When Virginia Commonwealth University President Michael Rao addressed the Class of 2019 as “the largest, most-diverse and most academically accomplished,” first-year class in VCU history, he reminded the University that this year’s freshman class was ready to make their mark.
Throughout Welcome Week, the massive Class of 2019, at 4,091 students, has been actively going to events, informational sessions, reaching out to student organizations and exploring the city of Richmond. This year’s freshman class is ready to “make it real,” and be involved with their campus and community – a fact about which various student organizations have taken notice.
“The Class of 2019 has the drive and determination to grab VCU by the horns,” Suraj Telhan, Student Government Association president, said. “It’s good to have a strong active class because it helps form a class identity and the VCU and Richmond community benefits from the engagement – it sets a positive image for the Class of 2020.”
With the surge of excitement surrounding the Class of 2019, Welcome Week events such as the annual Student Organization and Volunteer Opportunities (SOVO) Fair experienced an upswing in attendance.
“I’ve noticed the increase of the interest. We are still processing emails we got because we had an overwhelming number of people interested in joining,” Telhan said. “We had to go through multiple pages in three notebooks to help gauge the interest.”
Numerous student organizations including SGA, Filipino Americans Coming Together (FACT) and UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) have taken notice of the increased participation, and understand the value of having an active first year class.
“Having an active freshman class is so crucial to student organizations because not only are they the future of student organizations, but they view the organization from a fresh set of eyes, being so new to college and campus life,” Telhan said.
“We had over 200 interest emails,” Angie Ellorin, president of FACT at VCU, said. “I think it’s a great thing that the freshman want to get involved – it makes me hopeful for the future of the organization.”
With over 550 student organizations at VCU, there truly is something for everyone to get involved with. For students who have yet to “find their fit” and are looking to start their own student organization, they can attend information sessions on how to start a student organization. The upcoming sessions are on Friday, Sept. 11 at 10 a.m. in the Alumni Board Room and on Tuesday, Sept. 15 at 1 p.m. in the Alumni Board Room. VCU encourages all students to get involved in student organizations and in the University community; having already demonstrated their desire to become an active part of VCU, the Class of 2019 is well on the way to flourishing in the University community.
“The class of 2019 is the largest class in VCU history,” Lakshmi Ravindra, UNICEF president, said. “They can really help our organization grow and make a difference.”