First days of the year succeed with the efforts of many
September 26, 2013
This summer’s orientations and Welcome Weekend were successful due to the work of dozens of students and faculty alike over the course of several months.
Sophomore Avery Unterreiner, who worked as an Orientation Leader, was just one of many working tirelessly to kick off the new school year.
“There was so much more prep work than I could have imagined,” she said. “You’d just think it goes so seamlessly, and that it’s really easy, but there’s so much behind-the-scenes work.”
Sophomore Nick Casaccia, also an OL, knows this firsthand.
“(The OLs) really had to get to know each other,” he said. “We set expectations for what experiences we wanted to share with the freshmen and what we wanted them to take away.”
In addition to summer orientations, students and staff made preparations for Welcome Weekend well in advance. Move-in day required a great deal of helping hands and can-do attitudes.
“All of the volunteers were working so hard moving everybody (in),” said Unterreiner. “I know that was probably so difficult and they did an awesome job.”
Once the new freshmen moved in, the work was still far from over, as students of all ages became immersed in campus life.
Sophomore Daniel Long, a first-time Community Facilitator, was one of many preparing for weeks in anticipation of new residents.
“It was more exhausting than I thought (it would be),” he said. “It was three weeks of work preparing for primarily one weekend.”
Experienced CFs like Jeneé Dampier, a returning CF in Dunne Hall, found things a bit easier.
“I felt like this year as a CF, I was more prepared,” she said. “I’m glad that this year I had the opportunity to feel comfortable going up to freshmen and introducing myself.”
The Facilities Department spent the summer creating a better campus for students.
O’Connor Hall and the Benson Memorial Center kitchen were both upgraded, and in the next few weeks, the SCU Softball Field will be upgraded as well.
There is also a new parking garage in the works as well as a new Art and Art History Building.
The most noticeable project, though, has been the work on Palm Drive. The road that leads to the Mission Church has been replaced by a brick pedestrian mall and an addition of a fountain and more palm trees.
The results of all this hard work appear to have paid off. Freshman Matt Pierson was left with a great first impression.
“From the first time we got (to orientation) it felt really well-run,” he said.
Welcome Weekend also appeared to be a success in the eyes of freshmen.
“Moving in was very smooth,” said freshman Claire Arbios. “I thought it was going to be very hectic but it wasn’t.”
The hard work of OLs and CFs alike definitely paid off. However, those who put in the hours felt the biggest reward.
“I love being that person that people go to for advice, questions (and) concerns,” said Dampier.
Others involved in preparing Santa Clara for an entirely new group of students seemed to agree.
“The experience of working as a part of orientation was probably one of the best I’ve ever had,” said Unterreiner. “I got to share how much I love Santa Clara with a new class of students.”
The goal was to create as smooth and unnoticeable a transition as possible into the new year, but for those involved, it was something they hope never to forget.
Contact Dan Hanower at email@example.com.