Spreading the Love of W&L: Ashley Faulkner ‘18
“Through FYOC and the University Ambassadors, I can be there for a prospective student’s first steps on campus and then again for their first week as students.”
Throughout my time at Washington and Lee, I have found myself a part of various organizations with a common theme: the student experience. Mainly in leadership roles with the University Ambassadors and the First Year Orientation Committee, I have discovered a passion for showcasing what makes W&L so special. The opportunity to highlight campus resources and create programming for students has been one of my most rewarding experiences on campus.
When a prospective student comes to campus, one of the first people they meet is the University Ambassador guiding their tour. I love that through this position I get to meet future Generals and lead them through our beautiful campus. This isn’t a job that I take lightly. My campus tour played a huge role in my decision to apply and, as a University Ambassador, I know I need to provide potential students and families with an enriching experience.
One important aspect of being on leadership for the University Ambassadors is being aware of how campus is evolving. We want our members to be informed on different topics that are important to families deciding on a college, and we work to make the tour experience better and better. This means knowing what new opportunities are available to students and figuring out the best way to feature all that’s available. It is a great feeling to see a tour around campus full of people completely engaged by their University Ambassador and taken in by the school. It is extremely rewarding to know that I have played a small role in creating that experience even if I am not giving that tour.
As I became more involved on campus, I realized I didn’t want to stop with first impressions of W&L. I wanted to find a way to continue to make an impact on the student experience. The First Year Orientation Committee does just that. Through these groups, I can be there for a prospective student’s first steps on campus and then again for their first week as students.
FYOC combines the work of over 130 students to implement programming for Orientation Week. During my time as Co-Chair, I have gotten to work on and see the development of fantastic events, from the Community Carnival to the First Year Olympics. The transition to college can be stressful and our goal is to make that time easier and informative, while still being fun. Several committees work all year to match students with University Bigs, coordinate social media groups, plan tours of important campus resources, and so much more. We are committed to making students feel welcome and at home here. I believe that their first week should be full of incredible memories they will never forget.
My involvement with both University Ambassadors and FYOC has improved my work in both organizations. It has shown me my passion for W&L and taught me what is important about the student experience. The skills I have gained in both are priceless, whether that be responsibility, communication, or the opportunity to work with faculty. But ultimately, I am thankful to be able to share the university I love in new ways and to learn more as I go. My student experience would not have been the same without these amazing organizations.