Shine weekend to let high school girls experience college life

Freshmen Bethany Calvert (left), Meagan Green (middle) and Katie Goodman (right) pose during the 2012 Siren. Calvert and Green attended Shine weekend in February 2012. Photo by Kira Roberts.

By Macy Sliman, Staff Writer

If the campus seems a bit busier  from Jan. 31 through Feb. 2, don’t worry: it’s just the 160 girls visiting the campus.

Last year saw the start of a new event called “Shine.” This event is specifically geared toward sophomore, junior and senior high school females. 

Once a year, these girls are invited to spend the weekend on campus in a dorm and experience college life. The entire campus, including every department, is involved in this weekend in order to make the visiting girls feel welcome in a foreign environment.

As part of the Shine experience, girls are hosted by current female students, which allows them to get a feel for the dorm lifestyle. While staying on campus, the young ladies play icebreaker games, sit in on classes, meet with alumnae, attend the dodgeball games, participate in craft night, attend a formal dinner and end with a closing devotion.

This event is used as a recruitment tool as well as assisting the girls to have an idea of what they want to do when they graduate. Freshman Bethany Calvert is one of the girls who was influenced by last year’s Shine.

“The Shine Girls Weekend is when I decided that SNU is where I wanted to be,” Calvert said. “I loved how friendly every one was and the way SNU supported getting involved on campus. My favorite part was getting to go to the Children’s Hospital and visiting with SNU Alumni.”

According to Laura Kessler, head of Shine event planning, this year’s setup is similar to last years. There are minor variations in the schedule from last year, as well as different alumnae that the girls will be meeting.

These differences were made with the hopes that the weekend would be less scattered and more organized for the girls involved. These changes are projected to be more successful and hopefully to help create a stress-free learning environment for the women in attendance.

There will be a few girls returning in hopes that they will find the activities as helpful and enjoyable as last year.

Even though last year was Shine’s début as a regular scheduled event, it was deemed extremely successful. There were a total of 100 girls in attendance and over 30 of those girls are now attending SNU as freshmen. This year there had to be a cutoff at 160 girls with more on the waiting list.

Not only did this event increase the female attendance at Shine, thus an increase in enrollment, but it also increased the male attendance at College Days and hopefully in enrollment as well. The school hopes to continue putting on this event each year so that more young women can be encouraged to further their education here.

Correction (Jan. 25, 6:53pm): We originally reported that the dodgeball games were Intramural. They are actually being organized by the freshman class.