As students returned to campus, braving below freezing temperatures, several new student organizations geared up to meet them. Adding to over 160 groups that currently exist, the list includes the Denison Boxing Club, the Pre-Dental Organization, the Pre-Law Society, the Ski and Snowboarding Club, and the First Generation Network.

“I wanted to connect pre-dental students at Denison with each other as well as Denison alumni, helping each individual be competitive and informed dental school applicants,” explained Madelyn Betar ‘20, co-president alongside Erin Madar ‘20 of the newly founded Pre-Dental Organization.

The group is targeted towards a handful of students hoping to become dentists, orthodontics, or dental assistants. Their trajectory is somewhat uncommon at a liberal arts school, so students typically major in biology or chemistry, then apply to graduate programs to hone in on their passions. The Pre-Dental Organization hopes to support students curious or committed to dental careers through networking, professional resources, and graduate school application support.

Esther Hernandez ‘20, the president of the First Generation Network, describes the group as “…a student-led grassroots project to represent and advocate for the rights of first-generation students on Denison’s campus.” When students are the first in their immediate family to attend a college or university, they’re faced with navigating nuances that often elude their peers. From administrative policies and faculty relationships to planning ahead academically and financially, it’s a lot to figure out alone. For students also wanting to enjoy college life socially and extracurricularly to the fullest extent, support in the form of peer mentors or material aid can make a meaningful difference.

Having done the work to put forth resources such as these to the Denison community since arriving on campus as a first-generation student herself, Hernandez was inspired to ground her efforts in a student organization to further celebrate and connect first-generation students on Denison’s campus. The First Generation Network plans to offer meetings throughout the semester, occasional workshops, and networking events.

Come check out these new groups and more at the Winter Involvement Fair, from 4:30-6:00 p.m. in Slayter Union on January 31st!