First-Year Office Hours with the NCSA

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First-Year Office Hours poster.
Photo courtesy of Sofia Lombardi. 

New College Student Alliance (NCSA) President Sofia Lombardi and Vice President of Academic Affairs Elan Sandler are there “for everything and anything” that first-year and transfer students need during first-year office hours. In this case, first-year refers to both students who are entering college for the first time and transfers in their first year at New College. 

Students can come to office hours to ask questions about academics or college life, discuss any concerns, or make suggestions on how the NCSA could further help students. 

First-Year Office hours are held over Zoom every Friday from 3 p.m. to 4 p.m. Pandemic concerns, safety issues, and the lack of in person activities has made adjusting to college even more difficult this year, so Lombardi and Sandler created office hours to provide yet another resource for new Novos who are struggling to adjust to college in general or the specific complexities of New College.  

Lombardi “feels for [first-year] students and wants them to know that she [and the rest of the NCSA] care.” She said that she remembers “how difficult her own adjustment to New College was—and that wasn’t in the middle of a pandemic.” 

Lombardi and Sandler are well versed in navigating life at New College, but know that they do not have all of the answers. If they cannot directly provide assistance, they can direct first-years to the right office or person who will be able to. Sandler said that they “see office hours as an informal resource” and that they “want students to make office hours what they need them to be.” 

Though only a handful of students have taken advantage of first-year office hours so far, Sandler said that “if even one person shows up that’s good enough for us.” 

Robyn Davis, a transfer student who has gone to first-year office hours twice so far, said that they have been “very helpful” and suggested that other transfers and first-year students stop by.  She spoke about feeling a bit alienated since there are not a large number of transfer students at New College, but realizing that “first-years” could also refer to students who have previously attended college, but are in their first year at New College, opened up a lot more resources for her. 

Davis said that “office hours are awesome because it gives you a place to go and if you don’t know who to ask, ask [Lombardi and Sandler], they know who to talk to.” 

Davis, Lombardi and Sandler all encourage more students to attend with any concerns they may have. Lombardi reminds first years that “the most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone” and that “you are valued, and [NCSA] is here to support you!

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