How can I get involved in campus life my first year?
Clearly, your academic performance is your number one priority, but to complement your academics, there are numerous stimulating, co-curricular activities. These include clubs and organizations, Residence Hall Council, Student Government, arts activities, community service, entertainment planning, recreational programs, religious life, and intercollegiate athletics.
Does the College offer opportunities for service learning for first-year students?
Students can become involved with community service at Lafayette College in several ways:
Pre-Orientation Service Program (POSP), held the week before First-Year Orientation, introduces students to the Easton community through a variety of service projects and activities. Applications (Due June 3rd) can be accessed on the POSP Website.
The Community Engagement House, located in Conway, offers residents opportunities for community engagement throughout the entire academic year. First-year students can select this option on the First-year Housing Application.
The Landis Center coordinates a variety of ongoing and one-time service opportunities each semester. The service fair, held during the second week of classes in the student center, highlights all of our programs, and registration is available online. You can also enroll in one of several First-Year Seminars that integrate community-based learning and service into the course.
What resources does Lafayette have that will enhance my spiritual journey or faith?
Opportunities to participate in activities and organizations that will enhance your spiritual/religious life abound at Lafayette. We have activities for those of the Buddhist, Christian, Hindu, Jewish, and Muslim traditions. You say that you don’t come from a particular religious tradition but are concerned about your spiritual development while at college? We can assist you on that journey as well. The Office of Religious Life is your place for things spiritual. We are located in 101 Hogg Hall, and you can contact us at (610) 330-5320 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
I was very involved in theater and music in high school. Can I get involved as a first-year student at Lafayette?
Absolutely! First-year students can immediately audition for theater productions and music ensembles, register for classes or lessons, or introduce themselves to faculty directors. Our performing arts classes, programs, and productions are open to all students at all levels, and since we are not a conservatory, our actors, musicians, designers, and crews are drawn from all majors and disciplines of the college. Engineers minor in theater! Biology majors take the leads in plays! You won’t find that at many colleges. But as a liberal arts college, we believe that EVERYBODY should come and “play.”
How will I get to know my faculty advisor?
You will meet your faculty advisor on the first day of Orientation, and you will need to meet with your advisor at least once during the fall semester to register for your spring semester classes. But, Lafayette faculty advisors encourage first-year students to check in with them often. Many advisors will host their students in social events outside classes. In addition to your faculty advisor, department heads are always eager to answer first-year students’ questions about their academic programs. Make sure you reach out and access ALL of the faculty and staff available to answer your questions and to help them get to know you!
How do I ask for accommodations for my disability?
Students requesting accommodations or other support services are required to submit documentation to verify eligibility for protection under the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1992 (ADA) and Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. All documentation should be current (within the last three years) and should have been completed by a qualified professional. First-year students should submit all documentation to Rebecca Brenner. Disability accommodation requests are accepted on an ongoing basis, however for full consideration, housing accommodation requests should ideally be made by May 15, while academic and dining accommodation requests should be made by June 1. This will ensure adequate time for review of substantiating documentation and allow for appropriate planning of accommodations. Those who experience significant or severe medical conditions that do not rise to the level of a disability as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act, yet still require consideration, should note this condition, as well as any specific needs that this medical condition necessitates, within their medical history forms to be submitted to Bailey Health Center as soon as possible. Requests that are not received by the deadline established by the Health Center, may not be fulfilled prior to the start of the new semester.
Why is the interim session (January break) so long? Should I consider a study abroad trip during my first interim term?
First-year students are encouraged to participate in our interim abroad programs. A two- to three-week interim program is an excellent introduction to both global issues and international travel, and experiencing this early in your college career can have a profound impact. For example, it might prompt you to explore an academic field you had not previously considered or spend a semester—or an entire year—abroad.
If you even consider going abroad during your time at Lafayette—and especially if you might do so during your first year—please apply for a passport immediately. Application processing may take up to eight weeks at certain points during the year, so it is best to have your passport in-hand before you arrive on campus.
What should I do if I don't know what major to choose?
Good news: You are not supposed to know what your major will be. Depending on what you think your potential interests might be (science, engineering, social science, the arts, or humanities), you need good advice from your faculty advisor and class dean regarding the courses you need to take. At Lafayette, no one declares an official major and/or minor until sophomore year. Relax. Get good advice and enjoy your opportunity to explore your intellectual horizons. That’s what college is for!
Is it too early to start thinking about what I will do after I graduate from college?
It’s never too early to start thinking about what you might do after college. Participating in the Office of Career Services’ Gateway program gives you the chance to do this with the guidance of a professional counselor. Right now, you may or may not know what you want to do in the future or even know how to figure this out. Either way, your Gateway counselor will help you access a variety of programs and experiences to explore your interests and enhance what you learn in the classroom through real-world experiences. Check out the Gateway program to learn more about our externship and internship programs and how the program can help you make the most of your time at Lafayette.