Emily Spencer

espencer1@bryant.edu

Hi I’m Emily Spencer, a sophomore from Merrimack, NH. Read my blog to hear about my experiences as a transfer student!

Spring Splash!

May 1st, 2013

This past weekend was the most exciting weekend all year! Spring weekend! It's that time of year when the sun is shining and all Bryant students are hanging out outside in the lawns. This year, our Student Programming Board organized an incredible Spring Weekend that was jam packed with fun activities. The theme of the weekend this year was Spring Splash. The festivities started on Friday at 2:00 pm on the Bryant Center lawn. There was inflatables (see picture below), food, games, air brush tattoos and they were giving out tons of prizes.

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Other events on Friday included daytime events and giveaways in the rotunda, a festive meal in the dining hall, and a showing of "John Cassidy" in Janikies Theatre. And at night it was an exciting game of Big Bingo in the main gym with even more prizes to win. After Big Bingo there was make your own t-shirt and a Pasta Pig Out at 11:30.

Saturday was filled with outdoor activities. At 12 our radio station, WJMF held a Springstock Concert featuring country singer Natalie Stovall. There were also games, activities and food behind the Communications Complex after the concert. For dinner, Greek Life sponsored Bryant's Best Pizza Tasting event which includes sample pizzas from different pizza joints in the Smithfield area for just $5!

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Saturday night was the event everyone had been waiting for, the big Spring Weekend Concert! This year it featured New Boyz, KapSlap and Timeflies. The concert is free for students and is a ton of fun. It is held in a huge tent in one of the parking lots which is nice so not everyone is crammed into a gym. Since Bryant students love free food so much, there was a late-night BBQ sponsored by Bryant @ Night which also featured hilarious karaoke.

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As if that wasn't enough already, the Student Programming Board had an outdoor showing of the movie "Gangster Squad" on Sunday night to wrap up an amazing Spring Weekend.

It is going to be tough for the Student Programming Board to top this year's Spring Weekend! We are all so proud of their accomplishments and I suggest joining the organization if you enjoy planning big events that are loved by the whole campus!

If you don't hear from me again, have a great summer and good luck with your college experience! Feel free to email me with any questions about the transfer process or Bryant in general :)

Emily Spencer

Relay for Life

April 17th, 2013

This past Friday, Bryant University hosted its annual event, Relay for Life. It is a great event that brings the campus and surrounding community together in the fight against cancer. About $42,220 was raised for cancer research throughout the 14 hour walk.

I have participated in Relay for Life in high school but this year at Bryant was a whole different experience for me. About 40 of my sorority sisters joined me for the night, and it was startling to find out that we were all effected by cancer in some way. The event is a great way to support each other and celebrate the lives of those we have lost, those who are still suffering and those who have survived.

Even though the event was moved inside to the Multipurpose Activity Center because of weather conditions, no one seemed to care much. Music was blasting to encourage the walkers, games were set up all over the gym and fun fundraisers happened throughout the night. I was having so much fun I lost track of time and didn't realize how early in the morning I had stayed up till!

Relay for Life is about remembering and celebrating those effected by cancer. Speakers from Bryant and the community spoke to the audience about how cancer has effected their life personally. After the speeches were made, a candle lit lap was done for those who had lost the fight against cancer. It was a very touching moment to see everyone coming together in support.

Overall, I am very proud of the effort put in by Bryant students for this wonderful event to take place. I encourage you to walk a Relay for Life at least once in your life because it truly is a touching event.

I hope to see you all at Bryant's Relay for Life next year!

-Emily Spencer

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Derby Days!

April 3rd, 2013

This past week, the fraternity Sigma Chi, put on their annual Derby Days challenge. Teams of about 5 girls (involved in Greek life or not), participated in different events throughout the week to raise money for Sigma Chi's philanthropy, the Huntsman Cancer Institution. The winning team receives a trophy and bragging rights for the year to come. It's a fun challenge to do with a couple of friends and you're also raising money for a good cause in the process.

The first day of Derby Days was Thursday and the challenge was to sign your team name on all the Sigma Chi's brother's white t-shirts. It was definitely a challenge because there is about 50 of them total and some of them hid throughout the day to make it harder. My team was successful at signing all the brother's t-shirts before the day ended!

The theme of Derby Days this year was Harry Potter and the scavenger hunt over the weekend was to find the Chamber of Secrets. Four clues were given throughout the weekend to find a spot on campus and take a picture of it with two of your team mates. After finding all four spots they led to the fifth spot which was the Chamber of Secrets! Everything is based on points so finding the Chamber of Secrets gave your team more points.

