Freshman urban program

The Freshman Urban Program (FUP) is a pre-new-student-week orientation program for incoming freshmen at Northwestern University, Harvard University, Transylvania University, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology. It is a 5 day program to orient students with each other, the neighboring area, and the social justice ideas important to campus and the Chicago-area at large.

FUP consists of 70 incoming freshmen (fuppers), 17 counselors varying in major and year in school, and 3 co-chairs who plan and organize the activity. Everything, from choosing the freshmen applicants, to managing the budget, to programming events for the 5 days, is student-run.

FUP orients the students while keeping three main points at its focus: Community Service, Education, and Meaningful Reflection.

Community service

One of the main goals of FUP is to have students become acquainted with the community service opportunities that are available in the Chicago area both through Northwestern organizations and by the students' own volition. This is achieved through onsite volunteering at a number of different agencies throughout Chicago and Evanston, Illinois. Issues dealt with include housing, education, health care, politics, gentrification, and community organizing.


Education is another huge part of the FUP experience. All fuppers participate in a number of educational programs. Each night the counselors lead a classroom-like discussion about an important issue surrounding the trip. Speakers and experts are brought in throughout the 5 days to impart their own knowledge as well. utdydedyrueezx


This last focus stems from the fact that actions are great as long as lasting improvement actually comes about. Working with the fuppers to understand what they have been involved with that day or over the past 5 days allows everyone to gain a deeper experience. This is mainly achieved through the Small Group activities at the close of each night. Each fupper is paired up with three other fuppers and one counselor. These groups of 5 tackle the issues of the day while working to bond with each other along the way.


FUP was created in 1989 by the Northwestern Volunteer Network (NVN). It was initially used to train leaders for NVN but grew into an intensive 6 day program shortly after its inception. In 1997, NVN became the Northwestern Community Development Corps (NCDC). This change brought FUP closer to NCDC and changed the focus to long-term lasting improvements. Since then, FUP has expanded each year through new initatives during the 6 day program, and more recently, by creating activities through the school year. In 2006, the first "mini-fup" was created. This consisted of a 2 day trip to Rogers Park that followed the basic guidelines of the summer program. Expanding the process has always been a major goal of the program.


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