SPRINGFIELD, MA-It’s only September and the Yellow Jackets have been buzzing non-stop already! New Student Orientation kicked off the beginning of a great semester and it’s been humming at AIC ever since. Fun events like the Foam Party, the Beach Bash, and the Glow Party have been giving both new and returning students the exciting opportunity to get to know each other, to get involved on campus, and most importantly, to find themselves.
New Student Orientation is an opportunity for incoming students to find their place and feel at home in this new environment we call American International College. Many of the first-year students have already begun to join organizations and attend campus events regularly.
Aminata Konneh, an occupational therapy major and first-year student, shared, “I really enjoyed orientation and the way the leaders got everyone involved and stayed positive. I even joined P.R.I.D.E and made some friends.”
Konneh is a Springfield resident and was encouraged to come to AIC by her father, who also attended AIC as a nursing major. Even he remembers the close-knit community and the impact it had on him while he was here.
But the first-years weren’t the only ones who reaped the benefits of orientation. Junior commuter Jinnette Gonzalez talked about her first experience as an orientation leader. “It was a way to learn about diversity and learn about where people come from,” she said. “It was just fun being around everyone and being able to hang out,” she added.
Director of Student Engagement and advisor of the Student Activities Board, Ashlee Givins, was excited and has so much more to offer us throughout the year. The Foam Party reached over 350 students, and she plans to branch out to other colleges and universities for even bigger events. With the diverse student body here at AIC, it was a goal for Givins to make an impact when she first arrived only one short year ago. She encourages new students not to be afraid and to get involved.
“It’s time to become who you’ve always wanted to be,” shared Givins, “time to reflect on your past and grow, time to make new friends and memories. Overall this is your time to enjoy your life, learn new things, and have fun!”
And that’s not all. Aside from club events, the football team had their first game of the season against Bowie State University and Yellow Jacket pride seemed stronger than ever. The AIC Cheerleaders, Pep Band, and Queen Bees plan to keep it that way as we dive deeper into football season and the semester. These organizations are also still recruiting members, for anyone looking for a fun way to stay fit, to improve a talent or skill, or to build connections.
“The AIC Queen Bees,” said Sharaya Barnett, a sophomore communications major, “are a really a great outlet for all the dancers on campus to be a part of. Even if you aren’t the best dancer, we are very patient and ready to help,” she added.
With everything going on on campus, it’s important for students to stay focused and on top of their academics. Visit the Noonan Writing Center for help with essays and writing assignments. They have a great team that can help with anything from MLA formatting to creative writing. Visit the the Shea Library for quiet and comfortable study rooms to prepare for upcoming quizzes and exams. Check in with advisors or cool professors when feeling lost.
AIC really has all the resources, tools, and people needed to help students be successful. Utilize every opportunity to get the best education possible, and don’t be afraid to contact the Dean of Students, Matt Scott, or the Dean of Academic Affairs, Mika Nash, if there are problems with classes. The year is off to an excellent start, and it takes 100% effort from the faculty and students to make it feel more like home. AIC is truly the place to be! One Hive, One Family!