Each year, as the calendar turns to August, the tranquility of a college campus during summertime transforms almost overnight into a frenzy of activity. The excitement and anticipation of the start of a new year can be felt everywhere as professors double check lesson plans and residence life staffers put final touches on dorm rooms. At the center of it all are members of Team Delta, an elite group of St. Scholastica students who are specially trained to help first-year students adjust to college life.
On Move-In Day, Team Delta members are the face of the College's Benedictine values of hospitality and community. They can be found all over campus in their bright, matching T-shirts, greeting families at the campus entrance with signs, smiles and noisemakers, helping freshmen find their way to the registration desk, or helping students carry belongings to their rooms.
This year, junior Francesca Stene '19 and senior Sammi Argir '18 — both psychology majors — were hired to co-lead the program. Stene cited her own positive experience with Team Delta as a key reason she's invested three years into the program.
"I was totally the shy kid in the back of the crowd, and my Delta leader was actually the one who helped me get integrated into campus," said Stene, whose double-major track also includes biology. "She had lunch with me, she helped get me involved in clubs, and even introduced me to professors. Thinking back, I'm like, ‘wow, that is such an incredible thing,' and I want to give new students the same experience."
Argir transferred into St. Scholastica as a sophomore, and sees Team Delta as a wonderful opportunity to orient students in their first days on campus.
"From the moment students join us for Welcome Weekend, they're immersed in activity and learning about how we do things here," Argir said. "They're getting to know other people and learning about the resources available. All of these connections are so important — if you ask seniors here at the College, most of them will remember their Delta leader because they invest so much."
Both Stene and Argir are excited to have an elevated role this year — Argir is running point with undergraduate traditional students, while Stene is helming a newly-created role tailored to transfer students.
"It's so important to reach out to transfer students because even though they have some college experience, they're still new to our campus," Stene said. "That's part of the reason we picked upperclassmen to serve as Delta leaders for this group — they have similar or even more college experience, so there's more in common."
More than anything, Stene and Argir want each student to see St. Scholastica for what it is — a place where everyone can thrive.
"We know Scholastica is a small school, but there's a place for everyone here," Stene said. "We have everything from an Anime club and social justice club to ‘nerd night' and intramural sports."
"Our school honors and respects everyone individually, and celebrates what it's like when we all get together."
That feeling of celebration is evident on Move-In Day, when new students get their first taste of hospitality and community at CSS. For students like Stene and Argir, the impact is so powerful that they can't help but pay it forward.
Team Delta welcomes students to campus each year. Welcome Weekend 2018 will kick off on Friday, August 31.