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First Year Experience

Vassar First Year Experience: Mission Statement

Vassar First Year Experience (FYE) is designed to help students successfully transition to and navigate Vassar. Our aim is to create a set of formal programs throughout a student’s first year that are integrative across student life and academic affairs. These programs bond, bridge, and link students to the essential resources at Vassar. FYE is supported by a multitude of administrators, faculty, students, and staff across the college.

Stay connected with the First Year Experience program by following us on Instagram. Students eligible to participate in FYE also receive a weekly or bi-weekly email known as the New Student Newsletter.

First Year Students enjoy an outdoor program.

The First Year Experience Community

First Year Experience (FYE) aims to welcome all new students. This typically includes members of the first-year class, as well as transfer, visiting, and exchange students. As is relevant to the 2020-2021 school year, this also includes first year students who elect to study remotely. 

FYE is supported by a variety of campus community members, including Orientation Leaders. Orientation Leaders are typically juniors and seniors who provide support to new students during Orientation week and throughout the year by assisting in facilitating FYE events. 

Students looking to get involved with FYE leadership should reach out to Sarah Garijo-Garde, First Year Experience and Community Care Program Associate.


FYE students celebrate Raymond House pride during Orientation.

First Year Experience 2020-2021 Events

Orientation 2020

For a full list of Summer 2020 and Orientation events, please visit the New Student Webpage.


Fall 2020 Events

The following are FYE events scheduled to take place during the fall 2020 semester. For more information, please reach out to sgarijogarde@vassar.edu.

  • Navigating Your First Week: You Got This! Coping Skills to Handle Whatever Life Throws Your Way (September 3rd, 3pm-4pm EDT on Zoom): Collaboration with the Counseling Service
  • First Year Friday: Chat with the Orientation Leaders (September 4th, 12pm-1pm EDT on Zoom)
  • Navigating Your First Week: Strategies for Academic Success (September 4th, 2pm-3pm EDT on Zoom): Collaboration with the Learning and Teaching Resource Center
  • First Year Friday: Chat with the Office of Health Promotion and Education (September 11th, 12pm-1pm EDT on Zoom)
  • FYE Pen Pal Program (Starting September 16th)
  • First Year Friday: Chat with Ivanna Guerra ’20 of the Jeh Vincent Johnson ALANA Cultural Center and Transitions (September 18th, 12pm-1pm EDT on Zoom)
  • The Great FYE and VSA Scavenger Hunt (Starting September 18th, virtual and in-person options available)
  • TVE Student Check-In: Paint Night (September 23rd, 7pm-8pm EDT, grab-and-go on Zoom)
  • Remote Student Check-In: Virtual Collage Night (September 24th, 5pm-6pm EDT on Zoom)
  • First Year Friday: Chat with Scarlett Thompson ’20 of Title IX and SAVP (September 25th, 12:30pm-1:30pm EDT on Zoom)
  • Let’s Be Friends: An Open Conversation For New Students About Loneliness, Connection, and Taking Your Time (September 30th, 8pm-9pm EDT on Zoom): Collaboration with Health Promotion and Education and SAVP
  • Vassar Votes Bingo (Starting October 2nd): Collaboration with the Office of Community-Engaged Learning
  • Strengthsquest Workshop (October 14th, 5:30pm-6:30pm EDT)
  • Pop-Up Dinner with Dean Wendy (October 21st, 5pm-6pm EDT)
  • FYE and VSA Fall Photo Contest (Starting October 16th)
  • FYE and HPE Present: Spooktacular Stroll (October 31st, 11am-1pm EDT)
  • FYE Destress and Paint (November 3rd, 4th, and 5th)
  • FYE Farewell Week: Farewell Dinners (November 15th, 16th, and 17th)
  • FYE Farewell Week: So Now What?: Navigating Leaving Campus (November 18th, 7pm-8pm EST): Collaboration with AEO, Counseling Service, Dean of First Year Students, Learning and Teaching Resource Center, and the VSA

Winter 2020/21 Events

FYE supports a variety of winter programming for students who are both remote and living on campus. Check back here for updates to the winter schedule.


Spring 2021 Events

Check back for more information on Spring 2021 upcoming events.