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Frogs First directors look to diversify student applications

A yard sign for the Frog Camp facilitator and work crew application posted outside of the Neely School of Business (Breana Adams / TCU 360)

Frogs First leaders introduce incoming students to the TCU culture. However, reaching out to a diverse population of students to apply for this position has been a challenging task for Frogs First executive directors. 

“Frogs First is a compilation of events that get students excited about TCU and show them a glimpse of what their next four years will look like,” said Grace Watson, junior child development major and director of logistics and administration for Frogs First.

A flyer for the Frogs First application. (courtesy of Frogs First)

Shelby Johnson, a graduate advisor for the First Year Experience (FYE) executive board and TCU alum, said she’s concerned about the applicant demographics.

“It’s alarming when you have a low percentage of representation in your applications because the numbers only go down because there’s a selection process,” said Johnson.

Last year, applicant demographics were 63% Caucasian, 25% Hispanic, 14% Asian, 9% African American and 3% Native American. Only 16% of applicants were men. 

Lucas Robinson, senior political science major and Frogs First director of recruitment and leadership development for the FYE, said having a diverse group of applicants is important for incoming students. 

“FYE has always had problems with recruiting men and people of color to come to these programs,” said Robinson. “Now that we have the willingness to vocalize that there’s a big underrepresentation of students in leadership, we have been getting a big response because it is something we have created a need for. ”

FYE leaders have been meeting with students and other organizations on campus to expand their outreach. 

“We’re reaching out to leaders of different prominent cultural base organizations or greek life organizations. Then, we’re coming to their meetings and talking to students in spaces they’re already involved in, ” said Robinson. 

Additionally, Johnson said COVID-19 has caused a “gap of knowledge and experience” for current sophomores who didn’t get the Frogs First experience. 

“Students who did not experience Frogs First or Frog Camp due to the pandemic are unaware about its history and tradition within the university, “ said Johnson. “I was talking to some students and they didn’t know what Frogs First was because they did not have it their first year.”

For more information on First Year Experience at TCU, visit TCU’s Leadership & Student Involvement website. 

To apply to be a Frogs First Leader, visit TCU Engage to find the application — the deadline is March 4, 2022. If you have any questions, please contact Shelby Johnson at [email protected].

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