University of Arkansas at Pine Bluff upperclassmen welcomed freshmen and transfer students Tuesday as part of an orientation week filled with activities.
Freshman Precious Henderson smiled while discussing her arrival on campus Tuesday. She said she appreciated fellow students assisting her into her dorm. A Little Rock native, Henderson said she is excited to study broadcast journalism and to make new friends.
“The move-in process is good so far,” Henderson said. “I plan to get involved with the school this week with orientation activities. I am very excited to be united with UAPB.”
UAPB Associate Dean of Students Kara Brown pointed to a sea of smiling students as evidence of UAPB students aiding each other. The Greek life organizations are hosting many events centered around welcoming the students this week, she said.
“We have sororities and fraternities doing community outreach for the welcoming week,” Brown said. “They showcase their organizations, reach out to the students. … Throughout the year, they provide many service projects.”
Setra Buchanan arrived on campus a few weeks ago and switched rooms Tuesday. A sophomore from Jonesboro, Buchanan said he is part of the UAPB Cheer Team. An accounting major, Buchanan said he found a friend in Desmond Valentine, who is helping him become acclimated to campus.
“I am really excited about the school year starting,” Buchanan said. “Everybody is really cool, laid-back and friendly. Desmond is looking out for me, showing me around and getting me up to speed.”
Valentine said UAPB students take pride in welcoming new students into the fold and giving tours of campus.
UAPB senior and Student Government Association President Carlton Brewer helped organize the welcoming festivities to show new students that UAPB is like a second home. A Pine Bluff native majoring in political science, Brewer said he had not heard of any hitches associated with the students moving into their residence halls.
“We are a family here,” Brewer said. “The Student Government Association is the official voice of the students. We want them to know if they have any problems, come see us, so we can take their problems to the chancellor … We want to show that they are loved.”
UAPB senior and Phi Beta Sigma member Rickey Thompson said that UAPB features nine Greek life organizations that host the move-in process every August. That is part of their outreach mission, he said.
“We help the freshmen move in, and let them know we are here to help with whatever they may need,” said Thompson, a Pine Bluff native majoring in music with an emphasis in business. “We create great relationships and impart advice. … We are available to tutor them.”
He said he helped students carry belongings, register, find their rooms and find a cold drink of water.
UAPB Student Government Association sophomore class president Milae Wilson said that some students struggle to leave their parents. A Tulsa, Okla., native, Wilson said she helps these students overcome their anxiety about being in a new environment.
“We are here to be the bright faces of the university and we are excited that they are here,” Wilson, a rehabilitation major, said. “We are here to support them with whatever they need.”
Freshman student Jarvis Payne Jr. arrived three weeks ago for band camp and said he is adjusting well. A Tulsa native, Payne said the returning students helped freshmen transition.
“They all look really helpful,” Payne said. “And they are providing free school supplies.”
Freshman student Jazzmin Nash arrived on campus July 7 to take part in the LIONS program, through which she took two academic courses.
“This gave me a leg-up on other freshmen,” Nash, a Dumas native, said. “[Arriving early for the LIONS program] helps me so I can now help other freshmen. I am glad to be here.”