SU campus ready to welcome 3,100 new students
SU campus ready to welcome 3,100 new studentsAugust 18, 2008Carol K. Masiclatclkim@syr.edu
They’re coming! In just a few days, some 3,100 new first-year and transfer students will arrive at Syracuse University for the new academic year. When they do, Syracuse Welcome 2008, SU’s award-winning orientation program, will be ready to receive them.
As these students move into residence halls and off-campus housing Aug. 20-22, hundreds of students and staff will assist them with their move, answer questions and help get them settled in their new homes.
Now in its sixth year, Syracuse Welcome begins at move-in, runs at its peak through the start of classes Aug. 25, and continues into the academic year. Find up-to-the-minute information on these events at http://orientation.syr.edu. The site also contains answers to frequently asked questions, forms and registration information. Syracuse Welcome is a University-wide effort coordinated by the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Programs, a unit of the Division of Student Affairs.
Welcome to the academy
Once again, intellectual engagements will play a central role in Syracuse Welcome. On Friday, Aug. 22, in the Carrier Dome, the Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students, a required event, opens the academic year. At this event, SU Chancellor and President Nancy Cantor and SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry President Cornelius B. Murphy Jr. will greet students and their families with opening remarks. The convocation begins at 10:30 a.m. and ends with SU’s traditional Lunch on the Turf and student performances, after which families will be encouraged to depart SU.
Academic events begin with required school and college convocations on Aug. 22 from 1-5:30 p.m. in various locations. Hosted by the deans, these convocations provide important academic information and begin the advising process. The convocations will introduce students to their home school or college and classmates, and will be the first of many common experiences that support the University’s vision of Scholarship in Action.
One such experience centers on the University Shared Reading assignment, “A Long Way Gone: Memoirs of a Boy Soldier” (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2007) by Ishmael Beah. This powerful story chronicles Beah’s involvement with and involuntary participation in the civil wars that wracked Sierra Leone in the early ’90s, about the time this year’s incoming class was born. “A Long Way Gone” is a vision of war, hope and healing, seen through the eyes of a child. First-year students will discuss the book in residence halls during Syracuse Welcome and later in the academic year when they attend lectures, complete class assignments and participate in discussion groups based on the book. The Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and the SU Library have collaborated to create a Web resource on the book, available online at http://orientation.syr.edu.
Students are encouraged to participate in additional engagement opportunities, such as campus tours, picnics and community events hosted by individual schools and colleges. Following the convocations and throughout the weekend, students will have access to academic advisors and more than 500 peer advisors to finalize class schedules and complete important academic requirements.
Welcome to University living
“Each year, the University community sets a powerful example of collaboration and commitment in its outreach to our newest students,” says Laura M. Madelone, director of the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Program. “We estimate an incredible 1,500 returning students and 250 staff will help welcome their new neighbors this year. That kind of caring creates the sense of community that makes a real difference in students’ first days on campus.”
This year’s welcome team is made up of:
- the Goon Squad, a traditional SU team of returning students;
- Orange Crew, a volunteer organization for all students;
- OrangeSeeds, a student leadership development group;
- Los Colores, a group of students who help welcome Spanish-speaking families and students; and
- faculty and staff from across campus.
Volunteers will help unload cars and settle students in their residence halls and will play vital roles in mounting a wide variety of Syracuse Welcome programs. They will also staff the “Taking Care of Business” tent on the Quad, which will be open to students and family members who wish to gather information and enjoy refreshments. Families will participate in a number of additional orientation events organized by the Parents Office.
Leadership will be provided in part by orientation leaders (OLs), a select group of 35 student leaders. Highly visible in their orange and blue striped rugby shirts, OLs answer questions, offer support, and share their first-hand experience. They work in conjunction with student peer advisors and resident advisors. Once students have moved in, a variety of student life activities will prepare them for a successful first year. Among the key events:
- “From Home to the Dome”: Thursday, Aug. 21, 9 p.m., Carrier Dome: In this high-energy event, students will learn to “Rock the Loud House” and discover SU traditions.
- “Get Real … Speak Up”: Friday, Aug. 22, 6-9 p.m., Carrier Dome. This presentation by relationship educator and former All-American SU quarterback Don McPherson will engage students in discussion of healthy relationships, sexual assault prevention and gender communication.
- Residence hall floor meetings, socials and other events: These will take place at various times and locations, enabling students to build connections with each other and the University.
- “Juice Jam”: Sept. 7, noon-6 p.m., West Lots. This event, open only to students, will introduce the high-quality performing-arts programming offered by University Union. A national headlining act will be announced at a later date.
Welcome to Central New York
“We are just thrilled that more and more, students are coming to campus with the intention to engage with the Central New York community,” says Madelone. “With the rich diversity of venues and involvement opportunities in our neighborhoods and this increasingly interested audience, we are excited about helping make the important connections that enhance their time here at SU and enrich the CNY area.”Many of those connections will be made on Saturday, Aug. 23, when the Division of Student Affairs hosts “Feel the Pulse of Syracuse,” an exploration of downtown Syracuse and the Connective Corridor. “Feel the Pulse” will move some 3,000 first-year students from the Hill to the Armory Square area, introducing them to the cultural, commercial and social center of Syracuse. Students will experience the artistic, culinary and philanthropic assets SU and the Central New York community have to offer.
The evening will begin with a taste of Central New York at the Milton J. Rubenstein Museum of Science and Technology (MoST). After dinner, students will explore shops and restaurants located in the historic Armory Square district while sampling an eclectic showcase of live music, dance, recreation and entertainment, provided in part by Galaxy Communications. Community partners of the University’s Pulse performing-arts program will be on hand to build connections with students, and local cultural and nonprofit organizations will show students how to become involved in the Syracuse community. As the evening unfolds, giant puppets from the Open Hand Theater and the SU Marching Band will move an energetic procession along Armory Square to The Warehouse. Once there, students will enjoy music, artists’ demonstrations and dessert. The evening will culminate at the historic Landmark Theatre for a performance by Louisiana-based soul musician Marc Broussard.
Schedules for these and other school and college events, including placement exams, are listed in the “Orientation Schedules” section of the Orientation website. For more information on Syracuse Welcome 2008, contact the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Programs at (315) 443-1012. For questions that arise during Syracuse Welcome from Aug. 22-26, call the Orientation Information Center at 443-1084.