'Got spots?' proves to be success

Campus Times
September 20, 2002


by Rebecca Cooper
Staff Writer

The newest members of the University of La Verne family gathered Aug. 27 to 31 for food, fun and entertainment at New Student Orientation 2002.

This year about 200 students participated in the newly designed program entitled "got spots?" In hopes to make it more efficient, orientation was shorter, had a new schedule and was under new leadership.

"Without the support of my staff it would not have been possible," said Deborah Gordon, director of campus activities. "I believe it was a successful new student orientation and feel we met our goal, which was to acclimate the new students to the ULV community."

The orientation program was planned by Gordon, Brian MorganArmstrong, transition programs director, and new student orientation student coordinators Stacey Corso and Sarah Negrette, seniors.

"I was very pleased with the program and it's so exciting to see students take advantage of the resources available to them," MorganArmstrong said. "I would always like to see more people attend, but it's an optional program, so having over half of the incoming class attend is excellent."

One of the biggest changes to this year's program was integrating academic orientation into New Student Orientation. In previous years, academic orientation for all freshman and transfer students was the first day of school, and classes traditionally started on Wednesday, MorganArmstrong said.

"We just had to kind of go with academic orientation being combined with the rest of orientation," Negrette said, "Because we didn't have any say in when it was planned. It worked really well being combined, though. We are a small university and we have a relaxed setting. That feeling was reinforced for the students by seeing the faculty in a real setting and as part of the orientation process. "

Orientation included trips to an Anaheim Angels baseball game and Universal Studios Hollywood. It also included the annual retreat to Pilgrim Pines for two days, where they told stories, had a campfire, ate Smores, played games and held discussion groups. The purpose of the trip was to meet faculty and staff, other students and to have fun, Gordon said.

OWL's (Orientation Week Leaders) and meet faculty and other adults from campus was a valuable experience," said Dana McJunkin, a freshman liberal studies major. "I had already wanted to become involved on campus, but participating in orientation and the camp experience really affirmed that."

About 25 OWL's also participated in the various events. They attended vigorous a training session on campus last spring to prepare for orientation.

"It was very compact and exhausting," said OWL Josh Horowitz, junior in international business. "They could have given us more time for breaks and longer for meals, but I enjoyed it and I'll probably do it again if I have the chance."

Next year the orientation program will be under the umbrella of the Transition Programs, MorganArmstrong said.

He said the university is redeveloping the program to make it more efficient and to offer more transition programs throughout students' four years.

"The program itself is in transition," MorganArmstrong said. "Orientation is one of the most important and visible transition programs the university offers, so it makes sense to move it to the Transition Programs."

The transitions program in the past included University 100, an academic orientation day for new students and senior events, MorganArmstrong said.

University 100 is currently suspended and the academic orientation day was moved to New Student Orientation.

"In the past we have offered mostly programs for freshman and seniors, but there are six semesters in between," he said. "There's a lot going on in that time and throughout the entire college experience. We are trying to create a common thread and put the various parts together."