Randolph will offer activities for first-generation students next week, to coincide with National First-Generation College Celebration Day on Nov. 8.
“First-generation students sometimes face challenges, and it’s important to reach out to those students so they know we’re here as a resource,” said Hope Banton ’22, coordinator for Randolph’s Office of Diversity, Identity, Culture & Inclusion. “We want them to tell us the struggles they’re having and what we can do, not just as an office but as an institution, to make the experience better for them and easier to navigate.”
Banton is a first-generation student herself.
“There isn’t that support system showing you how to navigate college,” she said. “It’s a big culture shock. At least it was for me, coming to college and not knowing how to fill out financial aid paperwork, what you need to live in a dorm, how to set up your class schedule, and discover what you want to major in. I had to figure that out all by myself.”
Events will include a “Why I’m First” poster signing, a first-gen photo booth, trivia day, and create your own button station.
“We want to raise awareness about what it is and what it means,” Banton said. “It’s not just the first person in your family to go to college. It could be that your parents had some college or they went to a different kind of college. I would prefer to let students define it. Everybody has their own experience.”