Colleges Prep to Make Incoming Freshmen Feel Comfortable With Changes

Local Colleges Help To Make an Already Difficult Transition Easier.
Published: Jul. 28, 2020 at 7:39 PM EDT
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PRESQUE ISLE, Maine (WAGM) - Going to college is already a big change for incoming freshman, and now with COVID-19 guidelines it will be even more daunting for freshmen.  But, as NewsSource 8 reporter Tom Dufton found, some local colleges have plans in place to make students feel more comfortable with this transition.

Moving away from home to begin your freshman year in college is a big step and the covid 19 pandemic will make it even more difficult.

But some local colleges are putting plans in place to help students feel more comfortable with this transition.

At Northern Maine Community College, those in res life will have weekly in person check ins to make sure everyone is ok.

“One thing we’re going to be doing is making sure that our staff is going around, again I keep saying it over and over again with the right PPE with masks and other things that are appropriate and with six foot distancing. To make sure we are reaching out to students so we can make sure that we are having that regular contact, so in res life we are going to be doing that once a week. We’re going to be having both my RA staff going around and check in with students to make sure things are ok.”

Jon Blanchard, Director of Residential life at Northern Maine Community College

Over at the University of Maine at Presque Isle, they found another way to let freshmen know that they haven’t been forgotten in these uncertain times. 

“We’re starting now a texting campaign that we’re getting up and running just to check in just to remind them of the phone number, call us if you need anything, we’re here, we haven’t forgotten you. Handwritten note cards, those types of things. Any type of creative contact with folks we’re trying it.”

Sue White, Director of Admissions at the University of Maine at Presque Isle:

The University of Maine at Fort Kent is planning on having “to go activities” where people can get to know their roommate and others better while respecting social distancing. 

“Things like paint by number, we had create your own slime, just fun type stuff. Create your stress. What we’re going to do is pre-package all the information and all you need to do that, probably in zip lock bags, we’ll go door to door or have them pick them up when they come in for meals and take them back to their rooms. What we’ll be doing too is facilitating zoom meetings like this for the group to go through the process with them about how to do whatever that activity is.”

Matthew Morrin, Dean of Students at University of Maine at Fort Kent

All the colleges say they understand this a difficult time for incoming freshmen, but they are looking at ways to make it as comfortable as a transition as they can.

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