On Monday there was a rock climbing wall set up outside of the Bryant Center. Points were rewarded to those teams who had team members climb the wall. I'm terrified of heights so I unfortunately couldn't compete in that part!

Tuesday (along with every other day throughout the week) was penny wars. Each team decorated a jar with their team name on it. The jars were stationed in the rotunda with a brother from Sigma Chi keeping a good eye on them. Any coins placed in the jars adds a certain amount of points to that team. And dollar bills placed in the jars subtracts points from that team's total. All the money is going to the same cause so teams put coins in their own jars and dollar bills in the competitions jars. There is also a place to donate money online that is worth points for your team.

Wednesday night was the best night of Derby Days, the talent show! Teams did all kinds of different talents that had to do with Harry Potter, Sigma Chi, Derby Days or something completely random. My team got some help from some Sigma Chi brothers for our performance. The girls dressed up as boys and the boys dressed up as girls and we had a song battle including songs from N'Sync, Beyoncé, Spice Girls, Backstreet Boys and Pussycat Dolls. Even though we didn't win, it was really funny and the crowd loved it. (see picture below).

On Thursday, two team members had to get a picture with each brother. There was also a trivia challenge with questions about Harry Potter and Sigma Chi. The winner of Derby Days was also announced on Thursday night and given their trophy.

Derby Days was definitely a challenge but well worth it. We raised about $5,000 and had a ton of fun in the process. My team will be one to watch out for next year!

-Emily Spencer

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Academic Advising

March 20th, 2013

One of the aspects of Bryant that I was most impressed with when I transferred to Bryant was the academic advising office. The school I transferred from had so many students that professors would double as academic advisors. There was no advising office on campus so you would visit your advisor/professor during their specified office hours. Having an advisor that was a professor was a challenge because I found they were often busy with their own school work or were unsure how to answer my advising questions. I also felt like my advisor didn't try to get to know me probably because you were assigned a new advisor every year.

I was very impressed with my first meeting with the academic advising office at Bryant. There are five advisors whose sole job at Bryant is advising students through their academic choices. There is an advising center right on campus which is helpful if you just have a quick question and your assigned advisor is currently unable to speak with you. The advisors are very helpful and can assist you in a wide range of things such as choosing classes to register for, studying abroad, discusses major or minor options or just anything in general.

I could not be happier with my academic advisor. He knew my first and last name after our first meeting together. I have spent a lot of time recently in his office discussing my major/minor declaration and what my options for classes abroad are. I would never register for classes without speaking with him first just to make sure the classes I want to take are fulfilling required subject areas.

I think I can speak for all the students at Bryant when I say that the academic advising office is one of the most helpful on campus. Making appointments are easy and definitely worth while. I would feel comfortable talking with my adviser about pretty much anything and it is a great feeling knowing that he is there if I ever need to talk about anything school or non school related.

-Emily Spencer

Greek Life

March 6th, 2013

As you may know, getting involved on campus is especially important to transfer students in order to find your niche and meet a lot of new people. I am in my third semester at Bryant and I am still joining new clubs and organizations because I want to make the most out of my college experience. I decided to join Greek life because I have always been involved with community service work and wanted to get involved with a group of people that enjoy the same things as me. What I didn't realize was that by joining Greek life, I was not only joining a sorority I was joining a family involving all of Greek life. I truly feel like I have found a group of people that I really belong with and share the same values as. If Greek life is something that interests you I guarantee you will find a sorority/fraternity that gives you the sense of a second family like I have found.

 Each Greek chapter does a lot on campus with numerous different philanthropies. Popular philanthropy events that the whole student body can get involved in include Pie a Football Player in the Face, Jail and Bail, Relay for Life, Derby Days, Turtle Tug and numerous others. All of these events are fun, get the whole campus involved and raise money for great foundations.

Getting involved in Greek life is easy and definitely worth it. Many opportunities can arise from going a sorority/fraternity including leadership positions, job connections and lifelong friendships. Overall, going Greek is a great opportunity for any student to gain a large group of friends and have many leadership opportunities throughout their four years of college. I strongly recommend getting information about the Greek program and seeing if it would be a right fit for you like it was for me.

 Hope everyone has a nice spring break!

-Emily

Health Services

February 20th, 2013

Hi everyone!

