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Published: July 07, 2022

"Spartan Connect" Helps First-Year, Off-Campus Students

This past fall, UT launched a new initiative for first-year, off-campus students called Spartan Connect. Its purpose is to enhance students’ sense of belonging, resiliency and well-being as they adjust to the University lifestyle. 

Plant HallSpartan Connect allows students to make connections on campus and with other first-year, off-campus students.

The program uses a three-pronged approach:

  • Peer Mentors: Each first-year, off-campus student is paired with a sophomore, junior or senior, someone with whom they can meet regularly and have as a resource for any questions that arise. 

  • Social Events: Every month, Spartan Connect hosts exclusive events both on- and off-campus, such as a moonlit stroll along the Riverwalk, a workshop on stress relief, yoga in Plant Park, a meetup at a men’s soccer game, a visit to the Tampa Museum of Art, a meet-up at the UT pool, pizza at Eddie and Sam’s and more. At the end of the semester, $100 UT Dining gift cards are awarded to the five students with the highest attendance.

  • Wellness Check-ins: Students are periodically sent a wellness assessment that allows them to look at their overall well-being. They then have the option to set up an appointment with a wellness coach to go over their results.

Spartan Connect allows students to make connections on campus and with other first-year, off-campus students. Communication about joining the program is sent out to students who are confirmed to be living off campus one month before the semester begins, but students are welcome to register beforehand. For more information, contact Addie Carothers, director of wellness, at or (813) 258-7369.

This story first appeared in the Spring 2022* UT Journal.

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