To get a sense of the excitement for the upcoming fall semester at Regis College, watching the orientation leaders’ team photoshoot was a pretty good indication. From the wide smiles, thumbs up, and literal jumping for joy, these students are ready for the newest members of the Pride.
Orientation leader training, which took place the week of June 7, gave the student leaders the chance to learn more about the institution and each other as they prepare to serve as a welcoming force and support system for the Regis College Class of 2025, which arrives on campus this fall.
“This is really the first time where, yes COVID is still around and we need to remember that, but we get to be together in person and see each other and not be on Zoom,” said Tori Bradley ’23, an orientation leader.
Due to the pandemic, Regis’ first-year orientation will look a little different this summer. Instead of the traditional overnight orientation held in June, students will attend a virtual welcome in June, come to campus during one of three visit days in July and August, and participate in additional programing on September 1 after move-in.
“We’re eagerly awaiting the arrival of the Class of 2025 and incoming transfer students and have a fantastic team of orientation leaders preparing to welcome them into the Regis community,” said Dean of Students Walt Horner. “Their role is more important than ever. Due to the pandemic, a number of our incoming students have never visited campus and orientation leaders are charged with helping them acclimate to life in college and learn more about all that we have to offer at Regis.”
Because orientation will be different, orientation leader training was also different, explained Elise Yonika, associate director of the Center for Student Engagement and News Student Programs. Many details about Regis and the campus experience are now covered in a virtual orientation tool adopted last year, so orientation leader training focused more on team building and the institution’s mission.
“In addition to making sure students receive the administrative information they need prior to the start of the fall semester, this year we wanted to put extra emphasis on community building,” said Yonika. “Our orientation leader staff has gone through extensive training to assist the incoming students with making connections and finding their place at Regis.”
In addition to ice breakers to get to know each other more, the orientation leaders learned self-care tips to share with new students, how to engage with students on social media, and they heard from speakers in the Center for Ministry and Service and Center for Inclusive Excellence about those departments’ missions, among others.
And this year’s orientation leaders understand just how important their role is. “Being at orientation as a new student and seeing the enthusiasm the orientation leaders had just gave me so much confidence,” said Sasha Depina ‘23. “I want to do the same for these students.”