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November 30 & December 1, 9am-3pm, UC Anchor Ballroom

What is First-Year Symposium? How does it work?

  • All first-year students present their work, usually in poster format, from their learning communities or First-Year Seminar courses.
  • The requirements for this presentation will be provided by your learning community instructor(s).
  • You will sign up for a presentation time with your learning community instructor(s).
  • Bring your poster or presentation to the UC Anchor Ballroom about 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled presentation time.
  • Find your instructor's table and let him or her know you're there. You might be able to set up right away, or you might have to wait, depending on how busy it is.
  • For 30 minutes, stand by your poster/laptop and present your topic to anyone who stops by. You should have a 5-10 minute presentation of your project that is coordinated with your poster/multimedia presentation. Your instructor may have more detailed directions/requirements.
  • Be prepared to answer questions on your topic!

What should you wear?

  • Most students dress up in a "business casual" to do their presentations
  • Depending upon your project/assignment/presentation, something either more thematic, creative, or casual might be appropriate. Consult with your instructors.



Hints for your presentation

  • Wifi is quickly overwhelmed, so do no plan to use the internet as part of your presentation. Have everything downloaded locally.
  • Audio will not have an impact in this space! Don't bother to add music or other audio to your presentation.
  • Handouts like candy, games, presentations that are interactive, and visual displays that catch folks' attention will bring more folks to your table!
  • Poster boards with too much text will dissuade audiences, as will poster boards that are not well constructed.
  • Creative presentations cannot be so loud that no one else can present nearby.
  • You will need to provide a laptop if your presentation requires one. Try to make your presentation fail-proof -- borrow a friend's or bring your own. Consult with your instructor(s) should you have any questions regarding laptops.

Why do we do First-Year Symposium?

  • All research, writing, and speaking presentations/projects need real audiences! This is great practice. Anyone from the University President to your roommate could decide to walk through those doors! Many large lecture professors attend.
  • First-Year Symposium can be a recruiting/resume-building experience! Impress your peers and your professors. FYS is a great first step toward undergraduate research activities, writing pursuits, and career enhancement.
  • Public writing, discussion, and intelligent debate are vital to a democracy and citizenship.
  • Public discussion of writing and demonstrations of writing achievement are an important counter-argument to those who might say that standardized testing is the only way to assess writing proficiency.
  • We enjoy seeing everyone's work! It is a wonderfully inspiring event for your instructors to see not only you do your best, but others in other classes as well.