Story by Anthony Duggan
Photos Courtesy of Mark Owen | The Breeze
- What is everyone’s favorite event at JMU?
A: Laura McKechnie, sophomore dietetics major: I would definitely have to say Madipalooza. It’s a huge festival on East Campus that has food, live music and games for all the students. It’s just a good time to have fun and hang with your friends.
- What kind of internship opportunities does JMU offer?
A: Career and Planning, Laura Hickerson: CAP offers a lot of resources to help students find internships. Our online system, Recruit-A-Duke, currently has 413 paid internships and 173 unpaid internships posted in RAD. These internships are for a variety of majors and cover a lot of different work environments. We also help students with all stages of their job and internship search process from resume writing and cover letter writing, to helping students identify internships (websites, career fairs, networking, targeting their own leads, etc.) to helping with interviewing practice and evaluating offers.
- Are there any opportunities for outdoor adventures at JMU?
A: UREC Adventure Program coordinator Guy deBrun: There are many outdoor adventure opportunities at JMU. We have a robust program including a climbing wall, challenge course, equipment rentals and outdoor trips. The climbing and bouldering walls are extremely popular with over 8,000 uses since August. Many groups and organizations take advantage of our team-building services through our TEAM program, which has a high and low challenge course at its disposal. Students can rent tents, sleeping bags, stand up paddleboards, backpacks and much more for their own adventures. Finally, we o er trips ranging from an hour or so to week long spring break trips. Trips include rock climbing, kayaking, canoeing and more. Incoming students should be encouraged to take advantage of our Madison Orientation Adventure Trips.
- What is the best way for an incoming freshman to narrow down which social groups to look into when they first get to JMU?
A: Emilee Maira, junior psychology Major: I would personally say to immerse yourself into as much as you possibly can. From there, just start going to events and their di erent components to see what fits you best. I would keep a completely open mind, and I believe that you can only find your groove by rst-hand experience. Aim for putting yourself out of your comfort zone. Instead of narrowing down, try everything you are even remotely interested in.
- Are freshman allowed to bring cars the rest year?
A: Parking Services employee Beka Jordan: Freshmen are only allowed to bring their vehicles if they have off-campus employment or a medical condition that requires frequent trips to doctors, therapists, etc. In these cases, we do require documentation verifying they are either employed or from the doctor verifying they are being seen on a frequent basis.
- Are there any dorms I should avoid?
A: Office of Residence Life employee Katie Musar: We think all of our residence halls are great! What one community may lack in an amenity (e.g., air conditioning), it may make up for with its strong building community because of the hall’s layout. ere are pros and cons in each community, but at the end of the day, we believe that all of our residence halls have the ability to be a great home away from home.
- What are students’ favorite and least favorite parts about college?
A: Brett LeBlanc- senior ISAT major: The least favorite part would be studying for exams, but the favorite part would be developing relationships with Greek life and other social groups.
- What is the best way to get involved in student organizations?
A: Foley McMahon- junior political science major: I think the best way to get involved at JMU is to gure out what you’re interests are and then head to student org night to see if there are any clubs or organizations that match what you like. It really helps to talk to upperclassmen and just be open to a bunch of new opportunities that may be thrown your way.
- Which housing is the best at JMU?
A: Office of Residence Life employee Katie Musar: While there are certainly more popular areas of campus, like Bluestone, a student’s housing experience at JMU should not depend solely on the building they are assigned to. Their experience is going to depend upon their attitude and their willingness to get connected to their community. It’s really important for students to understand that they might not get one of their top preferenced areas.
- When do I choose my classes for the fall semester?
A: Registrar’s Office- Thomas Estes: Incoming freshman registration generally begins during mid-June, before orientation begins. e students will receive information late May, early June in regards to the exact dates. Students who don’t complete their OneBook steps will not be eligible to enroll into courses during that time. It’s essential that students complete their OneBook steps and register for orientation. Students that fail to do so will fall behind in the enrollment process.
