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Orientation activities prompt discussion of campus issues

Natalie Bailey | Thursday, August 21, 2003

Saint Mary’s Student Activities and Orientation Committees have been busy preparing Orientation 2003 in hopes of easing the transition from high school to college for students and parents of the Class of 2007.Many first-year students will already have most necessary tasks completed before arriving on campus Thursday – the result of a summer pre-orientation program that Saint Mary’s developed over the last three years. “This year, we expanded the program to include academic advising along with sessions regarding information technology and student employment, which gave us additional flexibility with our traditional fall orientation program,” said Georgeanna Rosenbush, director of student activities. The committee anticipates that this year’s changes will allow for needed free time throughout fall orientation, giving students and parents an opportunity to take care of last-minute shopping, room organization and other activities common to the weekend.Helping to facilitate the transition into college for students and their families, the committee will also work to provide education about contemporary social realities, ranging from alcohol to security to date rape. This year, there is a new session in the program entitled, “Sex Signals.” The program consists of improvisational comedy and has been educating Saint Mary’s women in past years on issues related to the dating scene, specifically date rape and sexual assault. However, this is the first year that “Sex Signals” will be presented during orientation weekend. “Sex Signals will give both parents and students a provocative look at the issues of dating, sex and, ultimately, date rape on college campuses and will explore how mixed messages, gender role stereotypes and unrealistic fantasies contribute to misunderstandings between the sexes,” Rosenbush said. Other traditionally popular events are also on the schedule for students, including Taste of Saint Mary’s, held Friday at 9 p.m. and the Jamaica Shaka, held Sunday at 8 p.m.