Jenna Vercillo is the Assistant Director of Student Leadership. She has shared her professional perspective about the incoming student experience.
Lucy Dieckhaus is a Mass Communications and political science freshman from northern Illinois.
Hannah Iannazzo is a Mass Communications freshman from New Orleans and commuter student
1. What activities have been put in place to help integrate transfer students into Loyola? Would you suggest any activities in particular? Where can I get involved in outside of the classroom?
Jenna Vercillo: A few resources Loyola for transfer students are New Student Orientation in both the Fall and Spring. These programs are designed to introduce students to campus, find resources and departments to be helpful in their transition to Loyola, as well as meet other students.
Lucy Dieckhaus: I would recommend students to get involved with clubs associated with their majors. In my experience, students who are involved in clubs associated with their specific field of study share many similar interests. I am personally involved in the Maroon, Loyola University Dining Advisory Board, and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA).
Hannah Iannazzo: For me, getting involved was the best way for me to meet people. I became an Ambassador and a writer for The Maroon, our student newspaper. I made friends with the other people involved very easily because we had a shared interest. Also, don’t be afraid to ask for help. Loyola has so many departments that are to help students every step of the way.
2. Do you have any advice for students beginning this Spring at Loyola?
Jenna Vercillo: I would advise students to get involved in the Loyola community through student leadership, find service opportunities in the New Orleans community, as well as reach out to their faculty and staff members to develop relationships. The opportunities will also allow incoming students to meet their peers and find home in the Loyola family.
Lucy Dieckhaus: Some advice on the academic side of campus life for fellow students is to be prepared. One way to be prepared is to read all of the syllabi in depth before going to classes. This tool is crucial to success in a lot of classrooms. Additionally, ask as many questions to faculty and staff as you need to. The professors that I have come in contact with are extremely friendly and truly care about the success of their students. Lastly, a tour of campus would be helpful to know the location of specific classrooms.
Hannah Iannazzo: One thing I would definitely say is talk to people. If you know someone at Loyola ask them about their experience. Once you start don’t hesitate to ask your professors or advisor for help; that is what they are there for. And getting involved is one of the best things you can do, whether it is a club, team, or Greek life.
3. If students are having trouble either academically or socially, what are some resources students could contact?
Jenna Vercillo: If students are having trouble socially, I would encourage them to visit the Counseling Center, or Co-Curricular Programs (to find out how to get involved). Academically, students may contact their faculty advisor, visit the Academic Resources Center, or Writing Across the Curriculum Lab.
Lucy Dieckhaus: Because writing is a very important aspect in many classrooms at Loyola, the WAC lab is a helpful service on Loyola’s campus. This resource is free to all enrolled students and will help everyone improve their writing. I was required to attend multiple sessions for my freshman seminar class and it has opened my eyes to information that has drastically improved my writing, even in small ways.
Hannah Iannazzo: There are always numerous events on campus for students to attend. The Window on Tuesdays and Thursday usually offers a plethora of activities, so don’t be afraid to go out and have a fun time with your fellow students.
If you need help with s subject the Academic Resource Center is your greatest tool, and the WAC lab is definitely a great resource to utilize.
4. What services are available to me through my meal plan or Wolfbucks? Do you have any favorites?
Lucy Dieckhaus: Eating is a topic that all students are interested in. Loyola is a part of Uptown campus dining alongside Tulane University, so our dining options are expanded to include choices on both campuses. On Loyola’s campus, the Orleans Room is offered as a cafeteria buffet style eating option. Other options include Community Coffee, La Divina Gelateria, Smoothie King, C-store, Satchmo’s, Dunbar’s (Cajun and Creole Cuisine), and Flambeaux’s (Po-boys). My personal favorite is Bruff Commons at Tulane University.
Hannah Iannazzo: Commuter students are also offered a meal plan and Wolfbucks. If you should choose not to get a meal plan, all of the venues on campus accept cash and credit cards, so it is still easy eat around campus and at Tulane.
5. What is life like as a commuter student?
Hannah Iannazzo: The Office of Student Affairs is dedicated to making sure the commuters are taken care of just as well as the students who live on campus. Commuters have their very own lounge given to them by SGA. It is equipped with a refrigerator, microwave, television, and couches. On the first Wednesday of every month, commuter students are offered a “On-the-Go” breakfast. On Tuesdays during the Window, SGA offers peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. And to make sure the commuters are happy, twice a semester the Office of Co-Curricular Programs hosts a commuter student forum to answer any questions commuters have about campus life as well as address any commuter student concerns.
Lucy Dieckhaus: Resident students and commuter students have a lot of interaction, and have the opportunity to complement each other. Some of my best friends at Loyola are commuter students, and I see them every day. Their knowledge of the city has allowed me to see parts of New Orleans that only locals know about, and I have been able to show them the night life on campus.