Skip to main content

First-Year Experience

First-Year Experience

Welcome to Saint Vincent College

The second you step on campus, you’ll feel like family. Your first weekend will begin with a special Welcome Mass, personal greetings from the Chancellor and Archabbot, President and other campus leaders, socials, and more, followed by weeks of fun and academic guidance as you make this next leap in your journey. Our first-year student orientation is a five-week long introduction into the community, values and scholarship that make your new home at Saint Vincent.


First-Year Students Fall 2023

  • Welcome Weekend

    Saturday, August 26

    Subject to change. Attendance is required.

    7:45 AM - 11:15 AM | Residence Hall Move-In, Saint Benedict Hall

    2:30 PM - 3:30 PM | First-Year Commuter Check-In, Citrone Family Commuter Center

    4:00 PM - 5:00 PM | Welcome Mass, Chuck Noll Field

    We invite you, the newest students and families of the Saint Vincent community, to join us in prayer.

    5:00 PM - 5:30 PM | Family Farewells

    This is time to say goodbye to your family, but please ask them to join you again for Fall Family Weekend from Sept. 15-17.

    5:30 PM - 6:45 PM | Dinner, Community Center

    6:45 PM - 7:45 PM | Meet Your Prefect, Saint Benedict Hall

    Spend some quality time with your pod and change into the Graffiti shirt you received in your Welcome Bag! Commuters, please join the pod you’ve been assigned for this event. Your prefect will help to coordinate with you!

    8:00 PM - 8:30 PM | New Student Orientation Meeting, Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    This mandatory meeting is for all freshman resident and commuter students. You will be welcomed personally by the Chancellor and the President of Saint Vincent College.

    8:30 PM - 9:00 PM | Class of 2027 Photograph and Meet your Big, Robert S. Carey Gymnasium

    9:00 PM - 10:30 PM | Graffiti Dance Party (and Pizza)

    Wear the shirt you changed into earlier that was in your Welcome Bag! 

    Sunday, August 27

    Subject to change. Attendance is required.

    8:30 AM - 8:50 AM | The Commuter Experience, Citrone Family Commuter Center (Commuters Only)

    Bridget DiVittis, Assistant Director of Spiritual Formation

    9:00 AM - 9:30 AM | Community Standards and Wellness, Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    Ishmael Solomon, Director of Residence Life and Student Conduct; Gretchen Flock, Director of the Wellness Center

    9:30 AM - 11:15 AM | “Not in the Playbook” and “Taylor’s Message," Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    Chris and Kathi Sullivan, Sullivan’s Message

    11:15 AM - 1:45 PM | Brunch and Campus Tour, Community Center/Campus

    1:45 PM - 2:30 PM | The Importance of Understanding Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Biases, Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    Cpl. Aaron J. Allen, Pennsylvania State Police, Heritage Affairs Office

    2:30 PM - 3:00 PM | Title IX Overview, Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    Eileen Flinn, Assistant General Counsel and Title IX Coordinator; Blackburn Center Representatives

    3:00 PM - 4:15 PM | The Real World, Robert S. Carey Performing Arts Center

    Damon Owens

    4:15 PM - 5:15 PM | Playfair: Campus Life, Robert S. Carey Gymnasium

    5:15 PM - 6:30 PM | Dinner, Community Center


    Mass Times

    Basilica Masses at 7:30 AM and 9:30 AM and 11:30 AM

    Student Chapel Masses at 7:00 PM and 9:30 PM

  • Freshman Residence Hall Move-In

    Arriving and Unloading

    Residential students will be directed to the Welcome Area in Parking Lot A near the Fred Rogers Center after arriving on campus, where student ID cards and Residence Hall room keys will be distributed. Residence Life and Orientation Staff will then direct cars to Saint Benedict Hall for unloading.

    Please keep your party’s cars together when entering the parking lot. If a car in your party is running behind, please pull over in a separate lot or area and wait for their arrival prior to entering Parking Lot A.

    Residence Life and Orientation Staff will direct cars to Saint Benedict Hall for unloading from Parking Lot A. Please have patience with this process, as we will be working hard to make the day run smoothly for you!

    Due to the amount of luggage that will be unloaded in one area, it is crucial that ALL belongings are marked with the student’s name and residence hall room number (this includes the Pod letter and room number (e.g. C209). Please label all belongings prior

    to arrival in a prominent location. We will assist with the moving process, but all belongings must be labeled. If you arrive with unlabeled belongings, you will be asked to step out of the line and label belongings prior to continuing to move in.

