Elon sophomore Kyle Brody knows from personal experience that transferring from one college to another isn’t easy. Now, as secretary of the new Transfer Student Organization, he has found a way to apply his past experiences to create a brighter future for transfer students.
“The Transfer Student Organization felt that transfer students weren’t as prioritized as freshmen coming into Elon,” Brody said. “We honestly felt left in the dark at times. We didn’t really know where we were supposed to go.”
Though the university sets up an extensive orientation for freshmen, some transfer students have been disappointed by the introduction they were given to the school. Sophomore Kyra Fanelli, the mentor director of TSO, transferred in Fall 2020 and said there was no established group for transfer students at the time.
“[We were a] group of incoming students who saw a lot of flaws in the way Elon dealt with the transfer process,” Fanelli said.
Last semester, Brody, Fanelli and a couple of their peers decided to create that group themselves. James Thurnes, director of transfer and special admissions, and Rebecca Krylow, assistant director of academic advising, recommended they reinstate an organization that used to exist on Elon’s campus that gave transfer students an opportunity to help each other adjust.
“We decided to rebuild it basically from the ground up in hopes of having an easier transition by implementing a mentor system,” Brody said. “Yes, they’ve already been to college, but it’s a totally new area. They don’t really have the same things they might have had at their old school, or they might have more things and they’re just overwhelmed, and that’s why we want to try and make it an easier process.”
The TSO wants to help students not only have an easier transition, but also meet new people and bond over shared and past college experiences. Despite the pool of transfer students being small — there are currently 63 transfer students enrolled this year at Elon, according to the 2020-21 Elon University Fact Book — the organization was able to gather 32 members, though not all attend every meeting.
TSO hosted its first virtual meeting March 11. The organization plans to use social media as a way to get more transfer students to come to the meetings.
According to Brody, the organization’s Instagram has been effective. He said other Elon Instagram accounts have been helping repost their information to get their name out to Elon transfer students.
The organization’s first in-person meeting was on March 23, and it plans on continuing these meetings every Tuesday. Brody said he and other members of the organization find it easier to connect with each other in-person.
“Being a startup organization, on their own, they’re going in blind,” Brody said. “It is a cool experience but difficult not having to go off the background of the past.”
Brody said being a new student is hard, so the TSO hopes to have exciting and interactive plans for the future. It hopes to hold more events in addition to weekly meetings, including catered events and movie nights so transfer students can meet each other and connect.
The TSO is hopeful more events and connections will happen soon.
To learn more and get involved, visit the Transfer Student Organization on PhoenixCONNECT or visit their Instagram @elontransfer. Meetings are held each Tuesday at 6 p.m. in upper Lakeside 213.