Students keep calm and register on

Madyson Baker

Keep Calm and Register On is an event sponsored by the Peer Academic Resource Center and The First Year Experience program to aid first-years in their attempts at navigating the student center during the registering process.

Jessie Romine, a fourth year history major at Sacramento State, created this event because freshmen students who signed up for first-year seminars did not understand the registering process.

Romine, with 44 other peer mentors, were met with questions on how to pick and register for classes through the student center along with choosing classes that would satisfy GE and major requirements.

“There was an insane amount of texts, emails and phone calls to peer mentors about registering from their students; the veteran peer mentors were overwhelmed with the first years needing help,” Romine said.

To alleviate the peer mentor’s stress while still getting the students the help they needed, Romine introduced Keep Calm and Register On to his peer mentoring colleagues at FYE. The program was approved with high expectations.

Instead of asking their peer mentor questions through phone calls or text messages, students could attend Keep Calm before or during their registration time and meet with a peer mentor who could teach them how to navigate the student center and catalog while understanding major and General Education requirements.

“ First-year students don’t grasp the process of registering through the student center, since their only previous experience was during orientation over the summer. The peer mentor guides them through the process of registering,since they don’t understand how to operate the program,” Romine said.

Despite high expectations, only two to four students showed up for the first Keep Calm event in the Spring 2013 semester, which Romine described as a “flop”.

The dismal turnout peer mentors experienced in the spring was turned around the following semester. Romine said the Fall 2013 Keep Calm event was “packed” serving students from morning to late afternoon.

The Peer Mentor Graduate Student Coordinator, Leo Sun, worked the event in both Fall 2013 and Spring 2014.

“It’s such an amazing feeling seeing concerned students rush in, then end up leaving with a sense of relief that they got classes that will help cover general education or major requirements,” Sun said

With the success of Keep Calm and Register On, FYE is now partnering with PARC to orchestrate for this academic school year.

Stephen Hernandez, a Resource Mentor for PARC said “I see this as a partnership. If FYE needs help, PARC will come out and help and same thing if PARC needs some help the peer mentors will come out and help us”.

In the past, the event had been exclusive to first-year students only, but since partnering with PARC, Keep Calm and Register On has become an event open to all Sacramento State students.

“All students [who] need help registering can attend. We’re not just showing them how to do it we’re teaching them how to do it,” Hernandez.said. “We’re putting them in the driver seat. We like to target first-years because we feel they need the most help but we want everyone to feel welcome”.

Hernandez feels this event is beneficial to both first-years and transfer students who may not remember what they learned at orientation.

Hernandez said, “The goal of the whole thing is to teach students how to register and to answer any questions they may have” This is why PARC wanted it to be open to the entire student population.

Sun agreed with Hernandez, saying, “The huge volume of first year students don’t always get all the advice they need from colleagues or don’t have enough time with advisers to figure out what happens when they try to register, but half of the classes they planned on getting into are full.”

Hernandez said students and faculty have already inquired about the Keep Calm and Register On event for this semester, though no date has been set or discussed by FYE or PARC.

“We like to see when the bulk of first year students are registering and make the date then,” Hernandez said.