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New Student Orientation

Posted by: Jennifer Stevens | July 12, 2013 | No Comment |

Each year, over 2,000 incoming freshman and transfer students visit the College’s campus for orientation. Facilitated by the Office of New Student Programs, orientation pulls resources from multiple offices around campus, including departments within the Division of Business Affairs.


Parking Services

Parking Services sends a representative to each orientation fair, held on George Street from 12:00 to 2:00 p.m. on the first day of each orientation session. Their table is stocked with parking maps, CARTA maps, and free drawstring backpacks with the Parking Services logo for the incoming students and their families. The representatives also answer questions about parking and also make recommendations for alternatives to parking.

Fewer than 10 percent of students have permits to park on campus. Alternatives include walking, biking, and riding the CARTA buses. Orientations provide great opportunities to spend time talking about CARTA to students and parents. Once students know that they can get practically anywhere on one of the many CARTA routes, and that they can ride the bus for free simply by showing their Cougar Cards, they are much more comfortable leaving their cars at home.


Cougar Card Services

Summer is a busy season at Cougar Card Services. As a team of three, they produce 3,500 cards during new student orientation sessions. This includes inspection of government-issued identification, obtaining a signature on a Cougar Card agreement, taking a photograph, and producing a card. Each card is tested and filed for distribution on the afternoon of Day 2 at either Academic Advising or at the College’s bookstore. A presentation is made at each parent orientation session, and the office answers a multitude of questions from students concerning the features and benefits of the card program, as well as meal plan options. They connect new students to the campus, one card at a time!

Dining Services

Dining Services participates in the morning check-in session. They have a booth set up and answer numerous questions regarding how the meal plans work, the various dining locations on campus, what meal plans work best for each student, how meal plans can be changed, and, for off-campus freshman, where can students sign up for a meal plan.

A presentation is delivered at Physicians Auditorium during the parent session. Following the presentation, parents and students join Dining Services for lunch in Fresh Food Company. All of the managers are present during this time and help guide people around, find specific foods, talk to them about Dining Services, and answer any questions they may have about meal plans or the types of food that are served.

During lunch, Dining Services also has a table set up at the orientation fair on George Street. A representative answers questions, assists in meal plan choices, and helps with changes or sign ups.



Brian Fisher, Director of the Office of Sustainability, spends time with new students through a formalized talk. He speaks to each group of incoming students about the office and how they help prepare graduates to apply their education through the lens of sustainability. Brian explains how the office is designed as a hub for students to explore their potential through personal, professional, and academic development.

Interns with the Office of Sustainability also meet and interact with new students and parents directly, answering questions at their table during the orientation fair on George Street. This gives any interested students additional time for one-one-one time with representatives from the office. Interns provide an overview of how specific projects have been implemented on campus and can explain the student-driven approach.

Speaking at orientation is increasing the number of students expressing interest in the office, compared to last year. The opportunity to talk to parents, students, and faculty during these informative sessions is helping the overall goal to continue encouraging self-starting behaviors campus-wide.

under: Business Affairs
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