Student Outreach Alternative Resources
The transition to college is not always an easy one. Learning new rules and regulations, experiencing new freedoms and cultures, plus not knowing the people around you, including your roommate, are just a few of the challenges first year students’ encounter. Because of this, some students will question themselves, their choices, and perhaps feel isolated. Homesickness during the first few weeks of being away from family is actually quite common.
SOS sponsors a proactive, dedicated group of students on campus via Student Outreach Alternative Resources, or SOAR. SOAR is made up of upper classmen who are campus leaders wanting to make a difference in the lives of incoming students by serving students as peer mentors – not in the academic sense, but in the social world of the Hendrix Community. By creating new avenues via unique and different interpersonal relationships, participating in alternative activities for those who want to start out more slowly in social acclimation than the campus-wide party, and moving around in smaller group activities to help achieve self-confidence in a big, new world, the SOAR peer mentors provide a safe, fun experience for new students. This helps first-year students build a stronger, more fluid transition into college life, making SOAR a refreshing haven of good friendships and lasting memories.
SOAR also oversees the planning and running of the alternative campus events – held during main events - to provide optional, alternative programming. The category of activities includes, but is not limited to:
- Fourth Saturday Socials (off-campus activity)
- Second Saturday Suppers (dining hall closure)
- Puzzle Pizazz (Shirttails)
- Monster Movie Mania (Ghost Roast)
- Smash-Up (Soco 54)
- Winter InFormal (board games) (Winter Formal)
- Toga – Cookie Palooza
- Special Events (as needed – i.e. fundraiser for cochlear implant)
Outside peer off-campus events occur when funding permits. In the past, SOAR has sponsored events, known as Sunday Socials, a once per month activity that provides a longer time-period of socialization than the alternative event. These include but are not limited to:
- Glow-in-the-Dark Bowling
- Trampoline Park
- Hike Pinnacle Mountain
- Flag Football in the Park
- Little Rock Zoo & Picnic
- Lake Beaver Fork Cookout
Quality Undergraduate Experiences via Student Technology
The development of a second non-academic retention program, QUEST (Quality Undergraduate Experiences via Student Technology) is underway with four target programs – Non-Academic Seminars/Webinars, Social Media, Students Turning 21 (21 Club, alcohol awareness and reminders), and Alternative Communication Experiences (ACE).
Realizing Improved Student Engagement
RISE (Realizing Improved Student Engagement) collectively selects first year students who scored below a 2.50 GPA in their initial Hendrix semester. Rise coordinates with various departments across campus to form an informational panel of program and service providers to re-introduce available resources on campus – some academic and some daily living in a campus community. Completing a self-contract after the workshop, bringing that contract in to the SOS office for introspective review, and being referred to the offices on campus which can assist each individual (customized, based on need) in overcoming challenges which hindered class outcomes in their first semester.