Corrine Janet and Paulomi Dholaki, usually the Student Life Coordinator for Leadership Development and Coordinator for Transfer Student Success with Off Campus Student Services, respectively, are today acting as Hogwarts professors preparing to sort a new class of students into their houses.
It’s all part of Off Campus Student Service’s Transfer Appreciation Week, a week-long series of Harry Potter-themed events designed to help off-campus and transfer students get used to UMBC and get to know each other. Despite that, the organizations stress that the events are open to all students. This week there was a sorting ceremony, trivia night, and a Quidditch match, among other events.
Hope Butler, a senior psychology major and transfer student network leader, understands the significance of these events.
“It’s important to make connections with other transfers and with us,” she said. “The workshops are helpful to all students, not just transfer students and commuters.”
Manny Molla, a senior psychology major and Commuter Assistant says that before joining Off Campus Student Services, “[I] didn’t know there was so much commuter engagement on campus.” Now, engagement for commuters is at an all-time high.
This increased engagement is good news for Off Campus Student Services, who want students to know that “they are an important part of the UMBC community,” says Dholaki.
Janae Cruz, the Coordinator for Student Engagement with Student Life, agrees.
“Transfer appreciation week allows transfer students to feel connected to the community, and brings people together to have fun,” said Cruz.
These events have been in planning since the summer, according to Janet. Each event had a specific connection to both Harry Potter and the UMBC community. At the sorting, students took a personality test to determine their houses, and then learned about how students operate within leadership positions. At the muggle money seminar earlier in the week, students could learn about managing their money and win fun prizes.
Students seem to be a big fan of the events. Junior Lizzie Watt, an American studies major and exchange student from Swansea, Wales said she was drawn to the events because she loves Harry Potter.
William Kallal, a junior financial economics and information systems double major, said he was interested because “he found out about the event through involvement fest, and [knew] that Off Campus Student Services and university events in general are very good.”
Kallal noted because he’s on campus more this semester he looks forward to attending more events put on by the organization.
The events were even helpful for students who live on campus, as Elizabeth Emberger, a freshman mechanical engineering major, said she “learned things I didn’t know campus offered, and I’m an on-campus student!”
Off Campus Student Services has a lot to offer students, including weekly breakfasts on Tuesdays from 8:30 – 10:00 a.m., as well as monthly Commuter Connections in Lower Flat Tuesdays. See their website for details.