Freshman forum helps students connect with leaders, students on campus

Sophomores Jordan Cooper, Brittany Knight and Hugo Dante play with a dog March 18 during Puppy Palooza, an event hosted by Freshman Forum. Students were able to play with puppies and dogs from the Florence Lauderdale Animal Shelter at the Amphitheater in order to relieve mid-semester stress.

For freshmen seeking to get involved and become established on campus, Eric Busby said he recommends joining Freshman Forum.

“Freshman Forum has benefited me in all the expected ways, such as in leadership development and in personal decision-making skills,” Busby, 2014-15 Freshman Forum president, said.

Freshman Forum is one of SGA’s three branches and is only open to freshmen.

The branch is one of the first opportunities freshmen are given to get involved on campus, said Walter Hartley, who served as a Freshman Forum advisor during the 2014-2015 school year.

“Out of all of the organizations on campus, this is the most diverse and it is the most prestigious for freshmen,” Hartley said.

Freshman Forum brings a different viewpoint to the table than the other SGA branches, said member Leah Tyson. She said the forum meets the need for freshmen opinion in student legislation.

SGA Senator and LaGrange Society member Alec Prince says he always makes a point to talk about the benefits of Freshman Forum when he gives prospective students campus tours.

Freshman Forum hosts several events for students throughout the school year. Last year, they hosted a 90s-themed Halloween party, a multiple sclerosis awareness kickball tournament and a Valentine’s Day dinner.

Tyson said her favorite event was Puppy Palooza, where students could play with puppies and dogs to relieve midsemester stress.

“Because it was new, it was a very challenging, yet rewarding, event,” Tyson said. “Seeing the smiles from the hundreds of students who stopped by assured us of the event’s success.”

In addition to hosting social events on campus, Freshman Forum works to make sure issues and concerns brought to them by freshmen are addressed.

Hartley said members of Freshman Forum can make a difference for their classmates by addressing campus issues that concern freshmen.

“It is important that freshmen apply for Freshman Forum branch because not only will they be more connected to their institution as a freshman, but they will also have mentorship of older SGA members that will help them along the way,” said SGA President Nick Lang.

Busby said he has formed many friendships because of his time in Freshman Forum.

“I don’t know where I would be right now if I hadn’t joined,” Prince said.

Prince said Freshman Forum helped him connect with people who have similar interests and goals for their college careers.

Incoming freshmen looking to get involved in Freshman Forum should check their email for application information. Applications with be available during the fall semester.