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25 July 2006

Jacksonville State University's Distinctive Programs:
A Report to National Association
of Student Personnel Administrators


New Gamecocks get their college careers off to a great start with Gamecock Orientation (GO!). New students are introduced to a campus community that is filled with academic opportunities, rich traditions and friendly people.

Central to the Orientation experience are the GO! Leaders and GO! Advisors.
GO! Leaders are students chosen through a three phase interview process and serve as peer mentors to the incoming freshmen. The GO! Advisors are instructors from across campus that go through an application process and serve as advisors for incoming freshmen.

These are enthusiastic and well trained individuals committed to providing new students with all the tools necessary for academic and personal success. Each Orientation session is designed to meet the needs of ALL new students and their families so that they may grow and thrive at JSU.

Orientation is just the beginning of a very exciting time for JSU students, so it is our hope that the experience at Orientation will be most enriching and rewarding. We meet this challenge by accomplishing the following goals:

  • Introducing the JSU undergraduate community to new students from an academic AND personal perspective
  • Providing information and assistance to new students (and their families) so that they may succeed academically and develop socially
  • Utilizing GO! Leaders who can share their own experiences as a source of support and information
  • Allowing new students to meet each other and interact in small group settings to develop new relationships and
  • Providing information on the variety of student services offered on campus so that students will feel comfortable navigating the university on their own.

Peer Educators

Jacksonville State University Peer Educators is the local chapter of an international organization known as Bacchus & Gamma (being Area Eightís top program for three years in a row). These students have taken the initiative to offer leadership to their peers on certain issues. Their number one goal is to create a more positive, healthy campus environment. As an affiliate of Bacchus & Gamma, the JSU Peer Educators focus on events and activities that meet the specific needs of the JSU campus. They coordinate and publicize events for: National Alcohol Awareness Week, Sexual Responsibility Week, and Safe Spring Break programs. The programs and goals of the JSU Peer Educators are:

Attacking myths about college drinking that portray excessive use and drunkenness as a norm

Featuring alcohol-free social events in conjunction with educational messages

Using the power of peer-to-peer influence as part of the educational process

Significantly influencing student drinking as it relates to impaired driving prevention

Recognizing the link between alcohol abuse and other related health issues such as HIV/AIDS, depression, etc. and supporting a comprehensive peer approach to prevention

Supporting state laws and campus policies and reducing overall risk to the university and individual studentís well-being

Engaging students in being a part of the catalyst to developing healthy campus environment

Freshman Forum

This is a group of elite freshmen established to develop leadership skills and to promote the interests of all freshmen on campus. It is an exciting way for new students to become involved in the many activities of the Student Government Association. Members serve as active participants in SGA activities such as Homecoming, Concerts, Casino Night, J Day, and more!

The Office of Student Life is the operating headquarters for Freshman Forum, but meetings and activities are held weekly throughout the fall and spring semesters.

The Student Government Association's general election is held every spring semester before prospective freshmen are enrolled. The Forum allows the freshman class to have a voice in the governance of the student body, while allowing its members to make new friends and contacts that will enable them to become involved in campus organizations and activities. And studies show that the retention rate for freshmen is higher for those who are involved in campus activities!

Members of Freshman Forum have gone on to become SGA Officers and Senators, Orientation Peer Counselors, leaders of JSU fraternities and sororities, as well as many other organizations!

The members of Freshman Forum have weekly meetings where they come together to discuss freshman issues and plan activities! The Forum allows freshmen to:

  • acquire information about JSU
  • exchange ideas on improving student life!
  • have a voice in the Student Government Association!
  • become involved in the Student Activities Council!
  • participate in various community service projects!
  • visit and present the INSPIRE Program (a program based on involvement and the transition from high school to college) in area high schools and
  • experience valuable training to help in future leadership positions.

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