For many new students, first-year orientation is the first chance to experience Colorado State University as a Ram. Incoming freshmen have the chance to learn about CSU’s history and traditions, as well as to explore campus and participate in activities.
Orientation begins bright and early in the morning, with students and parents checking in before heading to the Lory Student Center Theatre. Here, they watch videos, hear from speakers such as Jody Donovan, assistant vice president of the Division of Student Affairs and dean of students, and get introduced to the orientation leaders.
After orientation welcome, the students meet up with their orientation leaders before heading out on the green and gold tour. On this tour, the incoming freshmen visit and learn about different parts of campus, from the newly-renovated Lory Student Center, to the supposedly haunted buildings that surround the Oval.
“(The tour) was awesome and it really intrigued me to be here,” said Alexis Greenwell, an incoming undeclared student. “It made the experience more real.”
After the tour, students meet up with their parents for lunch in the Braiden dining hall before heading out to information sessions. At these presentations, students learn about residence life from resident assistants, and also learn insightful strategies for successful learning. These sessions are also an opportunity for the new freshmen to experience sitting in a lecture hall and using iClickers.
Students also spend part of the day getting started with their academic adviser so they can register for classes. They spend the first day of orientation meeting their advisers and getting class lists, and then choose their classes for the fall semester the following morning.
Incoming students also have the chance to attend a resource fair where they learn about getting involved in groups such as the Associated Students of CSU, Student Leadership, Involvement and Community Engagement and the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning and Ally Resource Center. Students can enter to win raffle prizes by getting signatures from four different booths at the fair.
Following the resource fair, students eat dinner before heading to several more information sessions. Here they learn about some issues and choices the incoming freshmen might face, as well as what it means to support their fellow Rams.
This concludes the serious part of the evening. Following these sessions, students are treated to an improv show, as well as a dance and activities, hosted by RamEvents. The orientation students dance along to “The Wobble” with their orientation leaders, a CSU tradition.
After dancing off some of their nerves about starting college, students spend the night in Braiden Hall and get a taste of residence hall life.
Following breakfast the next morning, students head to the LSC Theatre one final time to watch “The Ram Life,” a set of skits put on by their orientation leaders. The new students then head out to meet with their advisers and finish the day by registering for classes.
“I think my favorite part of orientation is seeing students on the second day, and seeing how excited they are after getting registered for classes,” said Olivia Kail, senior English literature major.
This summer was Kail’s second year as an orientation leader, and she said she loves seeing students go from being somewhat nervous on the first day of orientation to looking prepared to start their college adventure the following day.
Freshman orientation, along with Ram Welcome, are designed to get new students excited about attending CSU in the fall and becoming a part of their new “Ramily.”
“I’m excited about meeting people and enjoying a different environment,” said Morgan Redford, an incoming equine science major. “It’s exciting to be by myself and learn about being my own person.”
Collegian Reporter Chapman Croskell can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and on Twitter @Nescwick.