House Calls helped students transition in college

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A first-year marketing major, Megan Peirona, was feeling a little homesick last week.

But a knock on her door last week helped push the blues away. Peirona received a “house call” from a professor who stopped by to check and see how Peirona and her roommate were adjusting to their first month on campus.

“They were super kind, and they genuinely cared about how my roommate and I have been doing with our transition to college so far,” Peirona said.

First-year student Megan Peiorna spends time with her roommate to avoid feeling homesick (Colleen Mortell/TCU360).
First-year student Megan Peirona spends time with her roommate to avoid feeling homesick (Colleen Mortell/TCU360).

TCU graduate students, faculty and staff went door-to-door in the dorms and held a short conversation with the students about their life at TCU, said Craig Allen, director of Housing & Residence Life. Students living in Greek housing or campus apartments did not receive visits.

Around 150 volunteers visited 1,254 students as part of Housing & Residence Life’s House Calls program.

The event lasted all day, allowing 100 more students to be visited than last year.

“The purpose of the program is to check on students after their first month away from home,” Allen said.

Gabby Saucier, a first-year nursing major, said the house calls made her feel welcomed at TCU.

“They asked me how I was doing, if I was getting enough sleep, enough to eat and how my roommate was,” Saucier said.

Allen said the house calls are a valuable way to “get people connected.”

“The volunteers absolutely love it,” said House Calls coordinator Christi Grudier. “A lot of them don’t have the opportunity to connect with students outside of the office.”

During the visits, volunteers also provided students with resource information on the Writing Center, the Brown-Lupton Health Center and classes.

“One of them works for the same department that my roommate is majoring in, so he gave her his card and advice on classes for next semester,” Peirona said.

Following their conversation, students drew a card for a chance to win $10 Campus Cash. Over $600 of Campus Cash was given out to students who spoke with volunteers. Those who were not instant winners were put into a drawing the next morning to win the grand prize of $100 Campus Cash.

Toppers sponsored the event by providing their signature “Topperstix.”

Grudier hopes to find more sponsors next year to help promote House Calls and donate fun items to the program.