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The Antelope

Campus celebrates Resource Awareness Week

Ensz tells Zach Petry about the First Year Program and what jobs are open to students.

Different on-campus resources open their offices to students

By Alana Kellen

When first coming to UNK, incoming freshmen are shown numerous resources on campus. The First Year Program brings out the different resources on campus this time of year because this is when a lot of things are happening. Students need to fill out the FAFSA, register for classes, job applications are opening up and it’s an important time to be going to the learning commons. 

Brette Ensz, the assistant director for the First Year Program, decided to try the resource awareness week around campus last year. Ensz wants to make sure students know that these resources on campus exist.

The resources that Ensz brought out to the students were the financial aid office, academic and career services, First Year Program, peer health education and the learning commons and library, which are paired together. Colleagues and friends of Ensz volunteered to help with Resource Awareness Week to help get their names and offices out to students as well.  

“We’re bringing the resources to the students instead of them having to come find our offices because sometimes they get lost, they’re confused, they’re intimidated and then they just don’t try,” Ensz said. “We’re trying to reach out to anybody that needs assistance.”

Along with the resources around campus, Ensz and others are promoting the Blue and Gold welcome coordinator position on campus. This is a position that essentially plans to help make new students’ transitions to UNK easier. 

Mackenzie Cuba, the graduate assistant for the First Year Program held the Blue and Gold coordinator and new student enrollment leader position so is now promoting that job. Cuba enjoyed these jobs because she got to engage with students her age coming in as freshmen. 

“The First Year Program is really a place like a jumpstart for students coming to campus whether that be pointing them to where this is you need to go to get that fixed or if you have a question for certain situations,” Cuba said. “If you’re struggling to find where you fit in on campus, maybe you’re struggling a little we have programs that can help the students.”

On Monday, ice cream was offered to students and on Tuesday hot chocolate was given. Ensz set up the hot chocolate in a progressive style. Students had to stop at each table to get a cup, the hot chocolate and toppings. As they stopped they were asked if they’ve registered for classes or filled out the FAFSA, so students learned about resources as they got their drink. 

Ensz’s job is to make sure students are transitioning well in their first year on campus and one of the areas that she sees that is good for students is access to resources. As students come to campus they are reminded in the summer for when they arrive in the fall, but Ensz has noticed a lull where students get disconnected, so they do it again in November to remind students that these resources are still here for the students. 

“I love doing this because it gets me out of my office and we call it harassing students, but to be honest it’s just fun to help a student genuinely figure out what they are needing to do,” Ensz said. “Even if they walk by and I ask if they’ve registered for classes and if they say no, I feel like then I’ve helped remind them that they need to register for classes.”

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