OAT office helps underclassmen feel loved and cared for on campus through a night of food, fellowship and games
In the spirit of supporting and recognizing current sophomores and freshmen who are transitioning into their sophomore year, the Orientation and Transition (OAT) Office created APU TWO Night, which was a time of games, fellowships and delicious food for freshmen and sophomores.
APU TWO Night was hosted by Stacie Champine and Nick Slavich. The event happened on Tuesday, Apr. 17 in the Upper Turner Campus Center.
Senior director of the OAT office, Stacie Champine, shared the purpose and vision of having this event, which was ultimately to support sophomores and to celebrate them as their second year of college comes to a close. Additionally, she wanted to take time to support the freshmen transitioning into their sophomore year.
“This event is specifically creating a sense of belonging for sophomores. As it is the end of the school year, it is also for freshmen that are about to be sophomores, as well as true second year students to celebrate finishing their second year,” Champine said. “I think that the desire and the heart is just really to say: “Sophomores, we want to celebrate you, you belong and that there is a place for you here at APU.”
Champine expressed that her own hopes for the event would be helping sophomores feel encouraged and know that the OAT office is a place to both challenge and support sophomores.
Lauren Porcher, the OAT office’s program coordinator, also acknowledged her hopes for this APU TWO event and for the current sophomore students on campus.
“This event is all about bringing a place of belonging for sophomore students and reminding them how important and valuable they are to us,” Porcher said. “We want to give them the love and attention they got freshman year, and there is so much more support for them than they think at APU.”
Porcher declared that she hoped the sophomore students would feel included on campus and that they would feel loved and supported and come back to APU another year.
“I think this event empowers them, because it is a fun reminder that as we are going into the end of the year where exams are crazy, that they are known and loved and they can have a place to relax and have fun,” Porcher said.
In addition to creating a positive and welcoming support system for the sophomore students on campus, Porcher described some future events and programs that can also serve as sources of encouragement for future sophomores.
“We have these new sophomore D-groups that are starting next year for sophomores specifically, which are similar to freshman year Alpha groups, where they can be with the other sophomores to connect and grow together,” Porcher said. “We also have a big fall kickoff that is happening as soon as the year starts, and that is another time for them to see what the offices are and how we can best support them on campus.”
Sophomore allied health major and VFO member Andy Plascencia shared his motivation to attend this event, which is primarily giving back to the community the love and support that he received as a freshman.
“I worked last year as an Alpha leader, [and] the community that the OAT office built with the freshmen and sophomore class has really been an engaging environment,” Plascencia said. “So I want to give back to the community and what they started.”
Plascencia shared that he hoped APU TWO night would establish different bonds and connections for both freshmen and sophomores.
“I hope we can get a lot of connection and comradery, so that it won’t just be a freshman group or a sophomore group but that is just a both underclassmen groups together as a family,” Plascencia said.