First Six programming continues in second year

by Emily Robertson | 9/22/14 6:55pm

A program dedicated to connecting freshmen with academic, community and social events during the first six weeks of classes has continued this fall, publishing a calendar filled with library tours, religious meetings and Greek Leadership Council-approved social events.

These events — listed under the umbrella of the First Six program — aid students’ transition into life on campus, said Collis Center assistant director David Pack, who coordinates the program.

“It’s really an umbrella that helps collect a lot of information and a lot of resources in one place for students,” Pack said, adding that the program draws from different offices and departments.

Research has shown that the first six weeks of college are important to college students’ success, Pack said.

During this time, he said, students cultivate relationships and develop strategies for success that they will use in the next four years.

“We’re trying to do everything we can to make sure that students are having a supported adjustment period to Dartmouth,” Pack said. “We want to make sure that students know that orientation isn’t, like, the last time you’re allowed to ask questions and still be figuring it out.”

While many of these events would be hosted even without the First Six program, the program helps students find them all in one place, Pack said.

Pack said he was uncertain about the program’s success thus far because it is still early in the term, adding that he did not know whether students were finding out about events from the First Six website and emails or from other sources.

“It’s successful in continuing to spread the word about events that are out there,” Pack said.

Although most students interviewed were not aware of the First Six program, some freshmen had viewed the calendar and attended the publicized events.

Olivia Deng ’18 said she has used the calendar and believes it is effective.

Several first-year students said they knew about events that were part of the programming but chose not to attend.

“I just don’t know where they are, or when they are occurring, simply because I have other things going on,” Garrison Roe ’18 said.

Leah Alpern ’18 said programming could be improved by providing more small-group events, rather than only campus-wide activities.

“You could do floor stuff,” she said. “I think that’s really good because right now everyone’s just trying to find their own community.”

Sydney Walter ’18 said she believes the Collis Center has successfully planned events, but has not necessarily done as good of a job advertising the programming.

Speaking generally of Collis Center programming, Pack said freshmen should know that they have many resources available to them and that it is still okay to ask questions after orientation week.

“People are still looking for ways to get connected and get involved in things,” he said.