The introduction of the Honors Fellows Program this school year has produced a variety of reactions from people across campus. To join the program, incoming students must have at least a 3.5 GPA and a score of 28 or better on the ACT. Once in the program, students must maintain a 3.25 GPA and complete other requirements such as taking the Honors sections of the EPIC curriculum classes, accumulating ten Honors points, and successfully fulfilling two Honors contracts. I spoke with several students to develop a better understanding of how people feel regarding the new program.
Senior George Stephenson thinks that the Honors Fellows Program has helped build the most sense of community that he has seen throughout his four years at Lyon. Every month, members of the Honors Fellows Program hold a ‘family dinner’ in which they cook a meal for each other and bond over movies. They recently decorated the third floor of Whiteside with flags from countries across the world for an Olympic Games viewing party.
Senior Amanda Weston believes that people were irritated with the Honors Fellows Program at first because it offers incoming students more incentives to come to Lyon than what previous students had been offered. With this in mind though, Weston also says that the new program makes students more likely to look into Lyon. One source thinks that the overall campus reaction to the program has been fine, but that there has been a lot of misinformation and rumors spread across campus about the program.
Allison Mundy, a freshman in the Honors Fellows Program, thinks that the campus reaction to the program has been positive as a whole; nonetheless, she realizes that some people believe that the program has added a level of competition to our campus that makes program seem too exclusive.
Zachary Ward, another freshman in the Honors Fellows Program, suggests that upperclassmen may be reluctant to accept the program because they did not have a chance to be a part of it. This sentiment was repeatedly expressed as I reached out to upperclassmen regarding their reaction to the Honors Fellows Program; as senior Nick Hall Points out, the new program may make upperclassmen feel excluded because it was not offered to them when they applied to Lyon.
Building onto this same sentiment, junior Ridge Hester says that returning students did not know what to expect when they found out about the program. Hester says that although he was not upset about the program itself, he wished that he had the opportunity to apply for something similar when he was a freshman. Further, Hester thinks that the program is a great thing for our institution and that it can help recruit more students that desire the academic rigor that Lyon College takes pride in.
The overall feedback I received regarding the Honors Fellows Program was favorable. Although many upperclassmen were originally upset by the program, as they have come to know some of the Honors Fellows, their feelings about it have become more accepting.