UT’s Crib Notes offers variety, eases transitionWritten by Brigitta Burks | News Editor | BBurks@toledofreepress.com
“Bullying at the College Level,” “Under the Influence of … Your Parents … and Their Music” and “Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Oprah” are just a sampling of the topics that University of Toledo students can learn about through the Crib Notes program.
The program, which is open to all UT students, started last semester and has received good feedback, said Jennifer Rockwood, director of the First Year Experience in the College of Innovative Learning. Crib Notes is part of her program and features faculty, staff and community members coming into the residence halls to talk about their expertise — or just to chat.
“I’ve been to every single one and they’re terrific and students respond wonderfully,” Rockwood said. “It’s great to go where the students are and I think it’s healthy for faculty members to see the space a student lives in.”
“The idea is I want to bring the academic world into the residence hall and work with the students holistically.”
Some of the more popular sessions last semester included yoga training, bringing in dogs for students to play with and a student/faculty jam session.
Kate Abu-Absi, director of the Arts Living and Learning Community, said her residence hall hosted the jam session much to the students’ delight.
“It was awesome. We had over 30 kids there,” she said, adding that Crib Notes helps students see their professors differently.
“They see them as these authority figures that they can’t connect with, that they’d never be able to have a conversation with. With Crib Notes, it breaks down those barriers,” Abu-Absi said.
Another jam session is set for April — and Abu-Absi anticipates it being even more popular since formerly reluctant students may have warmed up to the idea.
Crib Notes also helps students make the transition from living at home to the dorms and learn about different belief sets, Rockwood said.
“Students have role models at home and they can look for role models away from home with different beliefs and backgrounds. It’s a way to get different kinds of people to talk about different kinds of things,” Rockwood said.
Although feedback has been positive, Rockwood said attendance to Crib Notes does vary based on the topics. She said she will include prize raffles to increase attendance.
Rockwood said she comes up with ideas for Crib Notes by talking to community members and listening to student requests. She added that she is looking for someone to speak on the dangers of tanning and anyone with ideas can contact her at (419) 530-2330.
For more information and a schedule, visit www.facebook.com/UniversityOfToledoCribNotes.