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Kits for First-Gen Redbirds help students feel at home at Illinois State

The First Gen Redbirds and MECCPAC joined together to provide supplies for students on campus during these uncertain times.

The First Gen Redbirds and MECCPAC joined together to provide supplies for students on campus during these uncertain times.

On August 27, the First Gen Redbirds registered student organization (RSO) and the Multi-Ethnic Cultural and Co-curricular Programming Advisory Committee (MECCPAC) co-sponsored an event to give out First “aid” Kits to first-generation college students at Illinois State University. “The RSO wanted to help reduce the number of times students felt the need to go to the store by providing a few of the most common item students typically forget such as batteries, band-aids, and alcohol pads while also thinking about the pandemic,” said First Gen Advisor Tamekia Bailey of the Department of Criminal Justice Sciences. The kit also included a journal and First Gen Redbirds branded items.

Maya Strong, secretary of the First Gen Redbirds, wanted students to know that the RSO still plans to connect with students during these uncertain times. “Despite these times, First Gen Redbirds are thinking about ways to connect students. It is vital that students still feel a sense of belonging to the ISU community,” said Strong.

Members also passed out time management and informational sheets to help students become proactive in managing their time and familiarize themselves with the campus community.

The informational sheets contained terminology common on college campuses and specifically at Illinois State, such as the correct pronunciation of Schroeder Hall and the difference between student accounts and financial aid. “Even seniors confuse the roles of student accounts and financial aid,” noted Bailey. “Providing informational sheets that highlighted ISU lingo will help any student to navigate the ISU community because we tend to use acronyms when speaking with students and first-year students may not be familiar with “ISU Lingo” just yet.” Other resources included were the Honors Program, the TRIO/SSS program, and the Center for Civic Engagement and Service Learning. The First Gen Redbirds plans to connect virtually with students throughout the semester.

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