Does NSU do enough for its first year students?


Brianna Corley

Northwestern State University of Louisiana’s current students discuss whether NSU offers enough support for its first-year students.

From Freshmen Connection being hosted in the summer to the First Year Experience’s events throughout the academic year, Northwestern State University of Louisiana has taken many measures to support first year students as they take on college life. But are the support systems NSU created working?

Josie Martinez, a first year sophomore elementary education major, said she felt that NSU does support its first year students and that her experience at Freshman Connection is what led her to become a member of the President’s Leadership Program.

“I would not be involved in the PLP without my freshmen connectors,” Martinez said. “And I would definitely not be involved in Greek life if it weren’t for my PLP mentors.”

Jayce Gentry, a senior computer information systems major, said the university’s First Year Experience team has been incredible throughout his entire college experience.

“As someone who came here not knowing anyone else attending, NSU absolutely made me feel like home and had so many events that I went and met people through,” Gentry said.

Kacy Young, a first year sophomore history major, said she felt NSU goes above and beyond to support its first year students.

“The Freshman Connectors do an amazing job of introducing the students to the campus and showing immense pride in the school,” Young said. “The Demon Day events allow a place for students to meet each other while having fun and making memories. FYE does such an amazing job showcasing what all NSU has to offer.”

Rachael Smith, a junior business administration major, said she felt like Freshman Connection and the FYE team helped her adjust to the transition to NSU.

“I remembered being terrified because I didn’t know anyone. They showed me not only that a lot of people felt the same but there were also people there that had gone through the same thing and came out victorious,” Smith said. “So these programs kind of give all the freshmen hope of what their college life can be if they keep pushing through. ”

However, some students like senior biology major Timothy Holdiness, said that once on campus and in classes students are left to figure out college on their own. “As a transfer student, I never got the opportunity to participate in Freshman Connection and still knew more on day one from my past college experiences than some of the freshmen I’ve crossed paths with,” Holdiness said.

Kailyn ​​Frederick, a senior psychology major, agreed with Holdiness. She said that while Freshman Connection is an amazing foot in the door for students, NSU does not do enough for students when they step onto campus in the fall. Frederick said that, even with the ability to look up registered student organizations on NSU’s RSO platform presence, discovering what clubs and organizations NSU has to offer is particularly difficult.

“I felt very limited in what to do on campus because there was not an adequate way to advertise clubs and organizations,” Frederick said. “Socialization is not easily accessible because there is no uniform place to go and see events. It’s Just thrown on a random Instagram page or in student messengers.”