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Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

Marshall University's Student Newspaper

The Parthenon

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Marshall Takes Steps to Revamp FAM

Graduate school waivers and revamping the Friend at Marshall program were on the agenda for discussion among Student Government Association  members and Provost Avinandan Mukherjee on Tuesday, Feb. 13, in the Memorial Student Center. 

Participants gathered for the second meeting with the provost of the semester, and Mukherjee began with sharing positive university updates. 

“We had a great showing at the Marshall Day at the Capitol,” Mukherjee said. “I think it went very well.”

Mukherjee went on to share other positive aspects, such as metro enrollment being on the rise.

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Likewise, Carl Mummert, the assistant provost for Graduate Studies, said a significant initiative of the university is the One of the Herd graduate tuition waiver.

“Marshall students who begin a master’s degree in Fall 2024 and receive an undergraduate degree in spring or summer of 2024 will receive a $500 waiver for their first semester,” Mummert said. 

Mummert went on to say the Doctor of Philosophy program for engineering is gearing up and is the first doctoral program in the College of Engineering and Computer Sciences. 

Meanwhile, students had the opportunity to converse with Kateryna Schray, the director of the Center for Student Success. 

Schray gave members of the SGA an explanation of the FAM program’s goals for Marshall students. 

“There are students who come to Marshall that don’t have the confidence, skill-set or background to thrive,” Schray said. 

Friend at Marshall is a program that matches students with an upperclassman to help them adjust to campus through several different avenues, Schray said. 

Several initiatives are underway to enhance the program, such as pairing first generation students with first generation FAM, Schray said. 

Beyond this initiative, Schray looked to the members of the SGA for suggestions to improve the FAM program.  

Michael Borsuk, SGA senator for the Lewis College of Business, said FAM could be improved through an option for students to “opt-out,” if they don’t require FAM’s services. 

“I believe the intent behind FAM is great,” Borsuk said. “However, I feel as if though if people wanted to opt out of the messages, then this would allow FAM to focus on students who truly need their assistance.”

This appears to be a potential solution that may be helpful for the program, Schray said. 

“I struggle to find ways to reach the kid who never leaves their dorm room without bugging fifty other students,” Schray said. 

In addition, several attendees suggested a FAM request option, where students could receive a FAM in their respective college.  

“If my FAM was in my college, I probably would have reached out to them more,” one attendee said. 

Meanwhile, Student Body Vice President Callia Yang said one lack of FAM is face to face connection. 

“I know I had a great connection with my UNI 100 mentor,” Yang said. “If there was a way to overlap UNI 100 mentors and FAM, I think that would be beneficial.” 

Schray said she is grateful for the input of the SGA and plans to put their suggestions into consideration.

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