First Knights, a newly Registered Student Organization, gives first-generation students the opportunity to socialize with other first-generation students and also become acclimated with the UCF campus. The organization will be holding on- and off-campus events aimed to bring together as many students as possible while also serving as another outlet where these students can ask questions they may not be comfortable asking in other situations.
David Oglethorpe, coordinator for First Year Advising and Exploration, initiated the concept of the First Knights organization in an effort to help first-generation students. Oglethorpe along with FYAE coordinator Dillon Burleson and graduate assistant Becky Easter serve as advisors to First Knights.
“The biggest challenge for the first-generation students lie within not knowing what to expect or what to ask,” stated Oglethorpe. “Students who have parents who have completed college degrees are able to rely on them to guide them through the expectations of college, but first-generation students have to go elsewhere to find this information. It can be very difficult to let someone know that you don’t understand something that is perceived by many to be general knowledge.”
“First Knights is not an academic resource but serves more of a social resource for students,” said Oglethorpe. He said one resource, the Office of Student Involvement’s Knights of the Round Table-a student advisory council, has a great service for students called Knight Quest. “By completing a quick interview, students are given a list of clubs, organizations and campus activities that match their hobbies and interests.”
The goal of this new organization is to provide a home for first-generation students where they can find help accessing academic and social resources available to all UCF students. Students interested in learning more about the First Knights organization can email Interim President LaShaunda Hayes at: [email protected] or ‘Like’ the First Knights UCF Facebook page at: www.facebook.com/FirstKnightsUCF.