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Currents--University of Rochester newspaper

Incoming students get first glimpse of campus life

Eor both incoming freshmen and for graduate students, orientation sessions provide the “nuts and bolts” information along with a chance to bond with their classmates. Whether the programs last for two weeks or a single day, the goal is the same—making new students feel welcome and a part of the University community.

student unpacking
Krista Wentworth ’10, from Albany, spent the morning organizing her new room in Susan B. Anthony Halls. The brain and cognitive sciences major picked the window-side bed because of the scenic view and natural light. But she is prepared for the occasional dreary day, thanks to her brightly colored lamp.

Eastman students, who moved in on Monday, August 28, took turns backing their heavily loaded vehicles up to the curb in front of 100 Gibbs Street. That made it easier for the 136 freshmen—and their parents—to move instrument cases, lamps, clothing, and goodies from home into their new living space. To keep things flowing, Eastman style, a few students offered some spontaneous vocal accompaniment.

A welcome picnic and information fair kept the Eastman freshmen entertained and helped answer those initial questions. By 5 p.m. most students were waving good-bye to their parents and settling into their new abodes. They spent the rest of the week attending workshops, informational meetings, and special events like a square dance and a tour of local coffee shops.

For 1,100 or so incoming College students, orientation week started on Tuesday, August 29, with an endless stream of refrigerators, televisions, computers, mattress pads, and all those must-haves making their way from car to dorm room. After the clothing was unpacked, computers plugged in, and refrigerators stocked, freshmen and their parents filled the Palestra for the official welcome from President Seligman. Later that night, freshmen enjoyed their first meal with other students from their halls, and parents were treated to a barbecue dinner hosted by the College deans.

It was just the beginning of a whirlwind week that centered on the most important aspects of college life—finding a good mix of educational activities, registering for the right classes, and, of course, having a little fun.

Events like the 18th annual Wilson Day on Saturday, September 2, gave students from the College and Eastman the opportunity to get to know the community and their new classmates while volunteering at local government and nonprofit agencies. There was even a chance for students to do some last-minute shopping for supplies and take advantage of the Labor Day sales on Monday, September 4. A Labor Day picnic hosted by Seligman and his wife, Friederike, capped the week-long program.

The 104 incoming School of Medicine and Dentistry students took part in orientation events from August 14 to 18. One of the highlights was a community service project on August 16 in Genesee Valley Park for 60 Rochester children and teenagers. The medical students worked in teams to create a variety of physical, educational, and social activities. “This is not just a team-building exercise,” says Adrienne Morgan, director of community outreach, international medicine, and student research. “This is a way to show the incoming medical students the University’s commitment to community service.”

Other activities included sessions about the school’s Double Helix Curriculum and a “Learning to Look” visit to the Memorial Art Gallery. The week culminated in a special ceremony where students received their white coats and recited the code of conduct written by the class during orientation week. (Read more.)

The Warner School held orientation for incoming students on August 10. The session provides the basic information students need—from parking to course registration. Deborah Erickson, director of academic programs and student services and professor/ chair of counseling and human development at the school, says the session also “helps set a positive tone for success for the students’ entire academic experience.” In addition to the August orientation, each professional program within the Warner School has its own orientation in September to welcome students into their professional field and cover details about individual programs of study as well as course sequences to assure a timely progression through the programs.

The Simon School offers a two-week orientation program for its 166 M.B.A. and master’s degree students. Events get under way on September 5 with a picnic for the entire Simon School community, including faculty, staff, and incoming students. Other activities planned are a team-building exercise at Beaver Hollow Conference Center and a four-day series of leadership seminars. For the second year, orientation will feature a City Walk tour of Rochester customized for Simon students that orientation coordinator and academic advisor Laura Gavigan says provides “a great way for students to connect with the city, see the architecture, visit local businesses, and sample what’s available.”

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