News, On Campus

Welcome Week 2016 Focuses on Reflection

The class of 2020 was introduced to Boston College through the annual Welcome Week program, organized by the Office of Student Affairs. Welcome Week 2016 featured one major change: a mandatory reflection period after the MOSAIC program.

The Office of Student Affairs received feedback in two ways—focus groups and online surveys—according to Carrie Klemovitch, special assistant to the vice president and director of special projects. The Office of Student Affairs also talked to resident assistants, resident directors, and other staff to discuss potential changes to Welcome Week.

“The biggest change was in direct response to student feedback, around the MOSAIC program,” Klemovitch said.

MOSAIC is a program in which upperclassmen share their stories about understanding their identities and the meaning of community at BC. The program was split into four time slots in order to accommodate all of the freshman class.

Through the online survey sent out to the class of 2019, the Office of Student Affairs discovered that many freshmen did not get to reflect on their MOSAIC experience during their floor meetings days later. As a result, the Office of Student Affairs decided it was more productive to hold reflections directly after the program.

“We wanted to make sure that we were intentional about providing an opportunity for students to reflect on what they heard and to have a dialogue on their own identity and the identities others bring to campus,” Klemovitch said.

Bowman Advocates, a new student leadership group out of the AHANA Intercultural Center, partnered with members of FACES and resident assistants to facilitate the reflections after the program.

The Office of Student Affairs sent out a survey to the freshman class on Tuesday, Sept. 6, asking for their feedback on Welcome Week. The survey received 475 responses within the first 24 hours, an impressive response rate, according to Klemovitch.

Although the survey is still open, the early data has been positive, Klemovitch said.

Eighty-nine percent of the students expressed that Welcome Week met or exceeded their expectations. Seventy-four percent of students were more inspired to understand difference and explore their own identities after attending MOSAIC.

After attending Welcome Week, 80 percent of students could name one person they would go to for academic support, and 75 percent could name a person or an office they would go to if they had a personal problem or concern.

The top three events the class of 2020 would recommend for new students are the opportunities fair, Discover Boston, and their floor meetings.

This data will help the Office of Student Affairs plan Welcome Week 2017, according to Klemovitch.

“The Welcome Week was a great way to get adjusted to BC,” Michael Zuppone, MCAS ’20, said. “By the time classes started, the campus felt more like a home to me than a giant, intimidating maze. The week also made me excited to start classes and showed me all the cool ways I could get involved in the BC community.”

Featured Image by Julia Hopkins / Heights Editor

September 11, 2016