolton said. “There are great opportunities next year as well. You will decide if you want to study-away, or whether you might like to step-up and apply to be JA.”

Bolton encouraged students to attend SYE events next year. “They are all going to have good food and great information,” Bolton said.

She then introduced Assistant Director for Student Organizations and Involvement Ben Lamb and Assistant Director of the Davis Center Angela Wu, who both worked with Topp on the SYE program.

“We listened to the concerns of first-year students and current sophomores, and we looked at what the sophomore year currently looks like,” Lamb said. “[During sophomore year] you are becoming the human being you will be for the rest of your life. We wanted to take what already existed and integrate it into the sophomore year so you know what tools exist to support you.”

Wu addressed the concerns of the sophomore slump and said that “the Sophomore Year Experience is meant to be a roadmap if you are looking for more structure.”

Lamb broke SYE into three parts. “The first thing is programing. We want to provide skill-building opportunities and workshops targeted to sophomores,” Lamb said.

He also introduced Second Days, a new sophomore retreat, as a major piece of new programing.

“Second Days is the step after First Days,” Lamb said. “We are going to be taking you off campus for a one-day retreat at Greylock Works and taking over the building.”

Another major component of the SYE program is resources. “There are a lot of resources we want to bring together in one portal as a one-stop shop for resources,” Lamb said.

Lamb then introduced the first-generation of SAs, who were selected through an application and group interview process. According to the College’s website, the SA position will “have input on what programs are offered and how to best serve current sophomores on campus.”

The 2016-2017 SAs are Obeyaa Ama Ofori Atta ’19, John Marando ’19, Deanna Segall ’17, David Han ’19, Veronica Dankwah ’17, Moiz Reham ’19, Melanie Subbiah ’17 and Skylar Smith ’18.

“This is going to be a great program to provide some institutional support,” John Marando ’19 said.  “I hope you and your friends take advantage of this opportunity to make sure this program lives up to its potential.”

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