When incoming college students arrive on campus, they are looking for a friendly face and perhaps someone to show them all BSU has to offer. But when you can’t meet others in person how do you make connections?
The orientation program faced that dilemma last year during the pandemic, but the dedicated staff was able to adapt and created a program that helped new students make those connections. Their efforts were recognized at the annual NODA–Association for Orientation, Transition, and Retention in Higher Education Region IX Conference where they received three awards: Innovative Program Award; the Outstanding Undergraduate Student Leadership Award, earned by Jake Dee-Hastings, ’21; and the Outstanding Graduate Student Leadership Award, earned by Erin Wentzel, ’21, G’22.
The team built and executed an entirely new orientation program for incoming students called the Crimson and White Experience. It included personal touches by orientation leaders who made welcome phone calls and sent handwritten letters to all new students. Pre-advising workshops, individual advising appointments and asynchronous online programming were also offered.