New EXPLORE program allows students more time to acclimate

Angelica Nahalka, Contributing Reporter

The following is an opinion article and opinion articles do not reflect the views of The Tulane Hullabaloo.

The administration is making major changes to its freshman summer programs by adding the new EXPLORE tracks to help freshmen acclimate, but there is definitely more to be done. These programs are popular because they allow students to move in early and experience campus life prior to the start of the year. A period of adjustment for students before classes start, which programs such as these provide, eases the transition into college. 

The Office of Orientation and Parent Programs and the Department of Housing and Residence Life have worked to expand their selection of programs with the addition of EXPLORE. This program now consists of three various tracks that allow students to experience life at Tulane and in New Orleans. Students enjoy coming to the city early, moving into their dorms and experiencing what Tulane has to offer. The overwhelming interest in these programs showcase the need to provide more time between move-in and the start of classes. 

The three new EXPLORE tracks offered this year are Greenie Camp, EXPLORE Hillel and IGNITE: Community, Creativity, Change. All of these tracks are designed to help freshmen ease into a life-changing transition that can be daunting. Incoming students previously had to vie for space in the NOLA Experience, which caps out at 144 participants, or the Summer Journalism Experience, which includes only 16 spots.

Director of Orientation and Parent Programs Penny Wyatt said interest in these programs has grown tremendously in the past five years. Since a program like NOLA Experience is not easy to replicate, Wyatt said the EXPLORE program was created as a separate option for students.

But there is still only so much space within these programs, and it is not enough to feed the desire of the entire freshman class for more time, more information and a smoother transition.

Unfortunately, some students are unable to take advantage of these programs because they may pose a considerable financial burden. The programs are expensive at $525. The privilege of having extra time to adjust, however, should not be limited to families that are financially stable. Tulane should direct some aid to financially disadvantaged students or allow for more time between regular move-in day and the start of classes.

Tulane uses student feedback from the EXPLORE programs to make decisions about future programming. Students must ensure their voices are heard by taking the time to fill out the post-program surveys or taking the initiative to talk to the administration themselves.

Angelica Nahalka is a freshman in the Newcomb-Tulane College. She can be reached at [email protected]