Posted: Wednesday Aug 1, 2012
August 1, 2012
When the class of 2016 arrives on the Saint Vincent College campus this fall, they will begin a five-week orientation program designed to ease the transition from high school to college life with one of the most lengthy programs in the country.
“Our orientation program will have a variety of events which will be spread over a month’s time,” explained Jeff Mallory, coordinator of campus and multicultural student life who oversees the student-planned program. “With the five-week program of orientation events, Saint Vincent has one of the longer programs in the area. We want to take the time to ensure that all new students get a solid start, both academically and socially, here in the Saint Vincent community. These orientation events and activities focus on student success.”
The transition to college life at Saint Vincent begins the moment freshmen set foot on campus. “New students and their families experience our hospitality – one of the most important characteristics of this Catholic, Benedictine College of which we are most proud,” Mr. Mallory continued. “As in the past years, each arriving vehicle will be greeted by enthusiastic upper-class orientation committee volunteers who provide baggage service to the residence hall rooms, a longstanding tradition most appreciated by family members who might otherwise expect to be making repeated trips to unload books, clothes, computers and other essentials. The orientation committee at Saint Vincent takes pride in helping others during the move-in process.”
More than 300 freshmen will move into one of the 21 “pods” in Saint Benedict Hall, an all-freshman residence hall on campus on August 23. A pod is a group of ten to 12 rooms that share lounge areas and bathrooms. Students will begin classes four days later on August 27 after participating in Saint Vincent College’s fourth comprehensive community service day at dozens of locations throughout the area on Friday afternoon, August 24.
Among the social events planned this fall are some that have been held annually for years such as a graffiti dance (students autograph t-shirts), student/faculty karaoke and dessert night (faculty make treats, students eat them) and a weekend mystery trip (no one knows the final destination except the bus driver).
Some activities sound ominous but aren’t. Pod wars bring students together for friendly competitions that provide bonding and fun with themes such as human battleship, scavenger hunt, SVC’s Got Talent and ultimate finish finale.
Other planned activities include a trip to a Pittsburgh Pirates’ game on Labor Day, a Labor Day Weekend bonfire, a game of Minute to Win It and a visit to the Pittsburgh Zoo.
Saint Vincent Orientation also includes a big brother/big sister program that pairs every new student with an upper-class mentor, an academic orientation and freshman seminar, meetings on career planning, drug and substance abuse education, personal safety and Benedictine values, and an online parent program.
Orientation ends September 27 with Big/Little games.
Six upper-class students are serving as volunteer leaders of the orientation program’s more than 100 member committee including Owen Barton, senior, mathematics major from Irwin; Abigail “Abby” Geisel, junior, communication major, from Schnecksville; Rachel Gettinger, senior, mathematics major from Creighton; Loretta Bobetich, junior, graphic design major from Duncansville; Caitlin DelSardo, junior, biology major from McKeesport; and Deven Gross, senior, sociology major from Pittsburgh’s Penn Hills. Mr. Barton, Ms. Geisel and Ms. Gettinger will serve as orientation directors and Ms. Bobetich, Ms. DelSardo and Mr. Gross will be event coordinators.
Photo: Jeff Mallory, coordinator of campus and multicultural student life, seated, goes over the new student orientation schedule with student assistant Taylor Guido.
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