Seniors Sharon Barney and Eric Campbell and sophomores Hannah McKillop and Neal Burns have been preparing for Freshman Orientation for the entire summer. While busy planning events, these Orientation Leaders also designed the freshman directory, set up programs for students’ siblings, called entertainment vendors for late night activities and answered numerous phone calls and e-mails from parents and students.

They are extremely excited about Orientation and over 1,000 new students making their start at UR.

Why did you decide to get involved with Orientation?

Eric: I actually remember my very first Orientation as a freshman – I hated it. Yes, I had some good times and all, but I felt extremely disconnected with the University.

My sophomore year, I heard about being an Orientation Volunteer. I decided to do it, and I loved it. I had a great Orientation Leader and a fantastic time helping all the freshmen and transfer students out. Becoming an Orientation Leader just seemed like the next step up.

Sharon: I decided to get involved in Orientation because I have always loved the fact that I can make an impact to the incoming freshmen.? I have been an Orientation Volunteer for the past two years and am elated that I got the chance to be an Orientation Leader.? It’s refreshing to help people when they are most anxious – not just the students, but the parents as well.

Hannah: I decided to apply for the Orientation Leader position because I absolutely loved my freshman year experience and wanted to somehow get involved with it for the new incoming freshmen.

Neal: I got involved with Orientation because I love UR and I am excited to share with the incoming class the many wonderful things that UR has to offer them.

What do you hope incoming freshmen will get out of Orientation?

Eric: If anything, I hope they leave Orientation week with plenty of knowledge. I feel that many of us are hardly aware of the resources UR offers. But of course, to have a fantastic time.

Sharon: I hope that freshmen get the sense that they are being welcomed into a friendly, open academic community.? I hope that they have fun, but also learn about the responsibilities of college life.? I also hope that everyone walks away with a good starting memory about their college careers.

Hannah: One thing that we’ve changed this year is to create an overall theme for the whole week of Orientation to help tie it all together and make it memorable. The theme is TV Shows – which is something that we thought most freshmen would recognize and could relate to.

Coming to college for the first time is exciting no matter what college a person goes to, but I hope that Orientation at UR is a unique experience that is informative but, at the same time, really fun.

I met most of the friends I have now during Orientation week, and it helped get me really excited for the year I had ahead of me. My hope is to share a similar experience with the class of 2011.

Neal: I am hoping that the freshmen will walk away from Orientation with knowledge about the University’s many wonderful programs, be familiar and comfortable with Rochester’s campus and know what to expect over the next four years.? Most importantly, I want each student to come away from Orientation excited about beginning their journey at Rochester.

What parts of Orientation are you most excited about?

Eric: I am really stoked for the Red Wings game. It’s always so much fun to get a huge number of students out in one location and to simply let the energy take it the rest of the way.

Sharon: I’m most excited about actually getting to meet the students and the parents that we’ve become involved with, either from talking to them on the phone or just from seeing their name from a nametag.? It will be the most rewarding when I see the freshmen enjoying the activities that we planned for them and making new friends with people at the social activities.? I’m also personally looking forward to the Late Night Programming since all of the Orientation Leaders have been so involved in the details of the events.? You’ll find me at all of them!

Hannah: I am most excited about the Late Night activities of Orientation, or as we call them: “Prime Time Activities.” We have made some changes from previous Orientation years, and I can’t wait to see how the different events end up playing out. Party on the Quad was one of my favorite events from my Freshman Orientation because I met a lot of people there and got to know some of the people on my hall better. Plus, who can deny free pizza? Orientation Idol should be great because we’ve got a fantastic – and very interesting – panel of judges and a charismatic host, so hopefully we get some good performers from the freshman class who aren’t too afraid to show their stuff.

I’m also excited for Game Show Night, watching Ferris Bueller’s Day Off outside on the grass and Uncommon Night. I always love seeing the student groups perform, and this year we have spin art frisbees and henna tattoos out on the lawn as well. Inside of Wilson Commons that night is a sticky wall where you jump against an inflatable wall in a ridiculous velcro suit and I just couldn’t say no to that, or to free snowcones!

Neal: Although I am excited about all of the events during Orientation,?I am most excited about the Late Night events.? This is a good opportunity for the freshmen class to get to have fun and to get to know each other.

Hannah: The four of us have been working on Orientation since the end of May, and we can’t wait to see it actually become something. We’ve worked with some great people to make it happen and it should be a fun start to this year!

Kraus is a member of the class of 2009.

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