S3 program focuses on freshmen development

By Shannon Keough
April 16, 2009

Megan Pellegrino

Incoming first-year students are now given the opportunity to arrive at Cabrini College a couple days earlier than their classmates in order to participate in a pre-orientation program that focuses on service, spirituality and solidarity, known as S3.

“Students who have an interest in service will really benefit from the program, but for students who are just curious and not sure what they want to do in college, this is a good first experience to help them make those decisions,” Christa Angeloni, campus minister, said.

S3 was piloted this past August, in which 55 incoming students participated. For the class of 2013, up to 100 students will be admitted into the program and will move in Aug. 18, as opposed to Aug. 20.

“It [S-cubed] gives you a head start at school as well as a head start at making new friends,” Nick Guldin, freshman communication major and S3 participant, said.

During the program, students are introduced to the mission of the college, “service beyond one’s self,” through a variety of programming.

They visit Cabrini’s surrounding communities, such as Philadelphia and Norristown, connect with classmates and faculty members and are introduced to topics of faith, outreach and social justice initiatives.

Some highlights of the program that students especially enjoyed were visiting Kensington in Philadelphia for an awareness tour, participating in an unexpected protest and viewing a show that revolved around criminals in prison who are devoting their lives to forgiveness.

Also, after completing the two-day program, the S3 students are invited to join Cabrini President Marie A. George for dinner to share their experience.

Freshmen Katie Keller, accounting major, and Jamie Tadrzynski, history and secondary education major, also took part in S3 and said that they benefited a lot from the program because they didn’t know anyone before arriving at Cabrini. “Within the first couple of weeks, I would walk around campus, know people and be known, which was a huge help to me,” Keller said.

Angeloni believes that S3 was a success because S3 students were becoming involved in Wolfington Center programming throughout the year and some are now searching for leadership positions for the upcoming year.

“S3 enabled the incoming freshmen to shape further their idea of what it means to be a leader as well as establish a mission statement that represents who they are as an individual,” Slutz said.

Students that attended S3 recommend incoming freshmen to take part in the experience, in order to meet new people and get involved from the start.

“I think that with the refinements to the program the incoming freshmen of 2009 will gain a better understanding of service, have a larger sense of community and see Cabrini College’s dedication promoting social justice,” Slutz said.

This year, an additional retreat will be held in mid-summer for incoming freshmen and is open to all those who are interested in faith life on campus. For more information on these programs, contact Angeloni at cma722@cabrini.edu.

“I think everyone should participate in something like that [S3] at least once in life,” Keller said.

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Shannon Keough

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