Today's Update: Monday, November 2

November 2, 2020

Dear Student Life Team, There is very little that is as exhilarating and at the same time terrifying as stepping onto a college campus for the first time as a first-generation student. Being the first member of your family to attend is a tremendous honor, and often comes with feelings of significant pressure from both yourself and others.  

I wouldn’t have traded that experience for anything, but I am also well-aware that our first-generation students may need additional support.  

That is what makes this week so significant, and so important to me. This is First Generation Week-Long Celebration, planned by the Buckeyes First Student Organization, advised by the Student Wellness Center’s Ivory Levert. 

The intent is for students, faculty and staff to come together to reflect, build community and celebrate the experiences of being first-generation at The Ohio State University. Opportunities will also be shared for engagement around first-generation support beyond first gen day. 

The week includes a First-Generation Resource Fair and a panel discussion to hear from first gen graduate students, faculty/staff, alumni and more. I have the honor of speaking at Ohio State’s National First-Generation Day celebration on Sunday.  

Ohio State is a leader in supporting first gen students. We are a member of the 2020-2021 cohort of NASPA and the Suder Foundation’s First-gen Forward Institutions. As part of this effort, a team of colleagues from Student Life, the Office of Diversity and Inclusion and the Office of Student Academic Success have met to develop a plan to provide support to first-generation students, faculty and staff. Student Life’s Anne McDaniel (Center for the Study of Student Life) and Angie Wellman (Multicultural Center) are our representatives.  

That committee established three goals for this year: 1) To identify who are our first-gen faculty and staff on campus, 2) To create a centralized first-gen website for the university, and 3) To develop training for advisors on how to interact with first-gen students. 

We need your help with the first goal. If you were a first-gen college student, please fill out this brief survey If you weren’t a first-gen college student but are committed to supporting and serving our first-gen students, we ask you to fill it out as well so the committee can be sure to get you connected with such opportunities. 

We are doing Scarlet and Great work in support of first gens. I hope you will participate in this weeklong celebration and continue that momentum year-round.