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O-Reg makes changes

The University kicked off its 2004 Orientation and Registration (O-Reg) program last week, introducing oodles of program changes that exasperated entering freshman on their first day of college life.

“It was kind of a long day, but it was informative,” O-Reg participant Kylee Munson said, her friend and fellow entering freshman Kristin Osborne nodding in agreement.

However, the welcome day these University entrants faced was a little shorter than what current University students remember because this year’s entering freshmen took their placement tests online, finishing them before they even stepped foot on campus.

“It was nice that we didn’t have to be here early to take tests,” Munson said.

The tests were taken through the MyBGSU blackboard system, which allowed students to retake the tests quickly if they wished.

“I liked it because you could take it three times,” O-Reg participant Justin Bailey said, referring to the online version of the math placement test.

Bailey, Munson, and Osborne had no trouble completing the online testing, and all agreed that it was easy.

The extra time was not put to waste, however. O-Reg 2004 participants were introduced to longer, more personal academic meetings, an improved “Focus on Campus Life” session, and several interest sessions available to both students and parents on their second day of O-Reg.

“All of the stuff that we’ve had in past years has been totally revamped and just made even better. Instead of having so many speakers…they’re showing a lot more videos, which are more high paced… more believable in a way,” Orientation Leader Katie Stanko said.

The “Focus on Campus Life” session was given a face-lift with new videos and monologues presented by the Orientation Leaders, students who lead a small group of O-Reg participants through the program.

About an hour long, the session was separated into different aspects of campus life, including campus involvement, diversity, wellness, and residence hall life.

Following a brief video featuring student testimonials shot on campus about one of those aspects of campus life, the Orientation Leaders each gave a monologue.

For instance, after the video on diversity, an Orientation Leader stood up in the theater and gave a true account, in the first person, of how one student handled gay/lesbian issues.

“It makes for a more realistic approach for freshmen who are currently coming in to the University,” Brian Robinson, who has been an Orientation Leader for two years, said.

The feeling of realism was further enhanced by video interviews with real students shot on campus.

“They’re not actor videos. These are people that are from Bowling Green that are speaking about their own personal experiences. So it’s just basically another way for the kids to say “Yeah my Orientation Leader was right, she’s not the only one who thinks this, Orientation Leader Nicole Schamp said about the multiple angles students get from the session.

Several new interest sessions were also introduced this year. The hour-long sessions were available for both students and their parents.

“Interest sessions provide students and family members with information about topics that may impact them during their college career,” Jodi Webb, Director of Orientation and First Year Programs, said.

The topics of the sessions ranged from “Technology at Your Fingertips,” to “Parent Transitions: What life will be like when your student leaves for BGSU,” and “Sex in BG.”

The sessions coincided with open houses at several student services around campus such as the Study Skills, Math, and Writer’s labs.

The academic meetings, where students learn the ins and outs of their particular colleges and departments, were revamped as well. Instead of being one long lecture, the meetings broke out into special sessions.

Other traditional O-Reg sessions continued.

The dinner show continued this year, and featured a parody of a song from the motion picture musical “Grease”. The parody was entitled: “Orientation Nights,” and was performed by a group of Orientation Leaders.

Some O-Reg participants were displeased with one continuing program, the welcome session.

“The welcome thing was way too long and way too boring and way too predictable,” O-Reg participant Greg Nemes said.

The BG News asked several O-Reg participants if they felt more comfortable with college life after attending O-Reg.

Bailey felt more comfortable, especially, he said, because of meeting new people.

O-Reg participant Jenny George agreed.

“I think so, especially because we met some people,” she said, her new friend Matt Kelley nodding in agreement.

Entering freshman Kevin Siedlecki felt most comfortable with the idea of the new lifestyle introduced to him at O-Reg.

“I met new people and it’s really exciting and I can’t wait,” he said.

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