Student Outreach Alternative Resources
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. Making new friends is not always easy. SOAR seeks individuals who
may not be actively involved in the initial stages of transitioning to college
to offer an empathetic hand or ear. This
is done via:
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.
As of the
Fall semester, 2018, each individual SOAR team member will have completed
training and certification in:
- Mental Health First Aid, a process of how to help
someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental
health crisis. The training helps these peer mentors to identify, understand,
and respond to signs of addictions and mental illnesses.
- One Love Campaign is a series of short and shareable digital content in five unique chapters that shine a spotlight on unhealthy or emotionally abusive relationship behaviors—or the gray area between love and control. The training teaches peer mentors how to safely intervene and educate peers when factors indicate “That’s Not Love!”
- Title IX protects people from discrimination based on sex in education programs or activities; SOAR mentors learn how to identify acceptable versus unacceptable actions and behaviors and to make sure that campus policy and procedures are followed by students and those affecting life in the campus community.
- safeTALK is the implementation in how to notice
and respond to situations where suicide thoughts might be present; recognize
that invitations for help are often overlooked; move beyond the common tendency
to miss, dismiss, and avoid suicide; apply the TALK steps: Tell, Ask, Listen,
and KeepSafe; and have a comprehensive knowledge of community resources and how
to connect someone with thoughts of suicide to those resources for further
- Safe Zone (LGBTQ+) is a resource for powerful, effective, LGBTQ+ awareness and ally training; it provides terminology and definitions to assist individuals better understand the changing culture of identity in society.
- Substance Addiction and/or Abuse (visual identification and understanding) provides information regarding identification and prevention of compulsive drug or alcohol use that leads to significant disruptions in daily living, including loss of education or work, relationships and health.
- Emotional Intelligence is a
session assisting the SOAR Team members in enhancing their capacity of
individuals to recognize their own, and other people's emotions, and to
discriminate between different feelings and label them appropriately, and to
use emotional information to guide thinking and behavior.
- Campus Safety (for Hendrix College) includes the process of collaboration between members of the team and the campus safety staff to protect the rights, responsibilities, and health of the residents on campus as well as the physical campus.
One of the most
attended SOAR events is the Second Saturday Supper. For students unwilling, or unable, to venture
out for a meal off-campus when the dining hall is closed on Saturday nights,
SOAR provides a community meal at 6:00 p.m. for each second Saturday of the
month when classes are in session – September, October, November, February,
March, April. It is a first-come, first
served buffet meal until the food is gone and is held in the kitchen of the
Student Life & Technology Center, SLTC.
SOAR also oversees the planning and running of the alternative campus
events – held during main events - to provide optional, alternative
programming. Alcohol and other
substances are banned from these events.
The category of activities includes, but is not limited to:
SOAR Presents: (A Murder Mystery)
OFF-CAMPUS SOCIAL EVENTS
Outside peer off-campus events occur when funding permits. In the past, SOAR
has sponsored events, known as Saturday Socials, a once per month activity that
provides a longer, smaller, more intimate time-period of socialization than the
alternative event. These include but are not limited to:
LR Ice Skating
LR Jump Zone
Pinnacle Mountain Hike
ITZA PIZZA NITES
For students unwilling, or unable, to venture out for a meal off-campus when the dining hall is closed on Saturday nights, SOAR provides pizza by the slice on the fourth Saturday of the month at 7:00p when classes are in session – September, October, November, February, March, April. It is a first-come, first served grab & go meal until the pizza is gone and is held in The Burrow of the Student Life & Technology Center, SLTC.
for SOAR can be made via parents, faculty, staff, siblings, friends,
acquaintances, and others through the SOS office. Students often refer
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.
Realizing Improved Student Engagement
(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.