    After being directed to the unloading areas, Orientation committee members will unload vehicles and assist in transporting all belongings to residence hall rooms.

    The driver of the vehicle should remain with the vehicle at all times. As soon as the items have been removed from your vehicle, please follow the directions of the Orientation committee members and park in the designated spaces so that we will be able to accommodate the next student’s arrival.

    Please move vehicles immediately after unloading in order to allow other vehicles to unload easily. The Orientation Committee will direct vehicles to the parking locations in Parking Lot R. Handicapped parking will be available after move-in has concluded, but passenger drop off in the handicapped parking zone will be permitted during move- in as needed.

    No bed bunking will be permitted in Saint Benedict Hall.

    If you are uncomfortable with physical move-in assistance from the Orientation Committee, you will be directed to a separate location to unload your vehicle. All items should be removed from the car and the driver must remain with the car. The car must be moved to designated parking spaces as soon as all belongings have been removed to allow for space for the next student’s arrival.

    Saint Benedict Hall Move-In 

    Saturday, August 26

    First-year residential students may arrive on campus at the following designated arrival times. Your pod is shown in your room number. As an example, B405 is in Pod 4B and D302 is in Pod 3D.

    5th Floor, 7:45 AM - 8:15 AM 

    4th Floor, 8:15 AM - 9:00 AM

    3rd Floor, 9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

    2nd Floor, 9:45 AM - 10:15 AM

    1st Floor, 10:15 AM - 10:45 AM

    Late Movie-In, 10:45 AM - 11:15 AM

    Extra Late Arrivals

    Resident students who arrive after the scheduled Late Move-In time, which concludes at 11:15 AM, should proceed directly to Saint Benedict Hall and seek out their Prefect with Residence Life who will check them in individually. After 11:15 AM, the Orientation Welcome Tent and assistance with move-in will not be available.

    Early Arrivals

    Freshman resident students are invited to move items into the residence halls on Friday, August 25, from 6:00 PM - 8:00 PM only. When you arrive on campus, vehicles may be parked in Parking Lot Q, located behind Saint Benedict Hall. This period is for item drop off only. Keys, IDs, and other materials will not be distributed, and Orientation and Residence Life staff are unable to allow students to unpack any items. Students may not remain in the building overnight. Students do not need to register for item drop off. When you return to campus the next day, please process through the Welcome Tent to receive keys and IDs.

    Orientation Assistance Station

    An Orientation Assistance Station and other resources will be available in the lobby of Saint Benedict Hall for your convenience.

    Commuter Check-In

    Commuter check-in will be in the Citrone Family Commuter Center from 2:30-3:30 p.m. Please see the information specifically sent about Commuter Check-In Information. Upon completing check-in, students will receive a Welcome Bag and other important information and resources for commuting.

    Parking Permits

    To request a parking permit, please sign up on the Public Safety page on the MySV Portal. Students are required to display their permit. Cars without permits will be ticketed during the first week of classes.

    Important Information About Financial Clearance

    Financial Clearance must be obtained prior to moving into Residence Halls. Those students who have been financially cleared will be given their room key, and students who are not cleared will be directed to the Business Office to obtain their clearances.

    If a student arrives after 4:30 PM, they are expected to obtain financial clearance the next day or on Monday, August 28, by noon. Otherwise, the student’s ID card will be deactivated and they will be required to leave their residence hall until clearance is obtained.

    You will be notified by the Business Office when you are financially cleared. Please make sure you have financial clearance prior to move-in. Students without financial clearance will not receive their room keys. If you have questions about financial clearance, please contact the Business Office at 724-537-4577.

    Students Without Financial Clearance

    Select administrative offices will be open between 8:30 AM and 4:30 PM to assist students in obtaining financial clearance. Lot A Welcome Area staff will direct any students not financially cleared to the Business Office to complete the financial clearance process. You will not receive a room key until you are financially cleared. A staff member will direct you to an area to park. Then proceed into the Business Office to obtain clearance. Once clearance is attained, you should return to your car and a staff member will assist in directing you to your residence hall. In this case, there will be a delay in the move-in process.

  • First-Year Student Commuter Check-In

    All About Check-In

    When should I arrive?

    Please arrive to Check-In on Saturday, August 26 from 2:30 PM - 3:30 PM.

    Where should I go?

