Orientation programs welcome record size class

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Shannon Snyder / Photography Editor

All USG recognized student groups represent their various organizations at the Student Activities Fair during Welcome Week.

Suneil Kamath, Student Affairs Reporter

On Sunday, Aug. 19, approximately 1350 incoming freshmen from across the United States and around the world arrived at Case Western Reserve University for New Student Orientation.

The CWRU campus was filled with excitement as parents and students bustled around campus hurrying to unpack. During all the moving commotion, parents and students could help themselves to free frozen custard and refreshments provided to them in the midst of the summer heat.

After students parted ways with their parents, the newcomers had the opportunity to meet their orientation leaders and some of their fellow members of the class of 2016.

“Initially, I was very nervous, but I felt a lot better after getting to know all of the amazing people in my orientation group including my orientation leader,” said Molly Bhanja, a CWRU freshman.

CWRU orientation leaders, a group of sophomores, juniors, and seniors who are passionate about the CWRU community, lead the students in the various orientation activities.

“I really love being here at CWRU, and I wanted to be a part of the transition for incoming students, so I can show them how great this school is,” said orientation leader Sneha Bagavandoss.

After meeting with their orientation leaders, students had their first residence hall meetings. Because the incoming students are CWRU’s largest freshman class ever, CWRU reestablished the Magnolia Residential College and turned Clarke Tower and Cutler into freshman residence halls – marking the first Magnolia hall meetings in many years.

After residence hall meetings, the University Program Board presented students with an entertainment treat: Solo Circus, a one-man circus performer who has performed on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.”

On Monday, students attended various information sessions, including ones about academic integrity and the resources CWRU offers. Robert McCullough, CWRU Director of Undergraduate Admissions, said that the incoming freshman class was the most diverse and academically accomplished of any previous class. CWRU President Barbara Snyder welcomed the Class of 2016, and also noted CWRU’s recent accomplishments, including a $64.6 million grant from the National Institutes of Health.

After the University Welcome, students said goodbye to their parents and went to the New Student Welcome Barbeque. After the barbeque, students took the classic CWRU All-Class Photo.  The Class Officer Collective then sponsored “Sugar and Swag,” an event where students could eat an array of chocolate and candy while watching “Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory.”

On Tuesday, students attended campus life information sessions including ones about Greek Life and CWRU clubs and activities. Students also ate lunch with their SAGES instructors. In the evening, students attended their residential college’s opening ceremonies, and afterwards had the opportunity to participate in “Sports-a-palooza,” an event where students could take part in many of the intramurals and sports clubs CWRU offers.

For the next three days, students had the choice of attending a number of activities and sessions, including Discover Cleveland and CWRU Connects.

Discover Cleveland allowed students to visit Cleveland landmarks such as the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the West Side Market.

“I thought it was pretty cool to see another side of Cleveland that I hadn’t before. It was a lot of fun!” said Peter Yoo, an incoming freshman.

During CWRU Connects, students had the opportunity to participate in a service activity around Cleveland. Service opportunities included volunteering at the Intergenerational School and donating blood for the Red Cross.

Finally, CWRU organizations such as the Residence Hall Association, Greek Life, First-Year Experience, and Undergraduate Student Government sponsored social and informative events such as Casino Night and “The Sparty.”