September 11, 2003

Freshmen Find Welcome Crew at C.U.

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When asked what the main issues were that freshmen must face when they begin school, Kent Hubbell ’67, the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students, stuck with the basics: “To some degree, all students have to learn to read, write and do their laundry at the college level.”

All joking aside, freshman year can be a very difficult time. Leaving home means having new freedoms as well as new responsibilities, and for some, it can be a bit overwhelming. Luckily for the Class of 2007, Cornell has several new programs — and a few old favorites — to help make their transition easier.

One of the first sources of assistance can be found in the form of the RAs who live in each dorm. As Julia Levy ’05 put it, an RA’s role is “to be a friendly face” from day one. Most students feel very comfortable speaking with their RA because it is someone roughly their own age, but who has more experience dealing with college life.

Levy, who is starting her second year as an RA on North Campus, explained that RAs are also responsible for organizing programs in their residence halls. These can range from bulletin boards on various topics, to inviting guests from different campus organizations in to speak.

“I think [programs are] a great way for us to get people to know each other, as well as get information to them,” Levy said.

Tatkon Center

Another resource that freshmen can use is the brand new Carol Tatkon Center in Balch Hall. According to Lisa K’Bedford ’96, associate director for the center and assistant dean of New Student Programs, “the Tatkon Center is really trying to be the key space for new students to get their answers and to find support and help.”

As Hubbell puts it, it’s “something between a window and a bridge to the larger university,” providing information on all aspects of life at Cornell.

Services provided at the center include math tutoring, peer advisors, the walk-in writing center and a caf