"Freshman Orientation for the 2011-12 school year will be set up differently than usual. Instead of orientation being two days long, it will now last one day. Students will be preregistered for all five of their classes before stepping foot on campus for orientation. Schedules will be created based on the information the student provides online, such as previous college classes and Advanced Placement courses. The math placement exam will also be online.
"After the Compass proposed the change, a vote was held and the vote was 33-3, in favor of the proposal. The three votes against the proposal were two student votes and one vote from the math department. The math representative felt the test being available online would complicate the matter because students would be able to take a course higher than what they were prepared for said Student Association Vice President, Ajay Letini.
"One factor that remains the same is that students will be pre-registered for three classes, which has been standard practice for about 20 years the proposal said. Before registering for orientation, students must go through a process where they take a survey and pick their preferences for classes. Faculty members with experience in orientation advisement review the answers the students chose and pick which classes fit best. Also taken into account are previous credits students had and their math placement exam.
"The construction taking place on campus is one of the reasons why orientation is changing next year. The elevator in Lanigan Hall will be fixed over the summer, so the building will not be in use. The changes to orientation will have both positive and negative effects. Also, budget cuts are a factor for the changing orientation, Letini said. The one-day orientation would also cost less.
""If a student works at a summer camp and has to go to a later orientation, they will get the same opportunities as students who go to the earlier orientation," Susan Camp, chair of Faculty Assembly said. Students going to later orientations do not have to worry about getting classes that they won’t need because their classes will be picked before. The classes are not permanent and students will be able to change them during the add/drop period.
"In the proposal, it is written that a benefit of the new orientation are that students can meet with an adviser individually to fix their schedules, whereas with the old format, students did not have their classes already picked out and did not have the time to fix them. There will be less stress on students, advisors, and parents with the new format. Students will already have their classes and can ask questions about their classes.
"After conducting a survey, Lentini said that it showed freshmen feel stressed during the add/drop week, making scheduling difficult. S.A. thought the orientation setup before helped freshmen because they were treated more as adults. The students were able to pick two of their classes, whereas with the new format, students will already have classes.
"This new format for orientation will be on a one-year trial run and be reevaluated next year. It is possible that this will be the format for years to come, due to the fact that after the proposal takes place, it will be hard to be changed.