Own Oxford takes a personal approach to introducing students to campus life.

Own Oxford gives students taste of campus life

Own Oxford helps incoming first-year students form connections that will carry throughout their time at Oxford College.

Own Oxford provides incoming first-year students a personal preview into life on campus before their first semester in August. Approximately 50 students will spend June 26-29 experiencing residence hall living and forming bonds with other students.

“I believe that the connections these new students make in June stick with them throughout their entire first year,” says Rhiannon Hubert, who oversees Own Oxford as assistant dean for campus life and director of student involvement and leadership.

Own Oxford gives students a glimpse of the difference they can make as leaders on the close-knit campus.

“The program is designed to push students to begin thinking thoughtfully about their own role in the Oxford community and the legacy that they want to leave,” Hubert says. “Because of this, these students arrive on campus in the fall semester immediately ready to make their mark on campus.”

Learning to lead Oxford-style

Ricardo Horne, who coordinates Own Oxford, hopes the program impresses on students how the number of leadership positions they hold doesn’t matter as much as the quality of their work. Participants will interact with faculty and staff, do community service, and try out their campus leadership skills.

“They capitalize early on the many things that make Oxford great,” says Horne, assistant director of community engagement.

Own Oxford takes a personal approach to introducing students to campus service leadership opportunities. The program features central themes of community life at Oxford: leadership and community, diversity and identity, and health and wellness.

This individualized focus sets Own Oxford apart from New Student Orientation in August. Orientation helps students transition to college by learning about resources, services, programs, policies, and academics in a broader way.

Learning to serve others

Own Oxford engages students in community service. In collaboration with Smart Lunch, Smart Kid, this year’s project will assist Newton County children who are at risk of hunger when school’s out for the summer. Students will make and serve lunches to children in the neighboring Porterdale community. After serving lunch, participants will interact with children and learn about Newton County from their perspective.

Providing opportunities for students to learn about Oxford life takes a collaborative effort. Horne is assisted by summer intern Will Warren 15Ox 17C, who is an Oxford Alumni Board member. Other Oxford staff members also volunteer during the program.

Horne also gets valuable support from a group of student leaders. Ten second-year Oxford Welcome Leaders, known as OWLs, provide mentoring relationships to incoming first-year students.

“This is the first group of sophomore leaders that get to interact with the new class,” Hubert says. “Their love of Oxford and passion for the program is palpable and they serve as such a great example of the excellent student mentorship that happens at Oxford College.

“We want students to begin to get excited to call Oxford home in just a few short weeks,” she says of the interaction between incoming students, their peers and the OWLs.

Own Oxford participants will greet familiar faces when they return to Oxford – along with the rest of their incoming class – on August 18, the beginning of regular orientation.