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  • Writer's picturePAT CARBONE

Orientation Leaders prepare for next wave of Lasers

(L-R) Jacob Lustig, Michael Curran, Nick Fernandes, Hanna Babek, Ella Rivera, Dom Vitorino (Top), Caitlin Orsino, Savannah Teixeira, Mylena Bovo, Kassandra Fisher, Luigi Gentile, Aaliyah lambe-Inkiala (Bottom) are the 2024 Orientation Leaders. Photo courtesy of Caitlin Orsino

For many of us, our first experience on campus is orientation. This orientation allows first-years to get comfortable with their new home away from home and familiarize themselves with the new faces they’ll spend the next four years with. 

Each year, ten orientation leaders (OL) are selected to run the events during the orientation. Orientation Coordinator Kassandra Fisher is part of the selection committee determining the new leaders. “I definitely want to make sure like you’re personable, easy to talk to you,  just because that’s kind of the position we are we’re supposed to be able to seem approachable,” said Fisher. 

Fisher also seeks a “strong willingness to take action” and the ability to step up and balance the workload when selecting new leaders. These leaders undergo training to prepare for three two-day sessions in June, during which incoming first-years stay overnight and meet their new classmates.  

First-year Luigi Gentile is currently training for his first summer as an Orientation Leader. He’ll look to reciprocate the warm welcome he received last summer. “I want to give them that experience that they have the freedom to connect with one another as well connect with me,” says Gentile.

Gentile was one of ten to be selected for this years OLs after making it through the application and selection process. “You had to fill out an application talking about what you do, what extracurriculars, and just what makes you a good, I guess prospect to be an orientation leader… They had also in person interviews.” said Gentile. He also feels that being an OL one summer after his orientation gives him an advantage in connecting with the incoming first-years.

After their first training session, Gentile and his fellow OLs have started learning about the ins and outs of what takes place during orientations. According to Fisher, the first day sees the students participating in icebreakers and learning about their academics, Title IX, and financial aid. Students are given plenty of free time to spend with their peers, with regular group check-in times with their leaders.

Though every student is taught the basics of their new school, Fisher aims to make each year different and find areas they can improve. “Each time, it’s looked a little bit different because we try to reprogram it, just so every students getting a new experience,” said Fisher. 

Fisher stresses that these improvements are necessary due to the importance that orientation has on the students’ perspective of their new school. “It kind of sets that attitude for coming in meeting people or feeling comfortable the first time you’re on campus,” said Fisher. “It’s kind of the idea of reassuring that you chose the right school or that you are going to choose the right school and that this is a good fit for you.”

OLs are aware of the transition from high school to college life and the toll it can take on someone. One of their other main goals during orientation is to educate students about the resources they have available to them to make the transition as smooth as possible.

"It’s going to be okay. And there is support here, especially with all the resources on campus,” said Fisher.

OLs will begin the bulk of their training when they move back to campus on June 3. The three overnight sessions will take place on June 17-18, June 20-21, and June 24-25.


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