BRIDGE Pre-Orientation Program
BRIDGE, short for Building Relationships Diverse Gonzaga Environments, is a summer pre-orientation program and first-year peer mentoring program under the Unity Multicultural Education Center at Gonzaga University. The program, which is primarily targeted towards students of color, LGBTQ+ students, first-gen college students, and other underrepresented identities, aims to foster a safe and inclusive environment for underrepresented first-year students and to aid them in the transition to college. During pre-orientation, students who are a part of the BRIDGE program are brought to campus a week early to familiarize themselves with GU's campus and to connect with faculty, staff, and other students to build community and acquaint themselves with resources available to them on campus. During the academic year, first-year students are paired with a peer mentor to guide them throughout their first year of college and are also placed into BRIDGE "families" that consist of other first-year students and their respective peer mentors to act as a support system for them.
Given that BRIDGE is a Social Justice Leadership Institute, the program emphasizes social justice education and advocacy. Each year, a new social-justice-oriented theme is selected by the BRIDGE Student Coordinators to focus on for the academic year. This year, the theme for BRIDGE is Repainting the Narrative, which focuses on the use of art in social justice activism; more specifically, this year's theme will be focusing on art as a form of resistance to dominant narratives of marginalized communities in our society and will be analyzing how art, in its various mediums, is used by marginalized communities as an avenue to their identities and their stories from the dominant culture.