What is the First-Year Experience Office at SUU?

Posted: October 21, 2022 | Author: Clare Perkins | Read Time: 3 minutes

freshman at Southern Utah UniversityAdjusting to college can be tricky, but there are so many people at Southern Utah University ready to help you! Starting college and not knowing anybody is really strange. Luckily there are several programs that can really help with that. And have you feeling comfortable and adjusted by the time classes start. Here is a guide to all the resources available for you to at SUU make those connections.

First Year Experience and Orientation

Don’t stress the first week of school. The First Year Experience Office will be around to answer any of your questions, show you where your classes are, and help with any of your needs.

The First Year Experience Office will prepare you for life as a T-Bird by assisting you with your new student checklist. This includes:

  • Online Orientation
  • Securing housing
  • Filling out your FAFSA and/or accepting scholarships

The First Year Experience and Orientation is located within The Nest in the Sharwan Smith Student Center. The program provides each incoming student with valuable, personalized attention from the moment they commit to SUU until they complete their first year.

Thunder U

Thunder U is a three-day orientation program that helps students connect to campus and other T-Birds with similar interests. It is a great welcome program and a great way for incoming first-year students to make friends and find their crowd. Thunder U is required for all first-year students, transfer students, non-traditional students, international students and veteran students. In addition to attending all our optional events, you will participate in some of SUU’s most beloved campus traditions.


Along with the First Year Experience Office, the Assistant Coaches for Excellence and Success (ACES) are here to help. They can be found wandering campus in yellow vests during Thunder U and the first week of classes. They can also always be found located in the Nest in the Student Center.
All new students are assigned to an ACE before the semester begins to help with anything and everything. Our ACES are upper class students who are well-versed in the challenges of college. They are here to answer all your questions or point you to someone who can. They are the best tool so be sure to utilize them! Meet the current ACES at SUU.

First Year Experience Meetups

For most large campus events, the First Year Experience Office will hold meetups prior to the event. So, if you want to attend an on-campus event but you’re not sure who to go with you can visit the office 30 minutes prior to any large event and mingle with other students and walk to the event together.

Your First Year at SUU

Throughout your first year, the First Year Experience programming will include weekly emails, educational sessions and other outreach to support you. Similarly, in the dorms, most resident assistants will let you know about events and even host some small dorm events every once in a while to help you get connected.

College is a big step and a big difference, it can be overwhelming. Never hesitate to contact or visit the First Year Experience Office or The Nest with any questions you may have. Also make sure to utilize your ACE! They are always your easiest answer. 

Tags: Student High School

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