“We’re really excited for orientation!” says Francesca Antonucci ’10, one of the orientation coordinators for the incoming Classes of 2013. “We’ve been working for a long time now to make orientation better than ever, and to make this experience memorable for the incoming students.”
And memorable it will be. The weekend that Antonucci has planned, along with fellow orientation coordinator Chris Bramwell ’11, is chock-full of fun events and activities to acquaint new students with the “Worlds of Experience” available at HWS.
“Orientation this year is about highlighting the different opportunities we have at HWS, regardless of what your interests are or what you choose to be a part of,” says Antonucci.
The introduction begins on Friday, August 28. The first day includes moving in and meeting a few of the important people to know on campus: Orientation Mentors, Resident Assistants, and of course, President Mark Gearan.
“We have a really great team working Orientation,” Antonucci says. The Orientation Leaders and Mentors, handpicked to welcome new students, will be “working hard to keep students active, engaged and excited!”
After spending some time with their Orientation Mentors at Friday night dinner, students from the Classes of 2013 will experience “Worlds of Food” in Saga. Teaming up with Global Education, students will get a glimpse into the many adventures available while studying abroad.
Later that night, new students can choose one of two sessions: “Are You Smarter than Bart?” or mentalist: Alain Nu. These sessions will be followed by “Around the World with Campus Activities.” Located in various locations around Scandling Center, “students will get to walk around and experience worlds of fun,” says Bramwell, whether it’s dancing, singing, playing or eating. The concurrent activities include a Video Dance Party, Virtual Reality, Open Mic Café, Board Game Bonanza and Midnight Breakfast (a current students’ favorite).
The next morning, new students will open their eyes to the Geneva community, working on community service projects throughout the area. “We pushed to make the projects really meaningful this year,” says Antonucci. And “hopefully the students will use their experiences to make meaningful connections with the Geneva community, connections that will last for their four years at HWS,” adds Bramwell.
After their volunteer work, the school will provide lunch on the William Smith Green. “One Bite at a Time: HWS Eats Green” will be a green lunch, and include a presentation by the “Green Team” and Sustainability Coordinator James Landi. The speakers will highlight the environmental efforts the Colleges have taken, and the importance of the green initiatives on campus.
For example, one initiative will have already been put in progress; all first years will receive free water bottles on Friday. On Saturday and Sunday, no cups will be provided at meals. “We want the incoming classes to use their water bottles, not only for the weekend, but throughout the year,” Bramwell explains. “We’re trying to further encourage the efforts of HWS to go green.”
Saturday afternoon can be spent either shopping or playing kickball, visiting classrooms or fixing schedules. Then students can reconvene in the quad for a barbeque dinner, while listening to popular student band The Scope.
That night, the Hobart boys will face off against the girls of William Smith in the Battle of the Colleges. Students will participate in 11 different activities, which incorporate the traditions and history of the Colleges. The culminating event, a giant Tug of War between the Colleges, will be the final activity before the winner is crowned.
Sunday morning will begin with a few student sessions from different resources on campus, including the Center for Teaching and Learning, Career Services Office, and a student leadership panel. These will continue throughout the day, with a war break in the middle – Pizza Wars, that is. Local pizzerias will battle it out for the students’ top spot.
The busy weekend finally concludes with matriculation dinners – the John Henry Hobart dinner for the men, and the William Smith Dean’s Welcome Dinner for the women.
“Orientation is a great opportunity to meet new friends and to get a feel for HWS. We’re really looking forward to welcoming the Classes of 2013,” Bramwell says.