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Freshmen move in; Frosh-O begins

Molly Madden | Saturday, August 21, 2010

Many Notre Dame students will arrive on campus this weekend and spend their time catching up with friends, organizing rooms and preparing for another semester of college.

But for the incoming freshman Class of 2014, the weekend will be a long process of moving into an unfamiliar dorm, meeting new classmates and beginning to participate in the exciting, and somewhat awkward, experience that is Freshman Orientation, or Frosh-O.

With many of the incoming freshmen forming their impressions of their new dorm and the University itself, members of the Frosh-O staffs say they are making every effort to personalize the move-in experience and make the transition as easy as possible for new residents.

“We want to make sure that we welcome every single individual guy and make him feel at home,” junior Mitch Speer, Frosh-O commissioner for Carroll Hall, said. “Since we’re a small dorm, one individual student is 1 percent of my hall so we try and create a community atmosphere.”

Other dorms see the move-in process as the ideal time to begin fostering relationships between the freshmen and their new home.

“Throughout the move-in process, we want them to feel as comfortable as possible,” sophomore Mairin Talerico, Lewis Hall Frosh-O staff member, said. “We want to help them break out of their shells and become a part of this new family.”

Several Frosh-O staff members said they understand that their efforts during the first weekend can potentially influence the freshmen’s attitudes about their next four years at Notre Dame.  

“We want to give the best impression of Notre Dame so that they start their first days of college with a positive attitude,” junior Kathleen McKiernan, Howard Hall Frosh-O commissioner, said. “It’s important that we give them a feeling of a place they want to be — their ‘home away from home.’”

New Howard Duck Lily Rodgers said when she walked up to register at her new hall that “everyone knew my name and who I was, which was really cool.”

Throughout the weekend, many of Notre Dame’s newest students have similarly felt welcomed to campus despite the chaos that surrounds the initial move to college.

“So far everyone’s been really helpful and welcoming,” Morrissey Manor freshman Matt Hickey said. “The hall staff’s been outgoing and introducing themselves, but it’s still been pretty crazy trying to move everything in.”

Freshman Andrea Rosado, a new resident of Pangborn Hall, said she “definitely” sees herself at home in Pangborn Hall and said her Frosh-O staff was very friendly. 

“The transition has been really easy,” she said. “I’m not nervous at all.”

Easing the transition to Notre Dame requires a lot of time and effort on behalf of the Frosh-O staffs on campus, but most coordinators agree that the easiest way to make the new students welcome is to reach out and be a friend to the new freshmen.

“We just try and be ourselves,” Speer said. “Our staff was picked for a reason. We put on a happy face and get these guys in the dorm and just make sure they enjoy themselves.”