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Orientation is the stepping stone for many

Orientation is one of the first times where incoming first-year students get to experience college. Drake’s orientation leaders are there to make first-year students feel as at home as possible.

The process of becoming an orientation leader first involves informational meetings, which are currently being set up by Tasha Stiger, director of campus programming. At these meetings, there will be orientation leaders from previous summers to answer questions for the new applicants.

Then, students who are interested must fill out the application.  This application usually contains two essay questions. The official deadline to turn in the application is Jan. 26.

Some of the previous orientation leaders include seniors Sean Walsh and Seejo Valacheril, junior Zac Pace and sophomore Tanaya Thomas.

“Answering questions that students had about Drake, campus life and classes (was my favorite part),” Walsh said. “It was a really rewarding experience, and it’s fun to interact with every student that is going to be new on Drake’s campus.”

Pace said that putting on a good first impression for the incoming class was his favorite part.

“The opportunity to represent Drake and welcome the entering first-year class (was my favorite part),” Pace said.

Both Walsh and Pace served as orientation leaders for the first time last summer.

Some of the requirements for being an orientation leader are having good academic standing, leadership experience and a cumulative grade point average of 2.5.  A week before the first orientation session, all of the orientation leaders go to training camp.

The orientation leaders coordinate most of the activities that students participate in during orientation. Some of them include sessions about different aspects of lifestyles here on campus or in Des Moines or showing informational videos to students. These videos are directed by and star the orientation leaders.

“Some of my very best memories from this summer happened with my fellow orientation leaders,” Pace said.

“The bond our group created was incredibly strong, and it is something I will always cherish.  I have also met so many members of the first-year class and created lasting relationships with them. After being an (orientation leader), I can’t walk anywhere on campus without running into someone that I met or interacted with during orientation.”

For students interested in becoming an orientation leader, there will be informational sessions on Wednesday at 8 p.m., on Dec. 5 at 7 p.m. and on Jan. 20 at 1 p.m.  Students who are interested can also speak Stiger or any of the previous orientation leaders.

Information Sessions:

—Nov. 16, 8 p.m.

—Dec. 5, 7 p.m.

—Jan. 20, 1 p.m.

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