Posted: Thursday Jul 11, 2013
July 11, 2013
When the class of 2017 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 upperclass 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 470 freshmen will move into one of the 21 “pods” in Saint Benedict Hall, an all-freshman residence hall on campus on Aug. 22. A pod is a group of ten to 12 rooms that share lounge areas and bathrooms. Students will begin classes four days later on Aug. 26 after participating in Saint Vincent College’s fifth comprehensive community service day at more than 20 locations throughout the area on Friday afternoon, Aug. 23.
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 participation in the dedication of the Pennsylvania State historical marker recognizing Latrobe as the birthplace of the banana split, a welcome bonfire on Aug. 22, a trip to a Pittsburgh Pirates’ game with tailgating before the game and a concert after the game, a Labor Day Weekend bonfire, a game of Minute to Win It, an outdoor movie night on St. Benedict lawn 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 Sept. 25 with a special dinner known as Château Vincent.
Six upperclass students are serving as volunteer leaders of the orientation program’s committee of more than 130 members, including Abigail “Abby” Geisel, senior, communication major, from Schnecksville; Loretta Bobetich, senior, graphic design major from Duncansville; Caitlin DelSardo, senior, biology major from McKeesport; Elizabeth Susko, senior, mathematics education major from Mount Pleasant; Jake Mayers, senior, biochemistry major from DuBois; and Arissa Trulick, senior, biology major from Kittanning.
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