 A couple weeks ago I experienced, yet again, an office on campus that I had never been to before. I started feeling pretty sick and decided to contact health services right on campus. The office has about 4 nurse practitioners and a physician. I called them to make an appointment and they were able to see me within the hour. Everyone was so helpful and it was a great feeling knowing that my sickness could be treated when I was miles away from my doctor at home. The office was very clean and efficient and I felt like I was in a normal doctors office and not a health service office.

The nurse was able to prescribe me medication and after a quick drive to the pharmacy, I was able to start my treatment. I can't stress enough how comforting it was to receive help from such kind professionals when I was feeling so gloomy.

 Health services does a variety of other health related activities including; men's/women's health care, nutrition and diet counseling,  blood pressure checks, immunization, educational workshops and travel health. The workshops they host are really informational and helpful and they have everything from Skin Care workshops to Seasonal Allergies workshops.

 The office can also hand out ice bags if you twist an ankle or they can give you a regular checkup. This is a great resource on campus that can answer any questions you may have about health care or to treat your illness quickly.

 Thanks to health services, I'm feeling all better!

Emily Spencer

Study Abroad!

February 7th, 2013

Hi everyone!

I've had a pretty busy, but exciting, few weeks here at Bryant after a nice long Christmas break! I am going to share with you my experiences with the Study Abroad office on campus that I visited for my first time this past week. Study abroad is an amazing opportunity and its encouraged at Bryant so everyone can really get a feel for a more global perspective. There are a few different options for study abroad that you can choose from. You can study abroad either a full semester, a full year or over the summer and study in almost any country.

Bryant also offers a different program for those who feel a semester would be too long or they just want a taste of abroad life. This program is called the Sophomore International Experience (SIE). The SIE program is generally for sophomores but if you're a transfer student you do not have to be a sophomore because every transfer comes in with a different amount of credits and different courses completed. The SIE trip departs either during Christmas break or the beginning of summer break and last for about two weeks, plus you get class credit for the trip. Each trip travels to either 1 or 2 countries during the two weeks. This Christmas, a few of my friends went on different SIE trips including; Malaysia & Singapore; Germany & Spain; Italy; Panama & Coasta Rica; and China. Most students have so much fun on their SIE trip that they want to study abroad for a full semester.

Studying abroad for a full semester is what I am choosing to do! Once my parents gave me the O.K., I headed straight to the Study Abroad office to make an appointment and learn more about the program. The office was so helpful, they gave me pamphlets and books on each country I was interested in, they gave me a check list of everything I have to complete before I start my application and they were able to answer any questions I had. After I decided that I want to go to Spain, I made an appointment with my academic advisor to find out what required classes I had left that I could potentially take abroad.

This step was a huge help, I would have had no idea how to figure out which core classes I had left and which classes are easily found abroad without his help. Now all that I have to do is figure out which city and which university would be best for me and then I can start the application. I'm so excited to go to Spain next fall and I highly recommend going to the Study Abroad office to get more information about study abroad if you feel it's something you have interest in. Learning another culture for a couple months is something I think every college student should experience and Bryant helps their students every step of the way to make that possible.

Emily

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 Malaysia and Singapore Trip

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Spain and Germany Trip

Holiday’s At Bryant!

December 13th, 2012

This past week, Bryant hosted many fun activities for the end of the semester and holiday season. Campus sponsored events are a great way to take a break from studying and have some fun with your friends!

On Thursday, the Student Programming Board hosted its popular Big Bingo event in the main gym. Hundreds of students show up for a chance to win big prizes. This semesters theme was "End of the World", very appropriate for the month of December. Five different rounds were played and prizes included; movie tickets, hockey tickets, a Kindle, a $500 vacation voucher, along with others. I came pretty close to winning a few times but unfortunately did not win any prizes. It was still a ton of fun, and the mini games (a wheel barrel race and freeze dance competition) in between the bingo rounds were hilarious. SPB did a great job with this event and I can't wait until next semesters Big Bingo!

This Wednesday was a celebration of the holiday season. During the day, different clubs and organizations had tables set up in the Rotunda with different creative holiday activities. Some included, cookie decorating (picture at the bottom), greeting card making, ceramic painting, ornament decorating and much more. There was snacks, hot chocolate and egg nog!

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My friend and I also got a picture with Santa and Mrs. Clause! Since I am a transfer student, this was my first holiday season at Bryant and the campus really made me feel at home. All the decorations and Christmas music reminded me of my family's holiday traditions. To cap off the magical day, the dining hall its annual delicious holiday dinner which consisted of a wide variety of entrees.

