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September 6, 2005
CONTACT: Carol Anderson
734.487.4400
carol.anderson@emich.edu

EMU House Calls Program welcomes resident students

YPSILANTI - A knock on the door may not be the local pizza delivery person, but Eastern Michigan University President John Fallon delivering a welcome message to randomly-chosen, first-year students.

Fallon, faculty and administrators will be visiting students in their residence halls as part of EMU’s Fourth Annual House Calls Program Sept. 14 from 7-9 p.m.

“We’re reaching out to first-year students to ease their transition (to campus life). Some students are homesick and feel better when they talk with an R.A. (resident assistant),” said Rebecca Figura, EMU director of housing and dining services. “Most students have positive responses about the program and express appreciation when we follow up with a phone call.”

Pairs of volunteers will visit some of the 1,700 first-year students who live in Best, Wise, Walton, Putnam, Phelps and Sellers residence halls.  The administrators and faculty will introduce themselves, ask how things are going, inquire as to whether they can help the students with anything and tell them about the many resources available on campus.

In previous years, students have asked about financial aid, maintenance issues and difficulty finding textbooks, said Figura.

“Most students are happy to see that the administrators are ordinary people who are interested in how they’re doing,” said Gregory A. Peoples, EMU ombudsman, who is participating for the third year. “This also is my opportunity to introduce myself to new students and tell them about our services.”

But students aren’t the only people who benefit from the program.

A first-time faculty participant, D. Kay Woodiel, EMU associate professor in the school of health promotion and human performance, said the program will give her a new experience.

“I will have an opportunity to meet students who are not usually in my classroom,” she said. “I mostly have nontraditional students who work full-time and are not on campus very much. Meeting first-year students will give me a different perspective.”

For more information, contact EMU Housing and Dining Services at 734.487.1303.

Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their careers and lives, and to be better citizens.

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Eastern Michigan University is a public, comprehensive university that offers programs in the arts, sciences and professions. EMU prepares students with the intellectual skills and practical experiences to succeed in their career and lives, and to be better citizens.

Editor's Note: Looking for an expert source for a story? Check out EMU's Eastern Experts online at www.emich.edu/univcomm/easternexperts.


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