“Is this the Financial Aid office?” one student asked a staff member in Main Hall before being pointed toward Cragmor Hall 201.
The event was apart of the inaugural Mountain Lion Community Week, hosted by the Gateway Program Seminar. The program hopes to bring first-year students together, both through a shared experience in class and a full array of events outside of class.
“We have an excellent freshman class this year, and we want them to feel that they’re a part of the UCCS community,” Constance Staley, director, Gateway Program Seminar, said.
The bingo game offered students a chance to get out of their classrooms and fill in their squares by exploring campus and it’s services, participating in events, and attending athletic events.
According to Staley, recent research is clear: students who are involved on campus are more academically successful.
“Literature indicates that new students often have three questions at the forefront of their minds: ‘Do I belong here?’ ‘Am I smart enough?’ and ‘Will people like me?’” Staley said, “Mountain Lion Community Week is a chance for UCCS to help students connect with faculty, staff, and one another during this special week.”
Alongside bingo, students were asked to create Mountain Lion spirit chains at help desks across campus. Participants were asked to write what they loved about UCCS and to link them to the chain on the desk. Examples ranges from “gorgeous sunsets” to “small classes” and “my professor.”
Prizes for GPS students participating in the week long event included a $300 airfare voucher, a FitBit fitness tracker, an Apple TV, and UCCS Bookstore gift cards.
According to Staley, faculty and staff have just as much to learn from the events as the students do.
“The better we understand our students, the more academically successful they can be. The culture of the campus is greatly enhanced by working collaboratively on campus-wide events like Mountain Lion Community Week, as well as a host of other initiatives.”
The Gateway Program Seminar is made up of 41 seminar topics that introduce students to an academic culture and strengthen the academic skills students need for success at the university. For more information about GPS, visit www.uccs.edu/gps.
— Photos by Philip Denman