NECC Observer

The student news website of Northern Essex Community College, Haverhill and Lawrence, Mass.

Student Life hosts Welcome Week

There and back again … A fresh start to the new year and semester

A plastic foldable table with prices of paper and other items on it. The stable has a pice of paper taped to it that has necc's logo and reads general information. Photo by Aaron Lehner

A General Information stand at the Spurk Building, providing helpful resources and services

close up photo of a plastic table with prices of paper, a map and other items on it. Photo by Aaron Lehner

A welcome Week table set up at the Riverwalk Campus with lots of giveaways.

The start of the new semester can be a time of difficulty for students both old and new; what with having to adjust to new schedules, new classes, or not seeing the friends you used to. But at the beginning of every semester, the Student Life Department puts together Welcome Week.

Welcome Week is done in the fall and in the spring, and is a vital time to reach new and returning students to teach them about the college, introduce any new additions or changes, and to help them connect to their peers, faculty, and staff.

“I vision welcome week to be packed with events and activities hosted at various times of the day and evening by all different offices and departments that allow students to have fun, learn, and connect with others. It is important to me that students feel included and have a sense of belonging while attending NECC.” says Stephanie Haskell, Coordinator of Student Activities.

Haskell was hired this spring as the new Coordinator of Activities and Leadership and Social Justice Initiatives. She has only been at the college since last fall, but is still determined to make Welcome Week the best it can be. Haskell says that the benefits of it seem endless.

“My goal is that every student that attends NECC makes friends on campus and has at least one faculty or staff member that they like and trust and that they can go to whenever they need.” says Haskell.

Faculty and staff are crucial for giving information and making connections, but the student workers are also just as important. The Student Life Department is home to the New Student Advocates (NSA), a group of students that are employed by NECC to be a guiding spirit and resource to the new students on campus. For a student such as Susan Pesaturo, a Sleep Technology major and NSA, it is important for students to know that there are people like them who want to help them.

“I am an older student who returned to college after many years so I may be an example of students who have had previous careers and are here at NECC for a change of careers or additional education. But I think I can be a good resource to all students, especially now that I have been an NSA over eight months.” says Pesaturo.

“NECC is structured to provide many resources for students to give them every opportunity to succeed not only in a class but in their entire time at NECC and beyond.”
Susan Pesaturo, New Student Advcate

The NSAs can be any place on campus to support the activities of Student Life.  They participate in planning and working events, orientations, farmers market, special events, reaching out and as a resource to students. Haskell believes that creating a relationship between mentor and student is beneficial but only if a relationship is built upon trust, expectations, and understanding.

“For staff and faculty that supervise students it can be a lot of extra work, especially if the students have never had a job before, or if students get too comfortable and slack off, or take a lot time to do a task that should not take long.” says Haskell.

“NECC is structured to provide many resources for student give them every opportunity to succeed not only in a class but in their entire time at NECC and beyond.” says Pesaturo. The Student Life Department is currently hiring for both NSAs and Work Study positions. The requirements for both include attendance of NECC for one year, a 2.5 GPA, strong communication skills, and a passion for the school.

Haskell says that by being apart of Student Life, students can gain job experience, work as a team, network, and be able to use their own experiences to aid others. “I learn a lot from Work Study and NSA’s in Student Life and I appreciate that they are [also] willing to help me.” she says. For more information about the Student Life positions, you can contact Stephanie Haskell in SC215 at (978) 556-3279 or

Editor’s Note: Aaron Lehner is a New Student Advocate at NECC.

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