First Year Matters (FYM) is an annual program for incoming first-year students that explores the challenges we face as a result of global climate change and its impact on cultures and ecosystems around the world. Over the summer, First Year students receive a link to readings that explore the Feet to the Fire theme of that year. These readings serve as a shared frame of reference during the F2F seminars and discussions that take place during their first week on campus. Seminars feature faculty members from the arts, humanities, social sciences and science and mathematics. Students are encouraged to attend the many additional events scheduled throughout the year, which include but are not limited to lectures scheduled by student activity groups, films, and group dinners.
The CFA connects to this program through the Common Moment, which is a capstone experience at the end of FYM. The purpose of the Common Moment is to create a participatory community experience through music and movement that physically connects the students to the FYM readings. Each unique performance is interactive and allows students to connect the materials learned throughout the week with the arts. At the conclusion of the Common Moment, the students assemble in a histogram representing the results of a survey question about the F2F theme answered earlier in the week.