By Victoria Remley
IGNITE, a two-day program that encourages first-year students to explore campus, was held at Youngstown State University on Monday and Tuesday.
About 2,000 new Penguins were able to enjoy photo booths, games, contests and a cookout with live music by the Kilcawley fountain.
Erin Driscoll, a co-coordinator for IGNITE and director of student activities, said the event helps first-year students adjust to campus life.
“[IGNITE assists] first-year students in their transition to YSU by providing opportunities to meet their peers, become familiar with campus resources and facilities, take part in YSU spirit and tradition activities and get connected to students, faculty and staff across campus who can support them during their college experience,” Driscoll said.
The students received early access to the campus before upperclassmen return for classes. This gave them a chance to locate their classrooms and begin to develop friendships with other first-year Penguins.
Driscoll said IGNITE is a “great way to kick off the Penguin experience” and helps to calm students’ nerves about the upcoming school year.
She said the IGNITE and peer leaders helped to provide the students with insight for navigating campus and making the most of their time at the university.
Scott Fraedrich, an IGNITE intern and volunteer coordinator, said first-year students should attend the program for a variety reasons.
“First and foremost, the information you will receive at IGNITE is invaluable. Not only will students be introduced to campus in a personal way, through tours and the Fun Run, but they will also get to meet their fellow peers and get to know others with interests similar to theirs,” he said.
Fraedrich said one goal of IGNITE is to be useful and informative for students.
Hannah Feeney, the Fun Run coordinator, said the Fun Run allows first-year students to explore the campus in an interactive way on day one of IGNITE. She said different offices, departments and organizations had stations spread across the campus.
Another one of IGNITE’s goals is to make getting ready for the first day of classes fun and exciting.
Feeney said students spend the day with a campus leader “who is excited to welcome them to campus and show them the ropes of Youngstown State.”
Driscoll said that it was large task to plan an event for 2,000 people.
“We’re grateful for the involvement of everyone from President Tressel to student volunteers and people at all levels in between,” she said.