By Publications Class
SGA and Student Life recently collaborated to revamp the Big/Little program, which is almost as old as Lusher High School. Big/Little program is a way for freshmen to form a bond with seniors on campus. Ms. Bourgeois and the other faculty who work on the pairings try to find students who have the same classes, interests, and activities so that the freshmen always have a buddy or guide on campus.
“It is really important that our freshmen feel welcomed and understand that high school isn’t scary when you always have a friend,” Bourgeois said of the program’s purpose.
The revamp comes in response to last year’s snafu when the process went wrong on the day of the pairing and only about half of the students met their “siblings.”
“After last year’s issues, we are trying even harder to be really organized and involved,” Bourgeois said. “We started the pairings at the end of last school year and wanted to do the reveal as soon as possible so that the pairings can have as much time as possible together. We also are going to try and have a lot more events planned for the pairings.”
Student Life has typically done all of the planning for Big/Little Reveal in the past, but this year, SGA contributed to the planning process, which involves sending out separate surveys to the freshmen and seniors at the end of their 8th grade and junior years, respectively, asking about their CAs and academic concentrations, interests, and any club memberships. Over the summer, members of Student Life and the Big/Little committee meet to handpick the pairings.
In the past, the pairings have met once and then continued on their separate ways. There has never been much of a problem with pairings because there wasn’t much time for the “siblings” to get to know each other. As that changed this year, Bourgeois says she hopes the positive change doesn’t have any unintended side effects such as unhappy pairings.
“Around a third of the pairings come from the individual requests of the freshmen and/or seniors, and the rest are really well thought out,” Bourgeois said. “A few students asked to be switched, but there were no malignant or hurt feelings. All of the pairings are also approved by administration to prevent serious problems”