By Maggie Collett
Everyone remembers what it’s like to be an incoming freshman: terrified, nervous, and in anticipation of what you only know of as, “Builder Camp.” A small group of people known as orientation leaders are chosen each year to assist incoming freshmen with move-in day, Builder Camp, and the week of Fall Frenzy.
Sarah Hallinan, director of residence life, said, “We usually have quite a few applicants.” Around 50 to 60 students generally apply, although there are only a small number of positions available to the general student population.
“[Residence assistants] are automatically orientation leaders. StuFu and SGA execs are orientation leaders,” said Hallinan. “It leaves 10 or 15 that we need to fill with other students.”
When applying for an orientation leader position, students must fill out the application and attach a resume and a cover letter.
Lai-L Clemons, director of campus life, said they are looking for students who will be passionate about their role.
“We’re looking for people that love Southwestern College and are enthusiastic and have the Moundbuilder spirit and exhibit it to freshmen,” said Clemons. “[Orientation leaders] need to be people that are willing to give back.”
Brandon Hessing, coordinator of Student Foundation, said, “We’re looking for people who take pride in traditions but want to make things better and are open to change. We want people that can see the good in those kinds of opportunities.”
Orientation leaders are expected to do more than just show up for move-in day and attend Builder Camp.
“[They] come back early and do around three days of training and then they help with move-in day and go to Builder Camp,” said Hallinan. “Also after Builder Camp they do the whole week of fall frenzy. It’s more than just a Builder Camp position. [They] have to be 100% invested in it.”
Anjaih Clemons, business administration senior, got a taste of being an orientation leader in fall 2010 and said she would go back and apply for the other years if she could.
“There’s so many [stories],” said Clemons. “[Stephanie Wheeler] sang Little Mermaid [in the talent show] and I remember I was sitting in the front row and I was like, ‘Oh my gosh she’s the voice of Ariel!’”
Anjaih had a word of advice for students interested in applying.
“Be yourself,” Clemons said. “They like outgoing people and people who are really wanting to help and lead. If that’s something you want to do then I would say go for it.”
Maggie Collett is a freshman majoring in communication. You may e-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Edited by Alejandra Rojas