What is EDGE and what does it do?
By Jessica Berget, Editor-in-Chief
This past week on September 12, 13, and 14, Douglas College hosted an even for first-year students called EDGE.
Standing for Engage. Discover. Grow. Explore. This was a three-day event focusing on team-oriented activities that highlight the importance of community for students attending their first year of post-secondary education. First year students were to pay a $20 fee for three consecutive days of team-building fun, three meals and an EDGE t-shirt.
According to the Douglas College website, “This event is meant to foster new relationships, welcome you to student life, build confidence, and help you feel more connected to the Douglas College community.”
2019 marks the seventh consecutive year EDGE has been in the college. It was created by the current Recreation and Wellness Coordinator at Douglas College, Anna Schachner. In an email interview with the Other Press, Schachner talks about why she felt the need to create such an event.
“EDGE, originally FROSH was an event I came up with back in 2012. I felt there was a gap, nothing really to transition students into college after New Student Orientation. When I was a student, I attended Leadership conferences and was an Ambassador for one of Canada’s largest Urban Adventure Race series called City Chase,” she explains. “The idea was to blend the leadership ‘campference’ style activities and bonding opportunities with fun, action packed team challenges and friendly competitions.”
Schachner says she wanted to create a community and a sense of belonging for first year students and explains the goals she had for such an event. “The end goal was for students to meet others within the first or second week of classes, have a mentor (team leaders), and have an increased sense of belonging,” she said. “From this ‘community’ feeling [connected to others and the campus], our hope was to see an increased interest to be more involved on campus and join volunteer programs, events, and more. And, ideally help with student retention.”
One thing I wondered about the event was why such a community driven event be specifically made for first year students. “We didn’t have a lot of programs that were just for new students,” She explains. “It was also to reduce intimidation because all the new students are going through the same transition experience and may feel intimidated with a lot of ‘senior’ students there. Also, at the time we didn’t have the funding or capacity to open it up to all students because we would be looking at an event for 400-500 students.”
First year students who missed the event this year may not have another chance next year. However, for the future first years of Douglas College nervous about meeting new people, they can count on EDGE as a fun and helpful introduction into a post-secondary community.