Azusa Pacific’s Office of Orientation and Transitions kicked off the semester with their annual APUTWO event last Wednesday.
APUTWO is an on-campus program that looks to provide resources and support to second-year students as they continue to find their place on campus. This APUTWO event began the semester on a positive note by equipping sophomores with the tools they need to thrive.
APUTWO represented offices and clubs from around campus, such as Student Employment, Discipleship Ministries, Counseling Services and Study Away, as a way for sophomores to get involved. The Office of Orientation and Transitions also gave away free T-shirts, while Chick-Fil-A handed out free sandwiches to the sophomores who attended.
Stacie Champine, the senior director of the Office of Orientation and Transitions, hopes to create a community where sophomores feel at home and are happy to be on campus. Champine explained that during sophomore year students don’t want to continue their education and don’t feel as connected.
“Our goal in our hearts is to be able to create connections for sophomore students and that they would feel a sense of belonging so they will want to stay here and continue through graduation,” Champine said.
Champine explained the reason for this disconnect as “sophomore slump” which, is partly due to colleges focusing a majority of their support and resources on freshmen and transfers.
“There is a lot of energy and support put towards freshman, but during sophomore year the challenge seems to go up, but the support goes away,” Champine said. Champine also hopes to support second-year students as their challenges increase.
The idea of support decreasing after freshman year was echoed throughout the entire event. Gian Timbol, a junior communications major and an alpha coordinator, who helped run the event, has seen the impact of APUTWO within his own community.
“The sophomores are sometimes forgotten on campus, so we hold these events to show that they are known and are a part of the Azusa Pacific family,” he said.
The kickoff is only the beginning of what APUTWO has planned. APUTWO is beginning Discipleship Groups, which will be led by faculty members and an advisory board, which will consist of sophomores who work with the Office of Orientation and Transitions/OAT to plan events and programs. Nicky Slavich, the assistant director of the Office of Orientation and Transitions, wants to push these programs in order to give APUTWO a wider reach with second-year students.
“We want to create a sense of ownership for sophomores, that they can own their year by having a sense of belonging and feeling like they are thriving,” Slavich said.
APUTWO’s goal is to create a welcoming and inclusive campus for Azusa Pacific sophomores by forming events and programs throughout the year. You can learn more about APUTWO at the Office of Orientation and Transitions.