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Officials report orientation success

With two sessions already underway, the University's new summer orientation program appears to be a success, orientation leaders said.

A total of 794 students have attended the two sessions so far, with 910 guests accompanying them.

"For a program running for its first time, everything is fitting together rather smoothly," Student Orientation Leader Beth Van Doren said.

The orientation program is being held over the summer for the first time. During this time, both incoming first-year students and their parents attend.

"Parent and student evaluations have been overwhelmingly positive," said Monica Nixon, Interim Asst. Director of Orientation. "Students have found faculty advising and interactions with the upper-class student orientation leaders."

"The one-on-one discussions that we frequently have with both students and parents have been vital in making the families feel welcome here," Student Orientation leader Meghan Carroll said.

During their time at the University, the incoming first-year students receive course advising, get ID cards and e-mail addresses and register for fall courses.

According to student leader Angela Woodward, it is difficult to fit all of the orientation activities into the schedule.

"I do not think that there is time for new students to do everything in their two-day orientation session," Woodward said.

Carroll said she felt that housing has caused several different problems because the students are staying in Hereford College during orientation.

"Hereford is not the most convenient area to live in," she said. That "means a lot of walking. Also, Hereford has cold air, and the students are not given blankets, only sheets, and many have complained about the temperature-we're working on that."

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

They are in charge of a maximum of 15 students at a time and serve as resource people, answering questions and sharing their University experiences with students.

The University's Board of Visitors approved a fee of $175 that is automatically charged to the students' term bill to cover orientation costs. The cost for visiting parents is $35, which covers meals, materials and programmed activities.

The orientation leaders said that despite the kinks in the system, they feel the orientation program has been productive.

"It makes me really happy to see students who I know arrived here alone laughing and making new friends," Van Doren said.

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