Who better to help bring the spirit of Southwestern to the freshman class of 2014 but Orientation Leaders?
Melissa Williamson, assistant director of Campus Life, said staff members from Student and Campus Life look for students who come with a ready to go spirit so that the new class gets excited about coming to Southwestern.
Helping bring the new freshmen class together and showing them a good time seems like an easy task, right? Think again. Students interested in being Orientation Leaders must follow some procedures before they are allowed to advance to the training portion. Any upperclassmen, including transfer students who didn’t have a chance to attend Builder Camp, have the chance to be a leader. Resident assistants, Student Government and Student Foundation executive members don’t have to go through the interview process.
At orientation the students are put through various exercises that will teach the future leaders about teamwork and time management.
“We do this so that the leaders also feel comfortable about leading,” said Williamson.
Orientation Leaders are responsible for the four groups of incoming freshman at Builder Camp. In addition to helping with the four groups, they are also in charge for coming up with the games and activities at camp, along with the opening presentation. They also help the freshman move in and with Fall Frenzy.
Williamson said the activities are to help the people become more comfortable in that environment.
In order to be eligible to be a leader, students must have a 2.5 GPA, pass the interview process, have a good attitude, have excitement, have positive communication skills and have a desire to work with faculty and staff.
Mandy Bostwick, elementary education sophomore, has signed up to be an Orientation Leader and it will be her first year to have the chance to apply. She isn’t looking forward to the interview process.
“I’m nervous. I don’t know what to expect from it,” said Bostwick.
The interview process will begin soon after spring break. The interview will be done with a group of students, those asking the questions will be, Williamson, Dorothy Pleas, director of Campus Life, Dan Falk, dean of students, Sarah Hallinan, assistant dean of students, Brandon Hessing, coordinator of Student Foundation and Dawn Pleas-Bailey, vice president of Student Life.
Williamson said there were over 35 applications in which they have counted.
“It’s awesome we made 50 copies, but we have to make more because we always look for about 50 students,” said Williamson.
Being a leader isn’t only to help the freshmen get settled in, but it also helps the upperclassmen.
Rosalina Valdovinos, elementary education junior, was an Orientation Leader last year. She said, “It helps us meet the freshman I wouldn’t have met otherwise, because I’m an upperclassmen and won’t have some of the classes with them and won’t have a chance to meet them often.”
Bostwick also felt the same way. She said, “You aren’t just thrown in to meet friends. We get a chance to meet people before school starts.”
Williamson said Builder Camp is an awesome experience and everyone should have the chance to experience it.
“Shockingly, I liked Builder Camp. I want to see it from a different perspective and help the freshman so they have a fun time. I also want to promote SC in a positive light,” said Bostwick.
Valdovinos said that this year she plans to make Builder Camp more memorable.
“Last year I only got to meet people who were on my team. This time I want to meet new people and actually keep in contact with them.”