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Cronkite Village gives journalism freshmen sense of community

students sitting on floor in a circle

ASU journalism freshmen gathered for at the Cronkite School on Aug. 18 for an orientation in which they ate pizza and answered “Jeopardy!”-style trivia questions.

August 18, 2015

Editor's note: As ASU gears up for the start of classes this week, our reporters are spotlighting scenes around its campuses. To read more, click here.

Golan Bosnino has found his people.

“A bunch of us stayed up until 2:30 a.m. talking about sports and journalism last night,” he said. “We’re all interested in the same things.”

It’s the benefit of being grouped with people who share your passions.

Bosnino, from Rancho Mirage, California, is a freshman living in ASU’s Cronkite Village at the Taylor Place dormitory on the Downtown Phoenix campus.

Cronkite Village is one of 32 residential colleges across the four campuses in which students live and learn together. Barrett, the Honors College, and Mary Lou Fulton Teachers College have “villages” on all four campus.

ASU’s residential-college model builds a sense of community among students who are studying the same major. The villages are also a place of refuge for frazzled freshmen, who are learning this week that they must lean on their community assistants as well as each other.

“You’re living with other folks who are suffering the same classes you are,” said Mary Cook, director of student success at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communications.

Cook has been a parent figure for the past five classes of freshmen, soothing homesick students and reassuring frantic parents.

And while the Cronkite students are aiming for a career that requires toughness, they still need tender loving care.

“They're like any other college kids, and their parents are like any other parents – panic-stricken at leaving their kids here,” Cook said.

More than half of Cronkite’s 247 freshmen are from out of state.

“It’s very hard for them. They’re far from home, and they get homesick,” Cook said. “So we work to keep them engaged. It’s a matter of connecting with them as human beings as opposed to a sea of faces.”

On Tuesday, the freshmen gathered for an orientation in which they ate pizza and answered “Jeopardy!”-style trivia questions.

“It really helps with study groups, and it’s a nice way to transfer that community from the classroom to the residence hall,” said Sarah Jarvis, a junior at Cronkite who is a community assistant for Cronkite Village.

Isaiah Wrinkle, a freshman from Bullhead City, is looking forward to getting academic help in Cronkite Village.

“We all have the same classes so it should be easy if someone needs help,” he said. “There’s always someone to talk to.”

Jarvis ran part of the “Jeopardy!” game with a team of freshmen.

“What is Arizona State University’s College radio station?”

“What year did the Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication move to the Downtown Phoenix campus?”

The freshmen strained to come up with the answers. (The radio station is the Blaze and Cronkite moved downtown in 2008.)

Finally, Jarvis asked a question that everyone knew.

 “Who’s your new mama?”