Here comes the stampede: Rider welcomes historically large freshman class

Members of Delta Phi Epsilon speak with new students at Rec Fest on Monday, Sept. 4 (above).

By Megan Lupo

In the midst of changes and renovations for the new school year, the freshmen have begun to make their presence known as one of the largest incoming classes in Rider history.

There are 1,012 freshmen coming in the fall, according to President Greg Dell’Omo, which is a 15 percent increase from last year, acccording to Jennifer Cafiero-Therien, director of enrollment planning and reporting.

“The class is 59 percent female and 41 percent male,” she said. “Last year, the class was 61 percent female and 39 percent male, so we have definitely had some success recruiting more male students this year.”

Although freshman technical theater major April Hahn initially complained about the large amount of emails Rider sent interested students, the recruiting proved to be a triumph.

Michael Musso, an admissions counselor, overheard Hahn talking about this at a college fair and struck up a conversation with her about the positive aspects of Rider. This resulted in Hahn falling in love with the school.

Hahn further explained that “committing to Rider was the easiest decision I had to make last year. It was my first choice, and I was so confident in my decision and myself that I had only applied to one other school as a backup.”

Rider was also an obvious choice for freshman elementary education major Lauren Tahmoosh.

“It was my top school from the moment I set foot on campus,” she said. “It was actually the only school I applied to because I was so sure this is where I wanted to go.”

Tahmoosh not only went to her top school, but she made the top of the list for having one of the most popular first names for female incoming freshmen.

Cafiero-Therien reported that the other popular female names are Emily and Samantha, while the popular names for male students are Michael and Matthew.

Although Rider was instantly the frontrunner school for Hahn and Tahmoosh, it took a little more thought for freshman psychology major Jamie Silfen.

“Paying the first deposit, buying Rider clothing and taking my Bronc I.D. photo was very tough for me because this is a huge milestone in my life,” Silfen said. “However, it was the right thing to do because, over the process of deciding where to go, Rider made its way as my first choice.”

Now that Silfen has committed to Rider, she plans on getting involved in some of the clubs and organizations that are offered.

“As cliché as this sounds, college is supposed to be a time of trying new things and making new friends, so I want to explore my interests further in depth,” Silfen said.

“This, for me personally, includes getting involved in the plays and musicals. Anything that has to do with writing and the arts is something I want to try out.”

Additionally, freshman graphic design major Giavanna Troilo was looking forward to the opportunities that Rider presents to its students.

“Upon starting school, I hope to do something with performing arts as well as Student Government Association,” she said.

Troilo was accepted into the Educational Opportunity Program, and she’s a Bonner Scholar.

“I am excited to see how Rider allows me to network with other artists and writers with similar interests,” she said.

From the academic to the social organizations at Rider, the connections students can make are immense.

“The Rider Education Program is such an amazing one,” Tahmoosh said. “They make sure you have plenty of opportunities to be in a classroom. The faculty is going to make sure that you are prepared for any tests or teaching exams you have to take.”

Luckily for the students, there seems to be an organization and club for everybody, which is beneficial for such a diverse, incoming group.

“We are expecting 35 new international students representing 16 nations, including China, India, Belgium and the Netherlands,” Cafiero-Therien explained.

In the United States, 72 percent of the freshman class is from New Jersey, while the other 28 percent represents 27 states, including Florida, Texas, California and Maryland, according to Cafiero-Therien.

Troilo is excited to go off on her own and join all the varying walks of life.

“Meeting new people and becoming more independent is definitely what I’m looking forward to most,” she said.

Silfen summed up her anticipation of her future college career by saying, “I definitely consider myself lucky for finding a school like Rider University.”


Published in 09/06/17 edition. 

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