Calling Class of 2024

PHOTO | @atu.2024

The Arkansas Tech sophomore class of 2024 experienced a very different first year of college than most. COVID-19 was still at a high, which hindered many traditional freshman activities for this class.

Due to the unprecedented conditions that arose amidst the pandemic, Tech has developed a sophomore program designed specifically for the class of 2024. Graduate student for student transition, Natasha Golden, shared with me that this program is strictly for current sophomores only. “The main goal of this program is to give sophomores their freshman experience that was hindered by COVID,” said Golden. “It wasn’t a traditional first year for them, so we’re trying to make that happen through this program.”

They began working on this program since the the fall of 2021. “Kevin Solomon was the one who really pushed for this program to come to life,” said Golden. Solomon is the Associate Dean for Campus Life here at ATU. “He knew that he didn’t want the current sophomores to feel left behind since they were thrown into an environment with little opportunity to connect with others. I got involved by being able to spearhead events and plan them throughout the semester.”

The most recent event within the sophomore program was “Sweet as a Sophomore” and was hosted Feb. 14. The event held various Valentine’s Day themed activities, which aided sophomores in getting to know more about one another.

The event following will take place on Feb 23. It is titled “Where Should I Live?” Details concerning this event are to be announced at a later date.

March 1 in Doc Bryan 242 is the “Sophomores and Succulents” event. This event gives sophomores the chance to plant their own succulents, whilst hearing a presentation on the topic of personal growth.

One of the program’s more significant events begins on March 11 and lasts all day from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. This event is the “Sophomore Leadership Retreat.” This gives 24 lucky sophomores the opportunity to visit the Crystal Bridges Museum in Bentonville, Ark. While on this retreat, the group of students selected will be given a tour of the museum and learn leadership skills along the way. The form as well as further information regarding this trip and future events within the program will be provided on the “newstudentatu” Instagram page.

The program is expected to last through the duration of the Spring semester. There are currently no plans to make this a recurring program, however, Golden stated that they will be reevaluating at the end of the semester to see how popular the program is in order to make any final decisions. They are currently pushing for more participation within the program, specifically sophomores who are looking to meet new people and learn team building skills.