“This We Believe—UMass Dartmouth” project engages Class of 2019 to share beliefs, hopes, and values

Hundreds of new students and faculty and staff take part in first year of project to engage community in UMass Dartmouth’s values

Hundreds of new students take part in first year of project to engage community in UMass Dartmouth’s values.

For the past six years, incoming UMass Dartmouth students have participated in a First Year Book Project which was designed to introduce them to the academic community at the university. UMass Dartmouth’s Academic Affairs and Student Affairs departments took a new approach with a hope to significantly engage new students in UMass Dartmouth’s values from day one. To that end, This We Believe—UMass Dartmouth was launched.

“We believed that the campus culture would be enriched if the UMass Dartmouth community participated in this project,” Cynthia Cummings, Assistant Vice Chancellor for Student Affairs said. “Our goal was to tie these postings into UMass Dartmouth’s values of community, diversity, collaboration, tolerance, education, civic engagement, and more.”

Modeled on the NPR broadcast, This I Believe, students read selections from the This I Believe website then asked to craft a 500-word essay about what they believe and share it on the University’s blog. Faculty and staff were also asked to submit essays. UMass Dartmouth’s Provost Office has selected a series of the top essays. The students chosen will read their essays during the University’s Convocation Ceremony this Tuesday, September 1.

Excerpts from the This We Believe blog include:

“I believe everything happens for a reason…There is more meaning to the saying than what others understand it as. Getting what you give works as an everyday reminder on how to be a better person.”

“I believe in joy. I believe that joy is the ultimate form of happiness, and that it does not come from the world or a person. In life, the world or a person will bring temporary joy, but a relationship with God brings eternal joy.”

“The desire to have more and be someone in life is what made me driven and gave me ambition. It made me want to further my education by going to college. It made me not want to settle when it comes to my career choices…I believe in the power of struggle.”

“I believe in smiles. A smile is an action understandable by everyone signifying joy and happiness. A smile is something anyone anywhere is capable of doing. Even if an individual does not speak the same language as you a simple smile is an understanding everyone is familiar with. Nobody can prevent someone from smiling .A smile is free so why not?”

“I believe in wearing weird clothes. Whether it’s clothes that don’t always match, clothes of some strange print, or a kimono, I will wear it. My taste in clothing has taught me some of the most valuable lessons I will ever learn. My style has also made my relationships with those I love stronger, and has shown me how much my loved ones care about me.”

UMass Dartmouth will welcome its newest Corsairs in the coming days with move-in day scheduled for this Sunday, August 30 and the Convocation Ceremony celebrating the start of a new academic year scheduled for Tuesday, September 1.The UMass Dartmouth Class of 2019 made up of 1,460 students from 235 Massachusetts communities, 18 states, and 34 countries.

UMass Dartmouth distinguishes itself as a vibrant, public research university dedicated to engaged learning and innovative research resulting in personal and lifelong student success. The University serves as an intellectual catalyst for economic, social, and cultural transformation on a global, national, and regional scale.