Transfer Fair designed to bring students awareness


By Emmaline Sylvester, Reporter

Junior Virginia Casio transferred from Central Washington University in 2016 when she left her friends, her familiarity with the campus, her dorm and the connections she made with the students and faculty for the past two years behind. As one of over 1,200 students who transferred to EWU that year, Casio experienced first-hand the struggle of not knowing how to get around campus, where to get help with academic planning, what campus resources to reach out to and not having the same opportunities as incoming freshman to connect with students and staff.

“I had my friends from Central, but I didn’t really like the program over there, and when I transferred over here the campus was completely different,” Casio said. “Over at Central there’s no Greek community. Over here there is. I wanted to get more involved in that but I didn’t know who to reach out to.”

Casio got a job working for the orientation of incoming freshman the following summer and saw how different it was compared to the transfer orientation.

“The firstSTEP orientation was very interactive where you get into groups and meet with your advisers and play icebreaker games, while the Winter Transfer Orientation was much more low-key, more like a presentation and then we were on our way,” Casio said.

Illustrated by Casio’s personal experience, many students who transfer in the middle of the school year don’t get the same opportunities that incoming freshman do to meet with academic advisers, connect with other EWU students, tour the campus, talk to the different academic departments and connect with campus support services.

Having struggled as a transfer student herself, ASEWU Academic Affairs member Sarahi Gutierrez recognized a need to hold more consistent events for transfer students.

“We don’t really have a transfer center or a designated staff for transfer students,” Gutierrez said. “There’s only one person who’s in charge of every single person transferring, which is over 300 students every quarter. They’re really struggling because they don’t have the staff to be able to support these students so that’s why I’m trying to work with them to get more consistency in events for transfer students.”

Many campus resources, such as the financial aid staff, CAPS, the Writing Center, Health and Wellness services, STEM program and the SAIL staff, will attend the upcoming Winter Resource Transfer Fair to bring awareness of their services to students.

“I really want students to be comfortable going to these events and reaching out and asking us the questions,” Gutierrez said.

The Winter Resource Transfer Fair will take place in Hargreaves 201 on Wednesday, Jan. 16 from 10 a.m. to noon and in the lobby of the Spokane EWU Center on Thursday, Jan. 17 from 3-5 p.m. Both events are open to incoming, transfer and current EWU students.•