c/o Resource Center

c/o Resource Center

The Resource Center and First-Generation, Low-Income (FGLI) Advisory Board held their FGLI Appreciation Week from Tuesday, Nov. 8 through Saturday, Nov. 12. FGLI Appreciation Week is a series of sponsored events that center and uplift Wesleyan’s FGLI community. The programming included a first-generation reception, social mobility conversation, a cozy hangout event, a resume workshop, and a concluding formal.

FGLI Appreciation Week also marks the end of the First Things First (FTF) Program for first-year students. Both FTF and FGLI Appreciation Week are meant to promote a smooth and comfortable transition into college life for students who may come from underrepresented or marginalized backgrounds. 

The week kicked off with a reception for first-generation college students at Woodhead Lounge. Students in attendance were given the opportunity to mingle and share a space with fellow FGLI students and FGLI faculty members. 

“It was nice to see people socializing,” a first-year attendee said. “I saw some of my professors there, and some other faculty members that I already knew were FGLI. It was nice to have conversations with them and know they went through the same thing”. 

The second event of the week was the social mobility conversation space, facilitated by Resource Center Director Demetrius Colvin and Dean for Academic Equity, Inclusion, and Success and Interim Co-Vice President for Equity and Inclusion April Ruiz. Students were welcomed with a Thai dinner and encouraged to participate in open discussions about social mobility: how it can be achieved, how it can be problematic, and their overall feelings about the concept. Students gave anecdotes about their personal experiences and how such systems can be addressed at the University. 

“We wanted to create a space that was intimate for FGLI students and staff, so that they may share how they are doing, how social mobility can impact their daily life, and [so that we] can have talks about how we can build each other up and support each other in any way possible,” Assistant Director of the Resource Center Kiara Ruesta said. 

Ruesta also shared that she was very happy with the event’s turnout, which was better than expected. She was glad that students were able to come together and share with one another. 

“I’m glad people felt comfortable being vulnerable enough to share their experiences,” Ruesta said. “I felt that people felt trust in the space.” 

The third event of the week was a cozy hangout, meant to be an intimate space that encourages relaxation and bonding for students. Students sitting in the Resource Center lobby played board games, watched movies, and drank hot chocolate. The cozy hangout was also a joint event with the winter clothing drive. There were clothing collection boxes and racks of clothes available for FGLI students to take what they needed in preparation for the winter season.  

The fourth event, held at the Gordon Career Center (GCC), was an FGLI resume workshop. FGLI students received advice from GCC employees on how to complete and enhance their resumes for opportunities both within and outside of the University as well as after graduation. 

The sixth event, which concluded FGLI Appreciation week, was the FGLI formal, held in Beckham Hall. Students and faculty who attended were able to snap photos at the photo booth, drink sparkling cider, enjoy some refreshments, and kick it on the dance floor. 

“I think it turned out really well,” Resource Center Socioeconomic Status and Disability Intern Beth Cooper said. “We were worried about renting out Beckham because it’s such a wide space. We were worried it would look really empty, but I think we did a good job, filling it out.… I’m glad so many people came.” 

Cooper also commented on their feelings about FGLI Appreciation Week as a whole. 

“It’s called FGLI week, but I see it more as an opportunity for FGLI students on campus to get together,” Cooper said. “Especially since we’re at a campus that has a lot of upper-class people and people that come from a long line of people that have gone to college, it can often feel like there’s not as many people that understand where you’re coming from. And this week really serves as an opportunity to remember that you have a community here.” 


Gabby McIntosh can be reached at gmcintosh@wesleyan.edu

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