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High number of students set for orientation

Even though it is the program's debut year, a large number of incoming students have registered for the University's summer orientation program.

As of yesterday, 3,005 students coming to the University in the fall are signed up for one of the eight orientation sessions being held from July 8 through Aug. 3.

Additionally, 3,017 parents also signed up to attend a parallel orientation program during that time.

"We didn't really know what to expect," said Eleanor Sparagana, director of orientation and new student programs. "But we're very happy with the turnout."

The eight orientation sessions take place over two days and one night, lasting either from Monday to Tuesday or from Thursday to Friday. Several of the sessions will provide information not only for first years but for transfer students as well. An additional session will be held for international students at the end of August.

All new students are expected to come to one of the orientation sessions unless they have a legitimate excuse, Sparagana said.

The University modeled its summer orientation program on similar programs held by schools such as the University of California-Berkeley, the University of Michigan and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.

But it took those schools three or four years to reach the same attendance numbers the University will see this summer, Sparagana said.

No more than 425 incoming students will attend each orientation session, and they will be housed in Hereford College during their two-day stay.

The Office of Orientation and New Student Programs has chosen 28 Student Orientation Leaders out of a pool of 162 applicants.

Student Orientation Leaders will be in charge of a maximum of 15 students at a time. They will serve as resources, answering questions and sharing their University experiences with students.

The University's Board of Visitors approved a fee of $175 that will automatically be charged to each students' tuition bill. The cost for visiting parents is $35, which covers meals, materials and programmed activities.

During the session, the students will be able to register for classes and to hear from representatives of the University's Honor and Judiciary Committees and Mediation Services.

Parents and relatives will see a video similar to the Grounds for Discussion series their child will attend in the fall.

Sparagana said that while most orientation sessions have already filled up, there is still room to schedule people in one the last two sessions.

"Things have really fallen into place," said Monica Nixon, Interim Assistant Director in the Orientation Office. "I wasn't really surprised that our turnout was so high. Now I'm excited for it to begin."