09262018 Headline:

Has Link Crew really benefited students?

RAHS freshmen question the effectiveness of Link Crew meetings

By Maya Matta

Link Crew failing to link Freshmen to their new high school.
Photo by: Semay Alazar

Link Crew is a program led by upperclassmen designed to help incoming freshmen get through their first year of high school at RAHS. While it has been beneficial to some students, many students feel that it has not assisted their transition into high school.

Freshman Gurleen Kaur is one of the students that did not experience the benefit of Link Crew.

“I don’t think it is beneficial to have a Link Crew,” said Kaur. “Most of the time Link Crew meetings are at lunch which is the only time students get to socialize with their friends. Also if students have questions they usually just ask each other right away and don’t need to rely on other help.”

Freshman Fela Goerz does not see the advantage of having Link Crew throughout the school year.  

“I think Link Crew is a good way for new students to get acquainted with the school when they first start, but I think after about a month it is pointless,” says Goerz. “I think I adjusted to high school at my own pace. I think every student has to take their own time to adjust to high school. It’s a different experience for everyone. I think students don’t go to their meetings because they are acquainted with the school and they do not feel they need any more help.”

Wren Bergin, a sophomore and Link Crew leader, has taken it upon herself to try and interact with her group. However, it has been very challenging for her.

“It seems to me the freshmen don’t come in to it [Link Crew] with an open mind,” said Bergin. “Some are very responsive, unlike others who either don’t respond at all or give us the wrong number for their contact information.”

Bergin has tried many ways to be truly helpful to her Link Crew

“My partner and I at first were very committed to establishing connections with our group,” said Bergin. “We set up a group chat on a platform of social media everyone had and sent reminders [to them]. Only two or three students would show up to our weekly meetings even though we would remind them in person if we saw them.”

Bergin believes it could be a very effective program if everyone pulled their weight.

“I believe Link Crew helps create some sense of bonding if the freshmen and the leaders are committed,” said Bergin. “I believe the meetings during the summer where different groups were able to bond with each other created more community.”

Freshman Marco Jawili has not completely interacted with his Link Crew. However, he as a student is aware of the importance of having the program in place.

“I cannot really speak on this question since I haven’t really interacted with my Link Crew,” said Jawili. “However, what I’ve heard from other people it’s sometimes awkward and not really helpful. Although I don’t think it’s as effective throughout the year. I think Link Crews are really useful before school starts and a few weeks after for helping freshman getting their way around Aviation and just giving them a student perspective”

Jawili was able to join the student body without the help of Link Crew

“I found my place at school through getting out there and going out of my comfort zone to find my sort of niche,” said Jawili. “Through interacting more with other people I was able to find  people I can really relate with.”Sarah Erdmann, a teacher at RAHS and one of the staff members that helped first start Link Crew, believes there is more subjective reasoning behind the students’ low attendance in Link Crew meetings.

“I am sure there are a variety of reasons,” said Erdmann. “I would guess one reason is because the Link Crew Leaders aren’t holding meetings. Maybe at some point the freshmen outgrow the need to attend or don’t feel connected enough to attend. I am sure individual students have their reasons.”

While there are improvements to be made to the program, Erdmann still finds the importance of implementing such a group at RAHS.

“Obviously I think the program is beneficial, but just like with every program or organization, there is room for improvement and nothing is perfect,” said Erdmann. “I would like to see more Link Crew Leaders holding meetings [with] their groups throughout the year, and I appreciate those who still dedicated to their Link Crew, like [juniors] Mitchell [Turner] and Nico [Wilson]. I think one of our biggest issues is we just run out of time — there is so much going on and ASB has a lot on our plates, so that is definitely part of why it’s still a work in progress.”

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