Coffee House Event Builds Community on Campus

by Office of Marketing | Nov 21, 2017
2017_1110_Sierra_OpenMicNight_8726On November 10, students gathered to enjoy the musical talents of 20 individuals who performed in the open mic portion of the FYE Coffee House Night. The newly renovated Student Center was transformed into a cozy place with coffee, desserts, and a stage area for budding musicians to share their talents. An audience of around 60 filled the conveniently arranged chairs and couches in anticipation of the performances.

Student performances included several musical selections – some written by students themselves – along with poems and musical tracks made by students. The event attracted not only freshman, but individuals from every class, and gave freshmen an encouraging platform to perform alongside their upperclassmen peers. "The open mic was a lot of fun because I got the opportunity to not only catch up and spend time with friends but meet new ones!" said Ed Shaw, a freshman pursuing a degree in Music Production.

FYE stands for the University of Valley Forge’s "First Year Experience" – a one-credit course taught by members of faculty and staff, along with Peer Mentors. The class introduces freshmen at UVF by providing them with information and skills in three main aspects of campus life: personal excellence, leadership, and community. Students gain knowledge and skills for academic success, discover their potential for leadership, and as integral members of the UVF community, embrace and contribute to its unique identity. "My FYE class is an open space for asking questions, a space you have with others who have questions so there's no judgment for asking," shared Josiah Colegrove, a freshman majoring in Sport Management.

The FYE Coffee House was organized through collaboration between FYE Peer Mentors and UVF’s Office of Student Success and Career Development. Peer Mentors are upperclassmen who have signed up to help students acclimate to campus life both in and out of the classroom. "Being a Peer Mentor allows me the opportunity to help students transition to college in a more fluent way," says Brittany Scriven, a Ministry Leadership major. Along with her role as Peer Mentor, Brittany is also an ARA, or Associate Resident Assistant, and works in the Student Success office.

In fulfilling the out-of-the-classroom role, Peer Mentors play an integral role in putting together FYE events. The FYE Coffee House was the first event of the semester with several to follow through the school year. According to one Peer Mentor, "this event was a [clear] representation of what FYE is about. FYE focuses on preparing students to succeed in their academics while simultaneously integrating them with our campus."

Currently, there are seven Peer Mentors assisting with FYE classes and events in the 2017-2018 academic year. Dr. Marianne Modica, a professor in the UVF Education department, oversees the FYE courses and the faculty and staff who teach them. Sarah Peppel, Director of Student Success and Career Services, coordinates the events with the Peer Mentors.

For more information about the FYE events, please contact Sarah Peppel through our Student Success page.