PASS Week hopes to guide students

It’s nearly a month into the semester and the pressure is beginning to build.

The first round of exams is on its way and the next holiday is not until mid-October.

The end of the semester is nowhere in sight and the thrill of being back in school has long passed.

“During this time of the year, people are starting to get homesick,” Mike Johnston, Student Government President, said. “PASS week will help them reaffirm their collegiate careers through the many activities and workshops offered.”

Pathways to Achieving Student Success [PASS Week] is the first of its kind, a series of informative events created to help UM students in a variety of areas that are important to their collegiate success.

“We don’t want students to be stressed,” Johnston said.

Topics of PASS Week include academic workshops; mind, body and spirit and financial forums; preparing for life beyond college; and special programming – “Oh, no, they didn’t: Adjusting to Roommates,” “The Right Way to Study” and “How to Get Your Work Done and Still Have Time For a Life” are among the workshops and sessions offered.

According to organizers, by contributing to PASS Week, the faculty, staff and alumni of the University of Miami, as well as the surrounding community, hope to direct students to the resources they need at the various stages of their undergraduate careers and beyond.

“I think it’s a great opportunity for students to learn about topics ranging from time management to scholastics,” said Joseph Fernandez, PASS Week moderator through the MORTAR board. “PASS Week will be beneficial to students mainly because it will make college go by more smoothly for them.”

“I think PASS Week is a good idea because a lot of students get overwhelmed,” junior Christina Sanda said. “It is a good way to teach students how to manage time effectively.”

Senior Christie Marie Toledo said she feels she would not benefit from the sessions.

“I don’t know if I’ll be able to be involved with PASS Week because I’m too busy with school and work,” she said. “I learned how to manage my time the hard way. Working has helped me manage my time more efficiently.”

At the end of the week, prizes will be raffled as an incentive for attending PASS Week activities; only students who attend at least one event from each of the five topics will be eligible.

Each type of event is coded by color: Academic Workshops, yellow; Special Programming, purple; Mind, Body & Spirit, blue; Preparing for Life Beyond College, red; and Financial Forums, green.

Among the prizes are gift certificates to Book Horizons, Bed, Bath & Beyond and other participating companies. Also, admission passes to the Miami Seaquarium, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens and Venetian Pool, among others, will be raffled.

The grand prizes for PASS Week are travel vouchers and a round-trip to London from STA Travel.

To enter the raffle, students must get their “PASS Postcard” punched at one event of each color and submit them in the collection box located in the reception area of the Academic Development Center (UC 208) before noon on Friday, Sept. 27 or at the collection box located at the PASS Barbeque (location will be announced at the end of the Week) before 6 p.m. on the same date.

Winners will be chosen randomly at the barbecue.

“I wish they would have had a program like this when I was a freshman,” Johnston said. “I would have definitely taken advantage of it.”

For information on PASS Week activities, visit their web page at