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Syracuse University students to return Aug. 22-23 for Syracuse Welcome 2007
Syracuse University students to return Aug. 22-23 for Syracuse Welcome 2007August 20, 2007Matthew R. Snydermrsnyder@syr.edu
“Syracuse Welcome 2007: A Slice of SU Life,” Syracuse University’s award-winning orientation program for first-year and transfer students, will kick off on Aug. 22-23 as most of SU’s 3,100 new students move in to residence halls. Following move-in, which will be assisted by hundreds of volunteers, students will be greeted by a wide variety of welcoming events. The highlight will be “Feel the Pulse of Syracuse,” an Aug. 25 downtown event designed to introduce students to the wide array of artistic, social and community engagement opportunities offered by the city of Syracuse and the University. Students will be introduced to the Connective Corridor, a community-wide partnership that links arts, cultural happenings, businesses and neighborhoods in Syracuse.
Syracuse Welcome, now in its fifth year, will continue until the start of classes, Aug. 27, and into the academic year. Information on Syracuse Welcome 2007 events is updated several times each week 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.
“In just five years, the creative vision and commitment of Syracuse University faculty, staff and students have helped Syracuse Welcome become an award-winning national example of how universities should introduce students to the community,” says Barry L. Wells, senior vice president and dean of student affairs. “As we welcome the Classes of 2011 and 2012, we invite students to explore our wide variety of opportunities for productive engagement with the Central New York community and with the academic and co-curricular aspects of life at Syracuse University.”
Welcome to the academyAs in past years’ Syracuse Welcome programs, intellectual engagements will play a central role in the introduction to University life. Academic events begin with receptions on the night of Aug. 23, and will underline Scholarship in Action’s emphasis on the ways that gained and shared knowledge can foster positive change. For example, students have been assigned to read Tracy Kidder’s “Mountains Beyond Mountains” (Random House, 2003), the Syracuse University Shared Reading Program selection for the summer. The book is a profile of Paul Farmer, who has had a transformative impact on the treatment of infectious diseases in some of the world’s poorest nations. A discussion of “Mountains Beyond Mountains” will be a centerpiece of the Aug. 24 Chancellor’s Convocation for New Students, a required event that marks the kickoff of the academic year. Associate Professor Cecilia Van Hollen will speak about how the book illustrates the power of collaboration in support of socially just change. The convocation begins at 10:30 and ends with SU’s traditional Lunch on the Turf and student performances, after which families will be encouraged to depart SU.
Later in the academic year, students will experience lectures, class assignments and discussion groups based on the book. The Office of the Associate Vice Provost for Academic Programs and the Syracuse University Library have collaborated to create a Web resource on the book, available online at http://orientation.syr.edu.
Students are also required to attend individual school and college convocations, a series of academic advising and welcoming events that will take place on Aug. 24 from 1-5:30 p.m. in various locations. Hosted by the deans, these convocations will provide important academic information and begin the advising process. Schedules for these and other school and college events, including placement exams, can be seen by visiting the “Orientation Schedules” section of the Orientation Web site. Students are encouraged to participate in specific intellectual engagement events other than convocations, 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 livingFor the first time, this year’s incoming class (members of which are scheduled to graduate in 2011 or, for architecture students, 2012) received the ReadySet, the University’s summer introduction to campus and community life. Before official move-in begins, the classes of 2011 and 2012 will also have the opportunity to participate in a number of pre-orientation events, including the construction of a Habitat for Humanity home, the Department of Recreation Services’ Leadership Outdoor Orientation Program and other social, spiritual and community-building events hosted by University organizations and departments. Starting on Aug. 21 for new international students and Aug. 22 for new domestic students, hundreds of returning students, faculty and staff will swing into action to greet and assist new arrivals.
“In every year of Syracuse Welcome, the University community has set a powerful example of collaboration in its outreach to our newest students,” says Laura M. Madelone, director of the Office of Orientation and Off-Campus Program. “We are anticipating that as many as 1,500 returning students will help welcome their new neighbors this year, and we are proud to say that the support of faculty and staff will make an important difference in the quality of students’ first days on campus.”
The Goon Squad, a traditional SU team of returning students, faculty and staff; Orange Crew, a volunteer organization for all students; OrangeSeeds, a student leadership development group; and Los Colores, a group of students who help welcome Spanish-speaking families and students, will be among those helping students and families make the transition to campus on Aug. 22-23. Students will help unload cars and settle fellow students in their residence halls; and will play vital roles in mounting a wide variety of Syracuse Welcome programs. Students and families will have access to the “Taking Care of Business” tent on the Quad, where they can ask questions, gather information and enjoy refreshments; and families will participate in a number of orientation events organized by the Parents Office.
Leadership will be provided in part by Orientation Leaders (OL), a select group of 26 student leaders employed by the University to answer questions, provide information, offer support and share first-hand experiences. OLs 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. Key events include:
- From Home to the Dome: OrangeFest 2007-Aug. 23, 9 p.m., Carrier Dome. In this high-energy event, students will learn to “Rock the Loud House” and discover SU traditions.
- Speaking in Genderalities-Aug. 24, 6-9 p.m., Carrier Dome. This presentation by relationship educator and former 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 will take place at various times and locations, enabling students to build connections with each other and the University.
- Juice Jam — Sept. 2, noon-6 p.m., West Lots. This event, open only to students, will introduce the high-quality performing-arts programming offered by University Union. National talent TBA.
Welcome to Central New York“Increasingly, students are coming to campus with the desire — and in many cases, specific plans — to engage with the Central New York community,” says Madelone. “This year, the rich diversity of the Connective Corridor gives students the opportunity to make a wide variety of connections almost immediately.”
Traditional engagement opportunities, such New York State Fair and Black River whitewater rafting trips, will be offered as in past years. And right after students arrive, a new highlight of Syracuse Welcome will build on the success of previous downtown events — moving the entire Class of 2011 and 2012 architecture students to the Armory Square area for an introduction to the Connective Corridor and Syracuse’s rich cultural landscape.
On Saturday, Aug. 25, the Division of Student Affairs will host “Feel the Pulse of Syracuse,” an event that will excite, inform and engage SU’s newest students through an exploration of the Connective Corridor. Feel the Pulse will move approximately 3,000 first-year students from the Hill to the Armory Square area, introducing students to the cultural, commercial and social center of Syracuse. The journey and evening of events will connect students to the artistic, culinary, and philanthropic assets that 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). Following dinner, students will be invited to explore shops and restaurants located in the historic Armory Square district while experiencing 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 cultural and non-profit organizations serving Syracuse will provide students with information about how students can become involved in the Syracuse community. As the evening unfolds, the sights and sounds (and giant puppets) of Open Hand Theater and the Syracuse Marching Band will provide an air of pageantry and movement, encouraging students to move along Armory Square to the Warehouse, where a live DJ, artists’ demonstrations and dessert will be waiting. Students will then travel to the historic Landmark Theatre for a performance by comedian Kevin Wanzer, titled “College Life 101.”
For more information on Syracuse Welcome 2007, 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 (315) 443-1084.