Today: Jul 16, 2024

New student orientation welcomes class of 2016

IvyLee Rosario –  News Writer

Whether it is confusion surrounding which classes to take, nerves about finding new friends, or thoughts dreading the course work that is sure to come, incoming freshman have a lot on their mind when it comes to starting college.

“The New Student Orientation (NSO) was established to make the transition into college life simpler for students,” said Denise Bentley-Drobish, Director of Student Life.

The orientation process is made up of two mandatory days on campus, and was held over the course of the summer.

Freshmen were broken up into different groups, each group having two leaders or Orientation Ambassadors (OA’s) to guide them through the day.

From then on the students navigated the campus and got a hands-on feel for Southern.

“Southern’s New Student Orientation makes it their goal to make sure that the freshmen leave with all their questions answered,” said Nicholas Gleifert, 21, a senior Marketing major and also one of the Orientation Ambassadors.

There are a number of activities and programs during orientation that are designed to make incoming students feel welcome, as well as to prepare them for what to expect during their first year at school.

Included in these are icebreakers and sessions that freshmen can choose to be a part of and to learn about a specific aspect of the campus. The sessions range from financial aid to Greek life.

“The OA’s favorite things are the ice breakers,” said Gleifert. “It’s a chance for freshmen to mingle with staff. We also get time during night, one entertainment and day two lunch orientation blitz to get to know the students in our groups better.”

The New Student Orientation focuses on key elements that the staff and directors feel are most important for incoming freshmen to know. Topics range from tips on residence and commuter life to information on the academic and campus resources available to the students.

“We like to make sure students know that whether they decide to live on campus or commute, they can still make a life for themselves here and get involved,” said Sal Rizza, associate director of Student Life.

“There are so many clubs and organizations to choose from, there can be something for every student if they just take out the time and find what suites them.”

Southern’s New Student Orientation was made to be a resource for students for any questions about college. Acting as a connection between the students and the university, orientation ensures that incoming freshmen receive the best information possible to make them feel at home.

“It’s really about giving them information on important guidelines of the university. We like to tell them that it’s okay not to know everything at once and they aren’t alone,” said Gleifert. “As well as sharing our own personal experiences to make them less nervous about entering college.”

Accompanying the New Student Orientation is also an event called Welcome Weekend. This took from August 25th through the 28th and is only for the incoming freshmen.

“There will be a fair where most clubs and organizations will have tables with information for the students. They can sign up with their name and email and then when school starts they will already be a part of something on campus,” said Rizza. “There is also usually a movie shown and most likely a party for the freshmen to mingle with each other and meet new people.”

With all the worries that may surround incoming freshmen, the staff involved in making the Orientation process possible thinks there is one topic that is most important for freshmen to remember during this journey—get involved!

“I’ve heard too many students talk about how they regret not being part of a club or some sort of organization on campus,” said Bentley-Drobish. “Joining even just one club can lead a student to so many other wonderful opportunities—meeting new people and making this new experience enjoyable for themselves.”

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