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Ending the night was the traditional, "Festival of Lights" in the Rotunda. At 7:00 pm, everyone gathers together to listen to how different religions celebrate the holiday season. It's a great way for the whole campus to come together and learn about each other's traditions. The ceremony continues with Katie Machtley (the first lady) lighting the first candle and spreading the light to everyone's candles. It was so pretty to see all the candles reflecting off the top of the circular rotunda window. The ceremony ends with the lighting of the menorah and the Christmas tree outside to officially kick off the holidays.

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The holiday season at Bryant was so much fun and packed with activities to make you feel right at home. Now it's time to study for finals and finish the holiday season with some good grades!

Enjoy your holiday vacations!

Emily

Transfer Information Session

November 14th, 2012

This past weekend, Bryant hosted an event for prospective transfer students, which consisted of a transfer information session followed by a tour. I attended this event exactly a year ago when I was a prospective transfer. It really helped answer any questions I had about Bryant's transfer process that a normal information session may not be able to answer. Bryant has a transfer information session once a semester, I highly recommend going to one and going on the tour after words. This year I gave the tour and sat in on the information session to refresh my memory.

Helen Senecal, Assistant Director of Transfer Admissions, led the information session. She started off the presentation with Bryant's Mission Statement and discussed the importance of each part of the statement. Next, she talked about the aspect of community at Bryant. Community plays a huge role on campus in many different ways. Being a smaller school, we are a tight knit community which I loved being a transfer. I would meet people and see them all around campus. It's comforting seeing familiar faces all the time. Our sense of community also involves our faculty. Professors and staff are always there to answer questions and the truly want to watch you succeed. They are great resources and have good connections in the real world. Helen then spoke about creating your own path, the global prospective at Bryant and your success.

The next part of the session was where prospective students had the most questions; the application process. Helen went over due dates, official transcript requirements, and the SAT policy that Bryant has (which is optional).

The last part of the information session is the most beneficial in my eyes. Two transfer students that currently attend Bryant sat at a panel desk, talked about their transfer experience and answered any questions. The panelists were very different students that could accommodate for a variety of different prospective students, such as commuters vs. residents, a span of different clubs, and sophomore vs. senior. It's nice to hear from a student that went through the same thing you are going through and to hear of their successes.

As I said before, go to a transfer information session and tour if you're a prospective transfer! It's a great way to ask questions and meet the Transfer Admissions staff. Since most transfer students (but not all, like me!) come in their sophomore/junior year the tour proceeding the transfer information session brings the group into a suite residence hall to give an idea about what sort of housing you will be placed in if you choose to reside on campus.

The next Transfer Information Session will be held on March 2, 2013. For more information, please visit the Bryant website at http://bryant.edu/.

-Emily Spencer

Residence Life

November 6th, 2012

Living on campus can be nerve racking for any student, especially transfers! I had so many questions and concerns about living in a residence hall with a bunch of students I didn't know on a campus I wasn't familiar with. I had never been the new kid before! Would I be assigned to live with another transfer student? Or a current student? Or was it possible to be put alone? The Office of Admissions and Office of Residence Life were very helpful with my questions regarding my future living situation which made me much more comfortable.

Residency for a second semester transfer student depends on what is available and open. I was placed with another transfer student which was great. I had someone in the same boat as me and we learned about Bryant together. However, I would have felt comfortable if I was placed with a current student as well. I was surprised at how friendly the girls on my floor were, everyone was excited to meet the new girls! So either way, if you're living with a transfer or a current student, you can easily make friends in the residence hall. Being that Bryant is not a suitcase school and students stay on campus during the weekends give you tons more opportunities to meet people.

Another great thing that Bryant does for residence life is hand chosen room assignments. Coming in as a transfer, you fill out a detailed questionnaire about your interests, music tastes, how late you stay up, etc. to fit you with the best possible match as a roommate. It's great and personable that Bryant residence staff hand picks the random roommates instead of a computer doing it automatically.

Something else I was nervous about was just residence life at Bryant in general. What were the rules? Where were the study rooms? In one of the first hours of moving in, my RA came in and introduced herself to us. We had a floor meeting later on so we could introduce ourselves to the rest of the girls and my RA even took my roommate and I out to dinner that week so she could tell us about living on campus and Bryant from her perspective.  It was comforting knowing I had an upper classman that I could talk to about anything or ask questions. She really made my residence transition less stressful.

So, if you choose to live on campus as a transfer it is important to get all the information and all your questions answered ahead of time. My residence life experience at Bryant has been awesome, it's my home away from home!

Until next time!

Emily Spencer