Hitchin’ a ride with the Future Alumni Association

Who needs to be walking on an icy sidewalk in the frosty weather when a golf cart chauffer is available, ready to transport from residence halls to Forcina?

If it sounds too good to be true it usually is, but the Future Alumni Association (FAA) made the transportation dream a reality all day Monday.

Why didn’t someone think of this sooner? After seeing National Lampoon’s Van Wilder, who didn’t wish he had a tricked-out golf cart to make their way around campus?

So on Monday from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. members of the FAA spent the day carting students, faculty and staff anywhere on campus for just a dollar a pop. It was easier than hailing a cab in the city.

The golf cart service is just one of the many services and events that FAA is planning to bring to the campus community. In fact, this service was the first big fundraiser performed by the newly formed organization in order to prepare for future events.

The association, which has been active for a little more than a year, is a group of students committed to increasing student awareness of the benefits of being an active alumna or alumnus upon graduation.

“The alumni of our school are a vast resource that most students don’t even realize exists,” Christine Klucsarits, president of the Future Alumni Association, said.

Klucsarits said one of the goals of the FAA is to raise awareness of the importance of alumni as an integral pillar of support behind the success of the College in the future. Many students do not realize that when they graduate and are no longer on campus, they are still a part of the College’s history and should be proud of their alma mater.

To raise pride, the FAA’s objective is to enhance the experiences of the students during their tenure at the College so that they will want to maintain their ties with the school after they leave.

Enhancing student experiences includes increasing school spirit and traditions, both of which seem to be lacking on this campus.

“A lot of alumni will constantly refer to these great traditions they used to have,” Klucsarits said. “Yet most students today don’t feel like we have enough, if any, comparable events. Hopefully, we’ll be able to start some.”

The group also aims to foster relationships between current students and alumni, such as alumni tours. Differing from the tours for prospective students given by ambassadors, alumni tours provide a casual, informative session that is centered on the historical aspects of the school, such as where certain buildings used to stand and who certain buildings are named for and why.

These tours also provide information about the construction projects that are both in the works and currently underway.

For current students, the association intends to provide opportunities for students and alumni to develop mentoring relationships, as well as bring various alumni to the campus for talks and presentations on a variety of topics.

The overall objective of FAA is bringing a sense of pride and purpose to the student body of the College. It may be difficult, but Klucsarits said that the organization is up to it.

“It’s difficult because the student body today is so much more diverse than it was (in the past), so it’s harder to tailor events to everybody’s interests,” she said. “But we’re up to the challenge.”

The FAA’s next event is the “TCNJ Tribute,” a contest in which students can write a song about the College to win a $100 prize. The songs can be humorous (they must be clean) or serious, and prizes will be given in both genres.

Individuals and groups are encouraged to enter their original compositions, which will be performed for a panel of judges at the end of March. All entries are due by Friday, March 7.

For more information about the “TCNJ Tribute” contest or the Future Alumni Association in general, e-mail faa@tcnj.edu.