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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

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BG24 Newscast
September 29, 2023

Orientation Leaders help introduce students to their new homes, influence decision

Micheal Dodge, like many students, had trouble making the decision over what college to go to.

Dodge, a first-year student, ultimately made his decision based on his experience at his orientation.

“I remember when I first went on the campus tour. It seemed like the campus was really nice, but it felt really distant to me at the time,” he said. “When I went to orientation in June, I really fell in love with [the campus].”

Orientation, a process that every student goes through, is an integral part of transitioning new students to college, said Dean of Students Jodi Webb.

“The program is designed to help transition prospective students to BGSU.” Webb said. “By the time they get [to BGSU], they’re usually committed to coming. The program helps set the stage for the new students.”

The best way to do that, Webb said, is through the use of Orientation Leaders, students who help introduce the University to new students.

“I have a lot that I could tell new students,” Webb said. “No matter what though, incoming students want to hear from current students. They find information more interesting when it comes from current students”

Being an Orientation Leader is a big job, Webb said.

“We want to make sure that the Orientation Leaders are well-prepared to educate incoming students,” Webb said.

The program is currently midway through its hiring process that’s slated to finish sometime before finals week, said Assistant Dean of Students Jessica Huddleston.

The Orientation Leaders are selected based on filling out an application, a group interview and a one-on-one interview, Huddleston said.

“What I am looking for is for students to be themselves. There is no cookie-cutter mold for this job; let us get to know them. We’re looking for what a student brings that is unique. That’ll only happen if they’re being their true selves,” Huddelston said.

There is no distinction made between applicants of different years in this process, Huddleston said.

“First-year students will have just gone through orientation and thus be very familiar with the process, while older students will be able to offer more experiences of college life,” Huddleston said.

Many qualifications are needed if one wants to be a part of this program, Webb said.

“People have to be comfortable in a group, they need to be able to work without constant supervision, and most importantly they need to work well together,” Webb said.

An Orientation Leader also has many responsibilities. For instance, the applicants that are selected have to take a two-credit course during the spring semester that will help build their leadership skills, Huddleston said.

For the summer, Orientation Leaders will help out with the orientation process, which means helping people who check in and leading tours around campus, she said.

Finally, Orientation Leaders will be responsible for helping out with recruiting Opening Weekend Group Leaders and helping facilitate Opening Weekend, she said.

The application deadline for next summer’s orientation has already passed, but it will be open for anyone to apply next fall.

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