Transfer students get early
start at building community
by Peggy Harrison
By Virginia E. Carter
students are different. That recognition led to the first session
for transfers offered in mid-July as part of the orientation program
for new students.
though transfers are new to the University, they arent new
to the collegiate experience, said Tabitha Enoch, director
of orientation and new student programs.
the past, they often told us that they felt everything was geared
to the new, first-year student. In planning a session just for
transfers, we could take a little bit more of an adult perspective
and spend more time on the things that transfers share in common.
Also, because they are together they can begin to form social
connections, Enoch said.
year, an average of 500 to 600 students enter U.Va. as transfer
students. Meredith Argeris, Mariam Haladjian and Alicia Pettit
all came to U.Va. as transfer students and agree that transfers
can benefit from tailored programs. This summer the three worked
as orientation leaders, helping smooth the way for challenges
that new students, especially transfers, face.
of the Class
of the class, 2007
Sept. 12, 13, 14, 8 p.m.
Old Cabell Hall, $5 admission
hear dramatic presentations of outstanding admission essays
written by members of the class of 2007. Sponsored
by Spectrum Theatre.
is one such challenge, since transfers often find out late about
their acceptance and they arent required to live on Grounds,
as is the case for first-years. Where to live was an issue for
Haladjian, who is also an international student. A native of Cyprus,
she transferred to U.Va. from Georgetown University as a second-year.
a transfer, you still want to form a community on Grounds,
said Haladjian, who to her great satisfaction ended up living
in the International Residential College.
Coursework is another challenge. Transfers seek more upper-level
courses and are thinking more definitively about a major. Students
entering as third-year students have the added pressure of declaring
a major when they come to orientation.
with housing, social issues loom larger for transfers since they
join the community after many of their classmates, as first-years,
have already made friends and joined social organizations. Argeris,
now a fourth-year who is from Ocean, N.J., and transferred from
the University of Richmond, was concerned about how others would
accept her. The answer, she said, is to get involved whether
joining the class council or University Programs Council, as she
did, or any of the hundreds of other organizations on Grounds.
a third-year student from Severna Park, Md., who transferred from
the University of Texas at Austin, said getting involved is easier
when you know other transfer students.
more likely to go out and do things together, like going to a
football game, she said.
addition to helping with orientation, Pettit will serve this year
as a mentor with the Transfer Student Peer Advisor Program, which
pairs an upperclassman with a group of approximately 20 transfer