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SMC SGA plans 2018 first year orientation

| Friday, August 17, 2018

Saint Mary’s student body president and vice president — seniors Madeleine Corcoran and Kathy Ogden — have been tasked with planning an informational yet entertaining first year orientation. Corcoran and Ogden said they hope this orientation is even better than those in previous years.

This year’s first year orientation has “some new components and changes,” Corcoran said in an email.

“One of the biggest additions is adding early orientations for multiple groups of students such as band, sports and ROTC.”

Corcoran said many of the events were inspired by her first year experience at Saint Mary’s.

My first year orientation experience was great,” she said. “They did a nice job making us [see new faces] and meet a lot of my classmates, and some of my friends in my peer mentor group became my future best friends and roommates. There were a lot of meetings, though, and we have been working to change that.”

Ogden said her first year orientation was too “chaotic.” Ogden kept this experience in mind when planning orientation, allowing more time for first years to decorate their rooms and spend time with their parents.

“I remember my first year orientation experience being so surreal, so much was moving so fast and there was so much going on,” she said in an email. “It seemed like I met over 100 girls in one day and that there would be no way to remember anyone’s name. I remember being so busy I wished I was given more time to just slow down and set up my dorm room with my parents before they had left.

“This year’s freshman orientation will be a little less chaotic. We have lots of events scheduled for the freshman, but we tried to recognize that many girls will want to set up their rooms with their parents before they leave. The students who are there without their parents will be able to attend optional events hosted by SGA (Student Government Association), RHA (Residence Hall Association), SDB (Student Diversity Board) and many other student run events.”

These events will be supplemented by other optional events like technology workshops, Ogden said.

“We tried to rearrange the schedule where students will be busy but not too busy,” she said. “There are lots of informational events being hosted around campus and one that we are very excited about is ‘Tech Tips.’ As students, we found it would be beneficial to have a technology informational session for students where they are informed about the many websites (Blackboard, The Portal, Prism, TouchNet, ResLife) that SMC uses before their first day of classes.”

SGA is planning several other first year events, some occurring as soon as the end of August, Corcoran said. The group will host the First Year Student Leader Reception on Thursday and the Involvement Fair on Aug. 29.

Ogden said a panel discussion will be held early in the year. This panel will invite all students to ask SGA leaders questions and propose solutions as to how student government can help better service the campus community.

“During this panel, we hope to have open conversations with students about what they see the student leaders are doing well and [what the student leaders] need to work on,” she said. “We also welcome any suggestions they might have midway through the first semester. We hope that by holding this panel, students will be able to come to us before concerns escalate. In addition to this, we also hope to have many events collaborating with Notre Dame, Holy Cross and the uniting the clubs around SMC.”

First years should attend orientation because it is a quintessential part of the first year experience and a time, Corcoran said, many students will look back on fondly as they grow older.

“I think the greatest benefit of attending orientation events is meeting new people,” she said. “These are your classmates, roommates and friends for the next four years. More importantly, these are the people who will become your family at your new home. Enjoy these moments, even if they are awkward, sad or take you outside your comfort zone. Some day you are going to be laughing about orientation and wishing you could do it all over again.”

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About Gina Twardosz

Gina Twardosz is a junior English Writing and Communication Studies double major at Saint Mary's College. She writes for SMC News and is a tried and true Midwesterner.

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