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Spider Firsts Events

Every semester events for first-generation students are organized by the Office of Common Ground. Follow us on Instagram @urspiderfirsts or join our Group Me for more information about upcoming events.

Spring Programming, 2021

Winter Survival Kits, Sat., Feb. 6, 12:00 p.m. - 1:00 p.m. Stop by the Hanging Lounge (2nd floor of THC, across from the Center for Student Involvement) for a Winter Survival Kit, courtesy of the Spider Firsts program. The first 75 students who stop by will get a kit!

Working at Google, Tue., Feb. 9, 7:00 p.m. - 8:00 p.m. Come hear first-generation college attendee Googlers discuss tips and tricks for current first-gen students on how to make the most of their time in college. Register to hear more and learn about the work Google is doing to welcome students from all backgrounds into the tech industry. There will be two sessions: the first session will feature Googlers talking about their experiences, and the second session will feature live Q&A with first-gen engineers and recruiters. Register in advance. Link in SpiderConnect.

Drop In Q&A on the Housing Process, Wed, March 2, 2-3pm & Thurs, March 11, 3:30-4:30pm, Zoom

Questions about the Housing process, deposits, finding roommates, and more? Ask your question of two Assistant Directors of the Office of Residence Life and Housing, Molly Lewis and Taylor Walsh. Zoom link is

What I Wish I'd Known: Wisdom from the Class of 2021, Monday, March 22, 6 pm, Zoom
Before they leave, hear from 5 highly successful and wise seniors as they share the things they have learned about making the most out of their UR experience. They will bring advice on things from social life, research and fellowships, campus leadership positions, and much, much more. Then we will open it up for your questions. Panelists include Jesse Amankwaah, Ashley Appolon, Raven Baugh, Taylor Hurtado, and Will Walker. Reserve your spot at

Finding Your Financial Footing, Part 1: Life at UR, Wed., Mar. 24, 6:00 p.m. Join Caroline Broadfoot, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, as she explains ways to manage your money, financial aid refunds, Dining Dollars, and more as an undergraduate student, while building healthy money financial habits for the future. Register here:

Finding Your Financial Footing, Part 2: Life After UR, Wed., Apr. 7, 6:00 p.m. Caroline Broadfoot, Assistant Director of Financial Aid, is back to discuss managing budgets, paying off loans, building credit, and managing real-life financial expectations of adulthood. Register here:

Senior Cording Ceremony, Mon., Apr. 26, 7:00 p.m. Join us as we recognize our senior first-generation students by presenting them with their graduation cords, signifying their accomplishment of being the first in their families to complete their bachelor’s degrees. More information to come about location.

Fall Programming, 2020

Game Night, Sep. 25 at 7:00 p.m. A chance to compete against your fellow first-gen for awesome prizes from the UR Spider Shop, like hoodies, sweatpants, and hats. Zoom link:

Speed Friending, Fri., Oct. 16 at 8:00 p.m. The Spider Firsts, along with LGBTQ Campus Life, the Office of Multicultural Affairs, and the Office of International Education, will be offering a chance to grow your web, and meet new people on campus through a fun series of games and activities. Raffle prizes will be included, and it's a great chance to make new friends. Register here at

The Right Before Dinner Series: 30 Minutes of Expert Advice

Connect with some of the most knowledgeable resources on campus who will share information that will make your UR life easier and successful. Offered weekly at 5:00 p.m., a speaker will talk for 20 minutes, after which there will be a Q&A session. There will be a drawing for a raffle prize for those who attend. Check out the first few sessions below. 

Same Zoom link for all sessions:

How to Get to Know Your Faculty Outside of Class
Wed., Oct. 7, 5:00 pm

Dr. Laura Runyen-Janecky, Professor of Biology and herself a first-gen college student, will talk about why and how to really get to know your professors. She'll bring her former student and current post-baccalaureate employee Destiny Pacella, to share her story of how developing a relationship with her professor changed the course of her UR experience.

MACademic Skills: Self-Management for Success
Tue., Oct. 13, 5:00 pm

Struggling to get organized and motivated to do your work? Learn how to manage your time and yourself with Roger Mancastroppa (Mac), Assoc. Director of the Academic Skills Center. 

Ask Me Anything! Navigating Internships and Careers for First-Gens
Wed., Oct. 21, 5:00 pm

Don't let this year's job market slow you down from getting a great jump on your internship or job search. Join Jasmine Hunter, Assistant Director of Career Services, as she explains all the resources the Center has and answers your questions about how to get started.

First to Graduate School: When, How, and Why?
Wed., Oct. 28, 5:00 pm

Applying to graduate school is a big step, and somewhat different from applying to your undergraduate institution. Come learn about the things you should think through as you think about whether grad school is for you, led by Kimberly Lewis, Associate Director of the Scholars and Fellowships office. 

Financial Life Hacks at Richmond
Mon., Nov. 2, 5:00 pm

Trying to stretch every dollar you can? You're not alone. Learn valuable information and tricks of navigating Richmond on a budget from senior Eden Kim, and the author of Being Not Rich at UR, a comprehensive guide to managing your money at UR.