    Commuter students should park in Parking Lot A near the Fred Rogers Center, then proceed directly to the Citrone Family Commuter Center, located in Placid Hall near the Post Office and Community Center Dining Room.

    What can I expect to receive at Check-In?

    This is where you will receive your student ID card, important first-year student information, and Welcome Weekend packets. You will also meet other Commuters and start to build your new home on campus.

    Do I have to attend Check-In?

    Check-In is mandatory, as are the other events of the weekend.

    How do I get my parking permit?

    To request a parking permit, please sign up on the Public Safety page on the MySV Portal. Students are required to display their permit. Cars without permits will be ticketed during the first week of classes.

    Important Information About Financial Clearance

    Financial Clearance must be obtained prior to check-in. Students who are not cleared will be directed to the Business Office to obtain their clearances. You will be notified by the Business Office when you are financially cleared. Please make sure you have financial clearance prior to check-in.

    If you have questions about financial clearance, please contact the Business Office at 724-537-4577.

    Who should I contact with questions specifically about commuting?

    Bridget DiVittis, Coordinator oof Commuter Outreach (

    Alec Barlock, Graduate Assistant for Commuter Outreach (

    Alison Mileca, Student Orientation Director for Commuter Outreach (

    Orientation Commitee (

Welcome to the Neighborhood

Saint Vincent first-year residents live in Saint Benedict Hall, which has the most picturesque view of the sunrise over our Basilica. Saint Benedict Hall was specifically designed to help first-year students foster true community and get to know their fellow classmates.

orientation team

Helping You Find Your Way

Upon arrival, upperclassman volunteers will help you move in and begin your first few weeks. Orientation at Saint Vincent includes a team of faculty, administrators and more than 100 student volunteers who work to make each incoming student’s transition to Saint Vincent a smooth one. You’ll be paired with an upperclassman mentor who will act as your “Big” and guide you through the year. Your Big will be able to personally help you with any questions or worries about transitioning to college, including how to register, how to navigate housing, and where your classes are on campus. The orientation program also includes an academic orientation day during the summer and First Year Seminar, and a Welcome Weekend prior to the start of classes which includes social events to meet other new students, programs to help you succeed, including information on drug and substance abuse education and personal safety, and an introduction to our Benedictine mission and values. Families are invited to participate in our Bearcat Connection family program and learn ways to help their students and enjoy their own new roles as members of the Saint Vincent community.
dorm mates in lounge

Getting Settled In

Your freshman year will be spent living in “pods” or neighborhoods of 16-24 students based on your study habits, interests, sleep schedule and more. Each of the 21 individual pods has its own lounge and bonds of having a theme. You’ll have the opportunity to go to programs, games, prayer sessions and bible studies together and make friends that last a lifetime. The most fun comes when you get to compete in “Pod Wars” activities like human battleship, a scavenger hunt and an ultimate finish finale to win the highly coveted title of Pod Wars Champions for your year. Your pod will be your team, your home and your family.
commuter students in common space

First-Year Commuter Students

Our Citrone Family Commuter Center offers a kitchenette, study tables, pool table, TV, a “Help Yourshelf” stocked with free snacks, and the opportunity to enjoy events and programs with other commuter students. You will also have access to Saint Benedict Hall and its lounge, computer lab, and kitchenette. As a commuter student, you’re assigned a home neighborhood with a prefect who will assist you and guide you through specified orientation evens. You will also be invited to participate in many activities throughout the year with your fellow first-year students.

Academic Guidance

Saint Vincent mascot with students

First-Year Seminar

First-Year Seminars are here to help you feel welcomed into the Saint Vincent college academic community. Through these courses, you gain a sense of accessibility with your professors and comfort with your peers, as well as an understanding of core areas of our curriculum like academic responsibility, critical thinking and the ability to present and communicate your ideas. Our First-Year Seminars emphasize that Saint Vincent professors want to build lasting connections with you. All students participate in First-Year Seminar courses, which incorporate extracurricular events to highlight the greater impact of what you learn on campus onto the world beyond.
student with Chanukah candles

The Office of Multicultural Student Life

The Office of Multicultural Student Life is a resource that is here to help students adjust to life at Saint Vincent by encouraging them to understand and respect one another, and to appreciate the different perspectives that each student brings. By encouraging a supportive and nurturing environment where everyone gets access to the help that they need, the Office of Multicultural Life works to educate students while nurturing understanding through programming efforts and partnerships.

Contact Us

Orientation Office