Frogs First works to make freshmen’s first weekend on campus count

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    A new program will begin in the 2011 fall semester to create opportunities for first-year students to meet and to build relationships their first weekend on campus, Student Activities Coordinator Brett Phillips said.

    The program, titled Frogs First, is a collaborative effort with Student Affairs and Student Government Association and will take place Aug. 18-21, the last weekend before the 2011 fall semester begins, Phillips said.

    Phillips said regardless of whatever organization, sport, college or group students eventually belong to, students are all Frogs first.

    “We all matter, we are all together and unified…that is how the concept happened,” he said.

    Phillips said he hoped the program would become an annual event for students after the program’s first year.

    The freshman class will break into groups of 30 and participate in activities and bonding time led by two or three student leaders, Phillips said.

    The group leaders would “help mentor, guide, build relationships and look after them [the freshmen] that whole weekend,” he said. The deadline for leadership applications was April 8, but Phillips said the application process would continue for others who were interested in the position to apply for it. With just more than 200 positions available for students, Phillips said he hoped all interested candidates would get a group leadership position.

    Saman Sadeghi, a former SGA representative for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, and sophomore accounting and finance major Sean Shahkarami co-authored a resolution to create a program to unite incoming freshman students on campus in the House of Representatives for the 2009 fall semester.

    Sadeghi said he and Shahkarami formed a committee within Frog Aides, a student-led leadership training program exclusively for first-year students, during the 2010 spring semester after the resolution passed to come up with tangible ideas for the program.

    Sadeghi said the goal behind the resolution was for incoming freshmen to fall in love with TCU by learning about TCU traditions.

    “The vision is a sense of pride and sense of community and unity that comes with our common bond of being Horned Frogs,” he said. “That’s what the goal of it is.”

    Shahkarami said, “The vision was for the attitude to be so appreciated that alumni would hire and seek out ‘Frogs first’ in new job openings. This we felt could potentially rival the alumni bases of both A&M and UT and have great benefits for TCU.”

    Macy Pulliam, an SGA representative for the AddRan College of Liberal Arts, said she thought the Frogs First program was what incoming TCU freshmen needed at the beginning of their college careers. Pulliam said she was not directly involved with the program but she was present for the committee to pitch ideas.

    “Starting college is an exciting yet scary step,” she said. “This program will most certainly ease the transition.”

    Pulliam said the program would not only help freshmen, but also everyone in the TCU community, including the team leaders by giving them a chance to share their TCU stories.

    “Frogs First will be beneficial to TCU as a whole, teaching newcomers the ins and outs and helping them find their place on campus,” Pulliam said. “I am looking forward to the start of this brand-new program and to kick off the new semester right.”

    Phillips said the specific events during the weekend vary from an on-campus challenge to outdoor movies and two-stepping.

    The weekend will begin with a social mixer Aug. 18 with the groups getting to know each other and will feature giveaways and other activities, Phillips said.

    He said, “We’re hoping for fireworks…We’re hoping to do it in the stadium, but we don’t know because of renovations what that looks like…But it would be awesome to do it on the field.”