September 2, 2015 | Impact
Harding University’s annual program for freshman and transfer students, Impact, has been redesigned to assist new students in their transition into the college environment and facilitate connections with older students throughout the year. Impact is now a part of the First Year Experience program lead by Dr. Kevin Kehl, dean of Center for Student Success.
Previously, the purpose of Impact was to allow freshman and transfer students to tour campus, ask questions about college and to adjust to the college atmosphere. This year, elements of the program will carry on throughout new students’ first year.
Impact was mandatory this year, and when students signed up for summer stampede, they were automatically signed up for Impact. Students were split into energy groups by their first semester Bible class, and at least one of their energy group leaders was also their Bible class peer guide, who acts as a mentor for students.
“We told the freshman, ‘this is your bible class, these are the people you will be with all semester, and these two upperclassmen are the ones who will see you through. These are the people you want to get to know, and they want to get to know you,’” Kehl said.
Activities that took place during Impact included two themed dinners, a talent show called HU Spectacular, a night of hypnosis by Dale K, nightly devotionals and a community-based service project.
The theme, chosen by student co-directors Nathan Enix and Paige Whitman, was “You are here” and was designed to show the greater purpose of being a Harding student.
“I hope they were affected by Impact and saw that ‘You are here’ isn’t just something we put on a t-shirt, that it is a mindset developed to discover where you have been, where you are and where you are going,” Whitman said.
Junior Sarah Roe, who participated as an energy group leader and peer guide, felt honored when she was asked to be a peer guide.
“I am a junior now,” Roe said, “and I felt that it would be a good way for me to step up and be a leader in a real way.”