“Students Helping Students.” The Student Mentor Program hosts annual First Year Fest

The Student Mentor Program hosts First Year Fest to “help first-year students make friends and feel connected to campus.”

Photo by Lexi Vassilaros

The UVU Student Mentor Program held their annual First Year Fest on Wednesday in the Sorensen Center Ballroom. The event is “designed to help first-year students make friends and feel connected to campus,” says Angus Macfarlane, the Student Leadership Program Manager.

This event is one of the four to five Student Mentor activities that are put on every semester. Nicole Paulette, a Lead Student Mentor, said they hold one “massive event” each semester and in February of next term, there will be a Leadership Conference. She explained that every activity, both big and small, is different and unique. 

The Student-Mentor-hosted event featured a variety of activities such as tables with Jenga and an obstacle course. The Ballroom had winter-theme decorations with streamers, balloons, fairy lights, and snowflakes. Attendees were provided free pizza and refreshments in the decorated ballroom that had ambient popular music playing over the loudspeakers. Those who attended the event could also participate in beaded jewelry-making and wood burning. 

The Student Mentor program is a part of the Student Leadership and Success Department. According to the program’s mission statement “The UVU Mentor Program provides peer leadership and advocacy to aid students in their transition to university life wherein they prepare students with success strategies for academic and social engagement that foster student retention.” 

Paulette explained that all mentors are students. “We’re students helping students,” she said in reference to the program’s motto. “We don’t grade anyone’s work. We’re literally there to help support you.” 

Program participants donate 150 hours of service over the course of each semester and are dedicated to “making UVU a friendlier, more helpful, and student-centered university. They work with students individually and in the classroom.” 

Student Mentor Spencer Jarvis said participating as a mentor can help equip students with both teaching and leadership experience. The program provides resources and classes for mentors to stay on track with their own school work while still having the time and ability to assist others. Jarvis appreciated the opportunity he got to meet with students one-on-one and get to know them personally. 

In order to join the program, students must take and pass at least one of the lower-division SLSS classes such as SLSS 1000, SLSS 1100, SLSS 1120, SLSS 2100, or SLSS 2500. Prospective mentors are also required to take and pass, SLSS 3200, and must maintain a cumulative GPA of at least 2.75.  

Paulette noted that taking these classes provides students with an opportunity “to become a more well-rounded person.”
For those looking to learn more or join the program, you can visit the UVU Student Mentors Website, contact [email protected], or visit the department room in LC 406.

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