ASUS Mentorship Program underway for upcoming remote term

Mentors to assist first-year students in transition to Queen’s

ASUS has launched a new program to foster a sense of community among incoming Queen’s students.
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The Arts & Science Undergraduate Society (ASUS) has launched the ASUS Mentorship Program (AMP) to connect incoming students with those returning to Queen’s.

“When I was in first year, I had a subpar orientation week, and my floor wasn’t the most conducive to socializing,” Luca Bonifacio-Proietto, ASUS services commissioner 2019-20, wrote in a statement to The Journal. “As a result, it was tough to make friends, and I found myself missing out on social interactions during the first month of school.”

Bonifacio-Proietto said his orientation experience inspired him to create a better transition for first-year students establishing a social life at Queen’s. He added ASUS was also interested in incorporating an academic component to the mentorship program.

“We decided that the best way to incorporate this academic component was to match mentees with mentors who had similar majors and academic interests, with the hopes that they would help navigate academic life at Queen’s,” Bonifacio-Proietto wrote.

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Tina Hu was hired as the AMP program director for 2020-21 to conduct research within the Arts and Science (ArtSci) faculty community regarding program viability.

“The responses I got back were great—students were all in for AMP,” Hu told The Journal.

According to Hu, students often feel ArtSci lacks the cohesion and community found in other faculties because of its size.

“[The mentorship program] gives students someone to have their back and give them the advice to make the transition just a little bit easier,” Hu wrote.

Individuals can apply to become a mentor through the ASUS apply page until Aug. 14.

“We are looking for a diverse group of students to share their experiences with the incoming class—everyone has something valuable to share,” Hu wrote.

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Though AMP was not created in response to COVID-19, Tiana Wong, services commissioner 2020-21, said the remote environment makes it even more necessary.

“With a remote semester, it will be harder for incoming first-year students to understand the wide range of opportunities ASUS provides and how they can get involved right from the get-go,” Wong told The Journal.

AMP mentors get to know their first-year students on a personal level to build a relationship and encourage questions about navigating life at Queen’s.

“It is incredibly difficult for incoming students to navigate all the new experiences of first year as it is, so adding the additional challenge of remote learning will be tough to navigate,” Maya Kassam, AMP marketing coordinator 2020-21, wrote in a statement to The Journal.

As students can be paired with a mentor with the same major and/or minor as them, she said it allows them to receive important degree-related advice as well.

“This could range from who to contact within the department, what courses the mentor would recommend, as well as how to navigate SOLUS and OnQ,” Kassam wrote.

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