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Student Government division launches podcast for first generation students

| Friday, February 10, 2023

During the fall semester, the Notre Dame Student Government Department of Diversity and Inclusion, First Generation Low Income Initiative launched a new podcast. The new podcast, named ‘Golden Generation: First Under the Dome’, aims to assist first generation students throughout their college experience.

Emma Duffy | The Observer
Students in the studio working to produce a podcast that will help the first generation community on campus.

The First Generation Low Income Initiative is a relatively new addition to the Notre Dame Student Government Department of Diversity and Inclusion. This is their first year as a sub-division under this department. Tavin Martin, director of the sub-division, said the goal of this initiative is to embrace the identity of first generation students on campus.

When discerning the best ways to make an impact, they decided upon the idea of a podcast.

 “We wanted a way to connect like, I guess, directly with the community but also in a way that’s timeless,” Sammi Scheiderman, deputy director of the sub-division, explained. 

The podcast is joined by the efforts of multiple students. As director of the sub-division, Martin overlooks the entirety of the podcast. Adam Toland is the manager of the podcast, taking on the responsibility for organizing the logistics. Scheiderman is in charge of the editing of the podcast, along with designing the logo and other features. When all of the details are set in place, the podcast is then hosted by Erik Finch-Soto.

The episodes are designed to help students at all different points in their college career. So far, they have discussed topics such as how to get an internship, how to navigate the add/drop process and how to balance academic and social aspects of campus.

They bring on a variety of people depending on the topic discussed. Sometimes it will be a faculty member that is an expert on a subject, other times it will be students sharing their experiences. 

“I really love working on the podcast,” Scheiderman said. “It’s super fun and everyone we bring in is so interesting and so friendly to and everyone’s so excited to be on it.”

The members on the podcast expressed that there is something for everyone to learn from the podcasts. They inform people about the experiences of first generation students, but they also give advice that could be beneficial to all students.

The members feel that there is always more, that the information brought to the podcast can aid all students on their college journey. Even those working on the podcast feel that this is helping them learn more. 

“All of the conversations are really interesting, and I’ve actually learned quite a few things from myself, because I’m first generation as well,” Scheiderman said.

Others have already come forward to express their gratitude for this podcast.

“I’ve only heard good things about the podcast overall,” Martin said. “It is usually students saying this was helpful, I didn’t know this resource existed, or I didn’t know the process was this easy.”

Martin explains that the University is only beginning to address the presence of first generation students on campus. This initiative is acknowledging a side of campus that has long been ignored by Notre Dame. By opening up this topic of discussion, students feel that they can take part in a shifting dynamic on campus. 

“There’s something students can now say like, ‘oh, I’m a part of the golden generation’, like when they go back home to their families. And that’s something really empowering to say and like to be a part of,” she said.

Schiederman also explains the positive change coming from this new initiative on campus.

“We are trying to make it more of something to be proud of rather than something to be shameful of,” she said. “People don’t really talk about being first gen and so we’ve wanted to make it very visible — something that you wear on your sleeve very proudly rather than something that’s just like an aspect of you that you don’t really bring up with people.”

‘Golden Generation’ posts episodes every month, trying to bring light to a new aspect of campus each time. Although the podcast has the central goal of helping first generation students navigate college, the members feel that there is something for all students.

“There hasn’t really been a podcast like ours at Notre Dame,” Schiederman said.

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