Orientation is a scary and exciting time for first-year students every year, and this year was no exception for the close to 1400 students that arrived on campus on August 20.
As each first-year student settled into their respective dorms, first day activities started in full swing.
Following the feast prepared in Leutner Dining Hall, Orientation Leaders prepared to meet their orientees to begin the usual icebreakers and introductions.
Soon after, groups were led to various locations for their residential college meetings. At these meetings, students met all of the resident assistants (RAs) and residential college directors in their college while have a great time cheering, laughing and having fun.
Following the first night, orientees faced the task of acquainting themselves with their floormates and other students in their dorms.
As orientation week progressed, there were multiple changes from the events that students from the classes of 2018, 2019 and 2020 had experienced. In the past, The University Program Board (UPB) put on an event called ‘CWRUchella’ which was as it sounds, a music festival specifically for first-year students. However, some classics remain, and are memories that students from all classes can share. These include Residence Hall Association’s (RHA) Casino Night and University Media Board’s Sparti-Gras.
Another change this year was the improvements in structure and flexibility. In years past, following events like the Center for Civic Engagement and Learning Service Day and Discover Cleveland, there were more information sessions and other activities. This year, the day was left free for students to decide if they wanted to attend more sessions or relax with new friends.
Also new this year was the additional number of Orientational Leaders in each orientation group. This change comes as a result of the removal of Parent and Family Orientation and International Student Welcome Days. Most students did not know of these changes.
First-year student Thomas Patton said, “Orientation was really nice, I was able to learn about multiple opportunities on campus.”
The increase in structure for students and Orientation Leaders created a more coherent and enjoyable experience for everyone, especially the open programming on Thursday and Friday, which allowed students to choose the sessions that interested them the most.
“I really enjoyed being able to attend sessions at the job fair and the Spartan Run. They allowed me to start to form new connections at CWRU,” Patton said.
Orientation was not only exciting for new students, but also for some returning students who witness the changes that are made to New Student Orientation every year, to create the best possible experience for each incoming class at Case Western Reserve University.