As part of Longhorn Welcome Week, transfer students met for food and an opportunity to meet new people at an event held by the Multicultural Engagement Center on Tuesday.
Brandelyn Franks Flunder, director of the center, said this event started in 2011 and has grown to better welcome transfer students to UT.
“It was literally [created] to expose [transfer students] to the same resources that freshman are getting, with the understanding of a college experience,” Flunder said.
Flunder said the event has grown because the center received positive feedback from former attendees of the event, who said they felt more welcomed and transitioned more smoothly into UT. Flunder said the event, which was originally created with the intention of serving African-American transfer students, has grown to be more open to cultural diversity.
Cameron Bell, director of internal relations with the Afrikan American Affairs (AAA), said starting with this event as a transfer student helped him better acclimate to UT.
“I really wanted to find a community on campus,” Bell said. “The [engagement center] has a leadership development program that allowed me to lead the program as a member of AAA.”
Advertising junior Diana Bonilla said she transferred to the University in 2014 but did not attend the event last year. Bonilla said she decided to come this year to help herself branch out as a student.
“Last year I already had friends here, so I just settled in and didn’t really explore,” Bonilla said. “It was a shock for me last year, because the atmosphere here is a lot busier. Even though there are a lot more organizations, you have to search for them, and I did not.”
Bonilla said she wished she had known about the event last year, and said she would recommend other transfers to attend it.
Carmen Jimenez, women’s and gender studies senior, said this was her first year to table at the event for the Center for Women and Gender Studies. Jimenez said it was nice to see students interacting with each other.
“You come into a new school knowing no one, and you come here, connect and make friends, I think it is great,” Jimenez said. “Looking around they are all talking to each other and it is nice to see.”