As the summer begins, the Colleges are already preparing for the arrival of the Classes of 2011. This year’s Orientation Coordinators, Allison Dean ’09 and Keegan Prue ’09, are hard at work ensuring that the first-year students feel welcome when they arrive on campus on Friday, August 24.
“It’s important to make them feel comfortable here, Dean said. “The school itself sets them up to do great things, and so the first days are really important.
Prue, who, along with Dean, has been planning Orientation since February, points out that it is a long process with the objective of creating three days of activities that will allow the incoming students to become acquainted with the campus, meet other students and find their places within the community.
“It’s a lot more than people might think, he said. “There’re a lot of different stages. It’s not only event planning, but small details people might not think of.
At the moment, they are talking with local businesses to solicit ads for the academic planners that will be distributed to each first-year student. The planners will include useful information such as campus phone numbers, information on local restaurants and a history of the Colleges.
“We hope that the new classes will be able to use it as a tool, not only in the classroom, but as a reference of basic HWS info, Dean said.
Reflecting upon their own experiences at Orientation, Dean and Prue are focused on making changes to the event such as the addition of an arts showcase and a scavenger hunt of the various buildings and locations on campus.
“It’s an opportunity to incorporate some new ideas that hopefully will allow incoming students to get to know the campus community quickly, Dean said. “We want them to have fun together, and create some memories while getting familiar with campus.
Another important aspect of the Orientation is the beginning of the faculty-led, first-year seminar groups. The students in these groups now share the same housing as well as participate in the same community service project. The purpose is to make students comfortable meeting other students, Dean said.
Planning Orientation is a collaborative effort that involves the work of not only the Orientation Coordinators, but also the deans, the Public Service Office and 125 upperclass students who return to campus to help run the weekend. The involvement of so many students, who are the newest peers of the first-year students, will make Orientation a more welcoming and enjoyable experience for the incoming classes.
“We hope being introduced to campus means more coming from fellow students, Prue said.