Students Together Reaching for Individual Development and Education (STRIDE) is a program that provides direct support to first-year and transfer students of color so that they can not only successfully complete their first academic year of college but ultimately thrive towards successful graduation from Davidson College. Through inclusive dialogues, events and relationship building with Davidson students, staff and faculty, this program attempts to minimize institutional challenges students of color may have at a predominantly white college. STRIDE is historically beneficial to students of color who may also identify as first-generation and/or hold undocumented immigration status. Specifically, STRIDE offers student-led events and connects incoming students to resources to successfully navigate academic and campus life. There are two distinct yet related components of the STRIDE Program: The Pre-Orientation Experience and The Academic Year Peer Leadership Experience.
STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience
First-year students of color are invited to register for the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience which takes places four days before New Student Orientation. The Pre-Orientation Experience strives to be an inclusive opportunity for first-year and transfer students of color and their families to build relationships with Davidson College students, faculty and staff while also engaging with vital campus resources that will support their transition to college. Students and their families begin their experience by moving into their residence hall early and then attend a welcome dinner featuring remarks from President Carol Quillen. Families are also invited to a private question and answer session with senior administrators, the STRIDE director, and affiliated professors.
The hallmark of the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience is a two-day, off-site retreat experience. Facilitated by the STRIDE Director and a Davidson College alumni, students participate in experiential activities and dialogues to help them establish a foundation towards academic and social success on campus. Students are assigned to small group cohorts lead by student peer leaders that offer them direct support and encouragement throughout the retreat. Lastly, students have an opportunity to explore the Uptown Charlotte area to introduce them to the area’s events and resources.
While the program is offered at no additional cost to students, registration is required and space is limited.
2019 STRIDE Schedule
Sunday, August 18
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Student Move-in/Arrival
4-5 p.m.: Welcome Reception (Remarks from President Quillen, Dean McCrae and Dean Domingue)*
5-6 p.m.: Welcome Dinner*
6-7 p.m.: Family Panel/Student Community Building Activity*
7 p.m.-end of evening: Free Time/Goodbye to Families*
Note: All activities noted with an asterisk (*) are open to parents and families of STRIDE first year/transfer student participants. Please find more information about the Parent & Family Orientation Schedule which begins on Thursday, August 22. STRIDE events Monday-Wednesday are for student participants only.
Monday, August 19
7:30-8:30 a.m.: Breakfast
8:30 a.m.: Depart for Charlotte Activities
9:30 a.m.-5 p.m.: Coming Together Retreat Day 1
5-6 p.m.: Dinner
6 p.m.-end of evening: Free time
Tuesday, August 20
8-9 a.m.: Breakfast
9 a.m.-6 p.m.: Academic Preparation and Community Dialogue
6 p.m.: Dinner
8 p.m.: Depart for Davidson College
Wednesday, August 21
8-10 a.m.: Breakfast
10 a.m.-4 p.m.: Peer Leader Small Group Activities (optional)
5:30-7 p.m.: Dinner
7 p.m.: Community Building with International Student Programs
Please note that this schedule is subject to change.
Note: For incoming first-year and transfer students of color who are also considering participation in the Outdoor Odyssey program, we strongly recommend that you sign-up for Session 3- Short Trip as these dates best align with the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience. Session 1 or Session 2 would also align with Pre-Orientation however, students would not be able to remain on campus in between the conclusion of that Outdoor Odyssey session and STRIDE Pre-Orientation. Students who sign up for Odyssey Session 3- Long Trip would not be able to participate in STRIDE Pre-Orientation.
Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience
Recognizing incoming students may need support beyond a few days prior to New Student Orientation, STRIDE also provides an academic year peer leadership experience. First-year students complete a questionnaire at the beginning of the semester where the information provided helps the formation of small group cohorts. Cohorts are based on shared interests (i.e. academic majors, wellness activities, social identities, etc.) and led by student peer leaders who are sophomores, juniors or seniors. Students meet with cohort members and their peer leader at a social event and have an opportunity to learn about other cohort groups. While cohorts are meant to be sustained groups throughout the academic year, peer leaders are are encouraged to collaborate with other peer leaders to build relationships across cohorts.
The fall semester begins with a weekly seminar in September to build academic success skills and introduce students to co-curricular opportunities on campus. Between October and April, peer leaders host large and small group events that range from faculty dialogues, campus resource conversations, community building opportunities, exploration of the Charlotte area and dialogue on current issues impacting first-year students. The spring semester includes a mid-year event to reunite the group and check in about successes and setbacks. The year concludes with an informal recognition event to celebrate the completion of the first-year and to thank peer leaders for their efforts.
Participants of the STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience have an opportunity to join in the Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience at the conclusion of Pre-Orientation. Students who did not participate in STRIDE Pre-Orientation Experience may join the Academic Year STRIDE Peer Leadership Experience pending space availability. Registration for this program will be announced in late August 2019.
For more information about STRIDE, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
You Are Not A Stranger Here (YANASH)
YANASH is a confidential student group created by students for any and every Davidson College student to seek queer community without the pressures and fears of coming out. The organization fosters an inclusive environment for attendees to seek information about queer identities, gender identities and sexualities in group and peer support networks. For more information, please email email@example.com.
Queer Mentorship Program
The Queer Mentorship Program pairs incoming first-year and transfer students with queer sophomore, junior or senior Davidson College students. The program recognizes that the transition to college is a hard time, especially so for queer and/or questioning first-year students. The organization hopes that a mentor can help assist and guide students through their acclimation to Davidson College and create a more welcoming community at Davidson College. For more information, please email LGBTQ@davidson.edu.
Undocumented Student Community Dinners
Several times per semester, the Center for Diversity and Inclusion and the Dean of Students Office host dinners for undocumented students. The goal of these events is to facilitate community building among undocumented students and to connect them to campus and local resources. For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.