Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Vol. CLIV, Issue 8
Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Whitman news since 1896

Whitman Wire

Jan-starts arrive to campus fresh from exciting fall semesters

Whitman welcomed new additions to the student community with the beginning of the 2010 spring semester. The students who begin at Whitman in January: known as Jan-starts: moved onto campus for their orientation on Jan. 14 after spending last semester in a myriad of different ways.

First-year Jack Lazar, from Portland, decided to be a Jan-start because he wanted a unique experience.

“I wanted to prove to myself that I could live in what I believed the real world was,” he said.

With the help of Admissions Officer Victoria Lidzbarski, Lazar spent the past semester in Nepal with the cultural immersion program “Where There Be Dragons.”

Although initially hesitant to accept her offer for spring: rather than fall: admission, first-year Rebecca Nevin accepted the Jan-start option and chose to travel to Bolivia with the same program as Lazar.

“I was really excited that that happened because it forced me to get out,” said Nevin.

Many other Jan-starts spent the last semester experiencing new cultures and developing a sense of confidence. First-year Jan-starts Sarah Schaefer and Emma Newton spent last semester within the United States, but by no means uneventfully. Newton spent time volunteering with Mercy Corps while Schaefer was in Kentucky volunteering with the Christian Appalachian Project.

Exciting fall semesters aside, coming to Whitman mid-school year proved challenging to many.

“Everyone here already knows people,” Nevin said.

Newton agreed.

“It’s been a little hard meeting people, I’m not going to lie,” she said.

Jan-starts took part in a three-day orientation that included a snow shoe trip at Horseshoe Prairie, bowling and broomball. Although this allowed Jan-starts to get to know one another well, it did not do much to help them interact with the Whitman community. Lazar suggested having the option to attend S.C.O.R.E. and Scramble summer programs that were open to last semester’s first-years.

“Being able to go on the Scrambles would have made it feel more like we were part of the class, just taking a semester off, rather than adding into it late,” said Lazar.

Another issue that Jan-starts experienced was enrolling in classes. Schaefer mentioned having to sit in on waitlisted classes and plead for entry while Lazar said that he would have really appreciated being able to speak to an adviser prior to pre-registration to help get him get on track with the other students.

Although not simple, the transition to Whitman has proved possible for these Jan-starts, whose arrival has not gone unnoticed.

“It was hard at first but I think I’ve definitely gotten to meet people this weekend,” said Schaefer, a week after moving onto campus.

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