On his way out of Biggers Sports Center, freshman Christian Courtney of Bedford, Ky., signs his name Friday to a poster of members of the LWC Class of 2013. (Click on photo for a larger version.)
COLUMBIA, Ky. – Lindsey Wilson College sophomore Elizabeth Goode of Somerset, Ky., told a classroom of incoming freshmen on Friday morning why she prefers to wear flip-flop sandals. And then the freshmen told her something about their shoes.
The exercise was part of an introduction session Lindsey Wilson uses on EDGE Day to introduce students to their new classmates.
“The idea is that they will talk about their shoes, which is pretty basic, and that will help introduce them to others,” said Lindsey Wilson Director of Student Activities Bobbie Owen.
Breaking the ice is a big part of an LWC EDGE Day. EDGE – which stands for education, development, growth and experience – is an orientation program for the college’s incoming freshmen.
More than 170 incoming freshmen attended Friday’s EDGE Day, the first of four five-hour orientation days the college will hold this summer.
But freshmen don’t spend the entire time in a classroom. Following ice-breaking sessions, they go outside to participate in team-building activities that include untying a human knot and a song game.
“We get them out of the classroom and get them around campus,” Owen said. “We do team-building activities with them. A lot of students find their roommates on an EDGE Day through the activities.”
While students break ice and build teams, parents and family members meet with college officials to learn about student life at Lindsey Wilson. Then following lunch in the Roberta D. Cranmer Dining & Conference Center, students and family members visit a series of stations in Biggers Sports Center.
By the time they exit Biggers Sports Center, the freshmen have a class schedule for the 2009 fall semester, a parking permit and have completed paperwork necessary to enroll.
“They are building those relationships now, then on opening weekend in August they will further solidify their relationships with several more activities and events,” Owen said. “By the time the school year begins, they won’t feel like strangers in a classroom.”
EDGE also helps demystify the college experience, Owen said.
“One of the questions we ask freshmen on an EDGE survey is whether they would be afraid to talk to a professor a staff member when they first get to Lindsey Wilson,” Owen said. “Many of them tell us that they are because they often enter college with the pre-conceived notion that professors and staff members cannot be bothered with students. But on EDGE Day, we tell them that at Lindsey Wilson that’s what professors and staff members are here for – they want to have contact with their students and they want to help them.”
EDGE Day also is an opportunity for incoming freshmen to meet upperclass students who share similar interests and backgrounds.
“When we assign students to an EDGE group, we go out of our way to look at their intended major and their extracurricular activities so that we can pair them with an EDGE leader with similar experiences,” Owen said. “That makes it easier for freshmen to ask questions such as how to get involved at Lindsey Wilson.”
LWC’s final two EDGE Days of the summer will be July 24-25. For more information, contact the Student Activities Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or (270) 384-8100.
Sights & Sounds from EDGE
AUDIO: Advice from sophomores Danielle Albertson & Elizabeth Goode
AUDIO: Advice from EDGE Leader MacKinsey Wheeler