During a special elections meeting, the ASUCR senate elected Kaitylyn Hall to fill the recently vacated transfer and nontraditional student director position on Wednesday, Oct. 14. Hall is a fourth-year education and history major.
In an interview with The Highlander, Hall stated that she had heard about the open opportunity through Umoja, a nationwide organization that is dedicated to supporting and uplifting Black college transfer students. She went on to explain that a large part of the reason she applied for this position was due to her desire to promote awareness for student involvement opportunities and to push for diversity as a Black student. “I feel like there’s a huge lack of visibility and representation of this position and in ASUCR in general,” Hall stated.
Moreover, Hall stated that due to her status as a transfer student herself, she is more capable of understanding some of the unique experiences that many face when applying to and attending UCR. She recalled her own time as a transfer student to be somewhat deceiving, stating that UCR was not as helpful and welcoming after she was admitted to the school as they had been when attempting to secure her commitment. Hall added that transfers and nontraditional students are often given last priority to enroll for classes and are the last to be considered for things like housing. “If you’re transitioning into a UC, you already have so many fears,” she stated, “You get this feeling that you aren’t wanted and that you’re not considered.”
As the transfer and nontraditional student director, Hall is taking the initiative to change that. She is now the head of the corresponding committee and plays a large role in coordinating efforts to aid and support these specific student populations. “I think a big part of the job is making the transition into UCR smoother and to make people more aware of the things that transfers and nontraditional students go through and to really represent the community,” she stated. In order to do that, Hall explained that the committee is often in communication with other organizations on campus who also work with these student groups, like the Underground Scholars Initiative and Puente Connection. They can work in conjunction at times to create helpful events for these students and to push for better resources at the administration level.
Though this was a relatively late appointment, as well as Hall’s first official positionship within ASUCR, she is undeterred. She explained that she is still in the process of learning about the scope of her role as a newly oriented director. However, Hall assured that she has been settling in well overall and is looking to the future.
Her current goals involve increasing visibility for transfer and nontraditional students and developing an even more nuanced understanding of their needs and desires, as well as advocating for better resources and help for those who are a part of these communities, whether that be through the implementation of support groups or mental health programs. She emphasized her strong commitment to championing mental health and inclusivity for all students, but especially for transfers and nontraditional students.
She went on to say that it is also important for these students to reach out and to make use of the resources that they do have. “Speaking from my experiences ‒ just email people, and let them know what you want to do,” Hall advised. ”Or send concerns, questions, recommendations…” According to Hall, this will help in the process of getting involved and comfortable with the university in the meantime.
For interested parties, the transfer and nontraditional committee at ASUCR is looking for committee members.