- How long did it take to remember your class schedule and how to get around campus?
A:Brandon Perry- junior ISAT major: It took me about two weeks to get around campus and remember my class schedule. The first week I had a picture of my class schedule on my phone and by the second week I remembered it by heart.
- Is Greek life very popular at JMU?
A: Fraternity and Sorority Life director Adam Lindberg: Approximately 19 percent of the JMU population, which is around 4,000 students, is involved in a fraternity or sorority. We currently have 15 recognized social fraternities and 13 social sororities, and will add one social fraternity and one social sorority during in the fall of 2017. Su ce it to say that Fraternity & Sorority Life is growing! Statistics aside, fraternities and sororities represent an excellent way for JMU students to become involved in campus life. Academic achievement is at the forefront of fraternities and sororities, and our students consistently earn GPAs higher than their unaffiliated peers. Members receive leadership preparation and training, serve local and national communities, and are plugged into a national network of undergraduate students and alumni that can number into the hundreds of thousands. Fraternities and sororities are not the only way to be involved in campus life, though – JMU has over 350 student organizations representing a variety of interests!
- Was it a struggle adjusting from high school to a big school like JMU?
A: Hannah Cruz, junior business major: For me it was a huge struggle. Going from a place where I knew my entire support system to a place where I knew no one and nothing about the community was really difficult. Not only that, but during high school my parents kept me accountable for my studies and what I did on my spare time, so in college I have to do that on my own which takes a lot of integrity and self-discipline.
- Why does everyone like JMU?
A: Maddie Palkovitz, senior psychology major: I think everyone likes JMU because even though it’s a really big school, everyone knows each other. JMU is also so diverse whether you’re in Greek life or on a sports team. Everyone is extremely nice and we all get along with each other.I think it’s very respectful that everyone holds the door for you no matter where you are on campus.
- What are the most memorable events at JMU?
A: Caroline Cole, senior psychology major: I would definitely have to say Relay for Life. It’s nice to be reminded that we are more than just a party school. Relay for Life is a very special occasion because nearly everyone has been a ected by cancer in some way or another. There is a vast and diverse number of organizations that are involved and we all share one common goal.
- What is the best advice for incoming freshmen at JMU?
A: Kasey Wilson- senior communication sciences and disorders major: Learn time management skills! You have to plan an hour-by-hour schedule because if you don’t, then you’ll actually fail. Managing time is an important skill to develop.
- What kind of things do students do on the weekends?
A: Mandy Lazernick- senior health services administration major: On Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays a lot of people like to go out with their friends and party. ey either go to fraternity parties or apartment parties. Other people like to study and do homework and utilize the free time they have to catch up on school. en there are those people who work all weekend to make money and don’t really have social lives.
- What do you think about the Honors college?
A: Honors College employee Tammy Steele: The Honors College at JMU provides many unique benefits. It helps the Madison experience by intentionally bringing together all students no matter the field of major. The Honors College is great for students because it fosters higher levels of learning, commitment and success. It produces ideas that scatter the JMU community. The Honors experience allows students to create their own paths and helps link them together to transform the many lives at James Madison.
- What are the most important things to know as a freshman at JMU that they don’t mention on tours?
A: Zeina Doukan- junior health sciences major: One of the most important things they don’t mention on tours is how bad it is to ride on the bus going class to class. The wait time is too long and the buses are overcrowded. Also, they don’t mention how important it is to be involved in order to meet new people. Personally, transferring from another college was horrible, but joining Greek life really helped.
- Where are the best places to hangout on the weekend?
A: Kaitlin Kodak- junior psychology major: Many students at JMU like to hang out at … downtown Harrisonburg for food and bars and the Shenandoah Valley for outdoor adventures such as hiking and canoeing.
- What is the limit for the amount of girls that can dorm together?
A: Office of Residence Life employee Katie Musar: First-year students can only request roommates, not suitemates. Therefore, a student can request two other students, and be assigned to a triple room.