Brianna Wallen- News Editor
The start of the spring semester means new beginnings; however, for these Owls, spring means new opportunities to get involved. On Jan. 25, Room 201 in the Adanti Student Center was filled with eager students ready to jump into unexplored waters. The organizers of this event hosted an Orientation Ambassador, OA, info session to allow students to learn firsthand what it takes to be an OA.
The OA position is a paid position that encompasses a variety of tasks. Biology major Nico Lastrina, a sophomore, was an OA for 2023. He said that his summer consisted of detailed training to prepare him for his new journey.
“We started off with about 13 days of training. We had almost every office come in, and we learned how to actually run the session,” Lastrina said.
After training, Lastrina and the other OAs embarked on their job once the Class of 2027 stepped onto campus. Many of the first years who were participants in orientation were audience members in the information session. One of the interested students was nursing major Medjina Joseph, a freshman.
Joseph said that she attended the information session because she believed being an OA would suit her personality.
“I’m very open-minded, and I’m very social, so I thought this would be a best fit for me,” Joseph said.
Her orientation experience also inspired her to want to take up the role.
“I met a lot of people, so that was a good, like, experience coming into the school because I came in the fall and had people that I knew,” Joseph said.
While Joseph had a positive experience at her orientation, other students had a negative one. Despite the different experiences, they both had the same goal. Healthcare studies major with a minor in Spanish Kalangi Pedro, a sophomore, said that by being a transfer student, her orientation had limited interaction. This prompted her to want to become an OA, trying to provide the full experience that she did not receive.
“My orientation was like three hours long, and they only gave me a tour,” Pedro said. “I felt like that was a waste of my day because I could figure that out on my own. I wanted to know what’s available at Southern.”
With an alternative orientation session, Pedro said that it was not helpful for information that she was interested in. Similarly, OA Lastrina was also inspired due to having a poor orientation.
“I really looked at my session and said that I think I know how to make it better,” Lastrina said.
The OA did just that by putting in the effort to ensure that his orientation was beneficial to incoming freshmen.
“I think I achieved that very well during my first semesters in a way, so I think we were successful in that plan,” Lastrina said.
Hopefully, the potential OAs can fulfill their wishes in the 2024 orientation. With more information sessions coming, more students will have the opportunity to attend. Applications open on Wednesday, Jan. 31.