First generation students welcomed


First gen volunteers are happy to inform students about the program. Photo credit: Angelina Mendez

First-generation students were welcomed to campus with a special event last week.

A fully loaded dessert bar, iced coffee station and a chance to win prizes drew students to check out the First Generation program.

“Being a first-generation student means that I am the first to make it out of my family and have a chance and many new opportunities,” second-year student and psychology major Philip Krusemark said.

The event made first-generation students feel more welcome, Krusemark said.

“It was beneficial to me as I learned the activities that programs offer such as the Wrec.,” Krusemark said. “I also met the woman that runs some of the events that got me excited to join.”

“The first-gen student welcome is our first big event,” faculty diversity officer and nutrition professor Michelle Neyman Morris said.

“It’s a collaboration between the faculty and staff association, the student organization, and also the office of diversity and inclusion helped support this event. All the different groups located around the room, are different resources from different units on campus that wanted first-gen students to know that they are there for them as well.”

Morris said volunteers support these events.

“These are all staff and faculty who are outside of their regular job duties and care so much about first-gen students and their success,” Morris said, adding that this is the event’s fourth year.

“It was a big team effort,” she said.

Morris also included that there will be future events for the first-gen students such as the winter clothing drive, care package giveaway and pizza parties.

“We think these things help in many ways,” Morris said. “We want to help support successful students here at Chico State.

“We also know that beyond academics, there is your living situation, your access to food, your housing, advising, and mentorship as well as building communities so that you have a social support network here on campus of other students who know what you’re going through…We think it benefits students to be connected in and to inform them that they are not alone.” Morris said.

A piece of advice that Morris wants to give to students is to remember that university life is so much about what goes on outside of the classroom.

“Take advantage of the fact that there are so many wonderful things to learn about, to experience on campus, and it’s all for you. You belong, you are welcomed, and you deserve to be here. Step outside your comfort zone.”

For more events, the Office of Diversity & Inclusion is located in Kendall Hall room 109 and on the Chico State website.

Angelina Mendez can be reached at [email protected]