by Michelle Schechter
On the eve of the first day of classes, an annual ice-breaker and socialization event was held at Chabad House at Rutgers University. It was an opportunity for both new and returning dorm students for introductions and adjustment to the Chabad House environment. Organized and spearheaded by the RA’s at Rutgers, games that encouraged friendship between members were enjoyed. As a new school years rolls in, the gathering was a chance for students to mingle with new friends.
Resident Advisors Ben Hutt and Elisheva Greenblatt soon gave introductions of themselves and their roles. They also explained what is expected of residents. All sixty Chabad members introduced themselves by stating their names, what year they are in, and an interesting fact about themselves. This year, Chabad is excited to welcome a lot of out-of-towners, particularly from Florida. Moreover, there are a number of siblings living in Chabad this year. Many of the boys are excited to share their love of sports while many girls are excited to share their love of playing instruments. Even more importantly, incoming freshmen got a chance to meet the returning residents. This is important as a first year student – having an older friend to guide him or her can make the adjustment process much easier. It was also amusing to learn more attributes of Chabad friends, like that Steve’s hobby as a magician or that Sam is “apathetic towards most things.”
Additionally, representative from groups associated with Rutgers came to speak. Not only did they aim to help members become accumulated to Chabad life, but also to life as a student of Rutgers University as well. Two police officers from the Rutgers Police Department were the first to present. The officers gave instructions on the best ways to stay safe and what to do in the case of an unsafe situation. Furthermore, they also assured the group that there is police coverage 24/7/365, insisting that no one should ever hesitate to call when suspicious. Having the police department speak to the students was an added feature to this annual meeting, and evidently their advice was beneficial to the community
Next, two members of Rutgers Counseling, ADAP and Psychiatric Services (CAPS) ran an interactive program where they not only advised on ways to succeed in college, but asked for student input on possible concerns about the start of college and how to assuage those stressors. Many students brought up concerns about Rutgers life in terms of time management, living away from home, adjusting to a college schedule, dealing with negative peer pressure, and missing class for the holidays. Along with returning students, CAPS offered suggestions on how to make those worrisome aspects of college manageable. The members of CAPS concluded by reminded Chabad members that if anyone ever needs someone to talk to about anything, they are always here to help, so we can not only succeed academically, but also enjoy our college experiences as well.
Chabad’s meeting was the ideal way to begin our experience for the school year. This meeting gave us the opportunity to become acquainted with our dorm-mates, and allowed us to meet with various organizations associated with Rutgers to help each one of us to feel safe and satisfied throughout our college years. Thank you to all those that helped organize this meeting!
We are looking forward to a great year! For more information visit us on the web at chabadrutgers.com, chabadnj.org, or call 732-296-1800