Kent State programs work to welcome new, transfer students


Tara Marthe, a sophomore transfer student from Ohio State studying psychology, standing outside Olson Hall on Wednesday, Jan. 18. Marthe transfered to Kent State this semester. Photo by Jacob Byk.

Alyssa Morlacci

Here at the start of the spring semester, sophomore Tara Marthe is attending new classes and buying new books; but unlike most students, she is also getting used to a new campus.

Marthe, sophomore psychology major, transferred from Ohio State. She said Kent State is closer to home and has an “abundance of opportunities.”

“The people I’ve talked to here are much nicer and much more willing to help,” Marthe said.

However, Marthe admitted that practically starting over at a new university is frightening.

“It’s intimidating, the whole concept of having to make new friends,” she said.

Colton McCuen, freshman exploratory major, felt the same when he transferred to Kent State from a branch campus last year.

“I started in the spring so it was like everybody knows everybody and I am just kind of the outcast. But it worked out,” McCuen said.

McCuen also said living on campus helped him socialize.

“I lived in Prentice, so I met a lot of friends there and then they just introduced me to other people,” he said.

However, living in the dorms is not the only option students have to make friends.

Rebecca Kapler, commuter services coordinator for the Center for Student Involvement, said there are more than 200 organizations available to students. She said a group of five students can create a organization if an existing one doesn’t fit their interests.

“One of the best things to do on campus is to get involved, because it helps you with both your academic and social life,” Kapler said.

Kapler also said that Kent Student Center Programming hosts different events every day and its “What’s Up” calendar can be accessed on the Center for Student Involvement website.

Having a social support group is crucial for academic success, said Mark Colvin, professor of sociology.

“I think a lot of students who do well study with other students and they have a support group,” Colvin said. “If you don’t have a feeling that you belong or that you have social support, you’re more likely to withdraw and you’re more likely to possibly get depressed.”

There are programs that will help students get involved but Colvin said students have to take the initiative to find them.

Kayla Hunt, junior justice studies major, transferred to Kent State last fall and has made the effort to get involved.

Hunt transferred from North Central State College in Mansfield, Ohio, and lived in Dunbar, a residence hall she said was “just crazy fun.”

During her first semester, Hunt said she remembers hanging out with friends she made in the dorms, going with them to get campus food and seeing movies at the Kiva. In her second semester, she worked as a tour guide and as a security aid in the residence halls. This year, Hunt joined the sorority Alpha Xi Delta.

“A good way to get involved is to become a student success leader, you can take a training course for it,” Hunt said. “Or just meet people in your dorm or classes … There are events to go to. Join a club or an organization. College only happens once, try to do as much as you can; but also, focus on grades.”

Contact Alyssa Morlacci at [email protected].