Members of Student Government Association said they are trying to get incoming freshmen involved on campus through a new program introduced this semester.The first group of Frog Aides were chosen Friday as a part of an initiative to help cultivate leadership and service, said Mandy Velasquez, co-director of Frog Aides.
“It’s a freshman leadership program to not only strengthen leadership skills, but show them the ins and outs of SGA,” Velasquez, a senior speech pathology major, said.
Velasquez said Frogs Aides is modeled after programs at several other universities.
Sebastian Moleski, co-director of the Frog Aides program, said he liked the way Texas A&M University put together its program and how it was deliberately seeking out new students and getting them to participate.
Velasquez and Moleski said they have taken on the challenge of creating this program specifically for TCU.
“We did adapt a lot of their ideas, but changed some things to conform to the TCU identity,” Moleski, a senior economics major, said.
He said they were looking for creative individuals with the potential to be a success in SGA and on campus.
“We’re not looking for a ‘cookie-cutter’ type; we’re looking for people who show potential to become great leaders,” Moleski said.
This year’s Frog Aides said they are excited to be able to work in a position that can make such an impact.
“From the day we moved in, every individual in the class of 2009 has been trying to find their niche in the TCU community,” said Blake Billings, a freshman biology major. “I looked at what I enjoy, what I can do well and how I can serve others, and working with SGA through Frog Aides seemed like one of the several great places for me.”
Only 18 applicants were chosen to represent the 1,600 students of this year’s freshman class, Moleski said.
The selection process took about three weeks from the deadline date, he said. The application included essay questions, two recommendation letters and two interviews, he added.
“It’s amazing how much effort they’ve put into (these applications),” Moleski said. “It is a selective process, and we look for people who want to become leaders and who are original.”
Moleski said the Frog Aides will use the information they learn this fall to put together a campuswide event in the spring.
“In the fall semester, (Frog Aides) will be learning skills like time management and motivation, and in the spring they will organize and put together their own event,” Moleski said. “It will require a lot of effort.”
Frog Aides say they are up to the challenge.
“I hope to contribute all of my talents, to help myself stay organized and accomplish whatever task I am handed,” said Rachel Curto, a freshman math major.
Velasquez said she has high hopes for the future of Frog Aides.
“We have truly been amazed by them, and it gives us hope for the future of this program and SGA,” Velasquez said.