The 158 students who attended New Student Orientation (NSO) on Friday, Aug. 26 were the first group to experience NSO as a full-day event, entailing the involvement of more than 70 faculty and staff members and 13 Student Ambassadors.
In years prior, NSO was a morning event that took place in Howard Hall and consisted of presentations given by speakers from throughout campus. This year, the event ran from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. and involved hands-on activities and conference-style programming that allowed students to move around campus and make connections with various people and resources.
“One of our main goals was to have more contact with current students, faculty and staff,” says Brooke Clements, Student Success Coordinator and lead organizer of NSO. “To achieve this, we implemented ways for students to connect throughout the day.”
To start the day off, students enjoyed a light breakfast as they received a warm welcome from College President Dr. Tony Damewood. To infuse a dose of Clarkson College history into the day, the students watched a video featuring and narrated by Board of Directors Chair Rev. Thomas Hurley.
Next, students split up into four groups of 40 and rotated through four 30-minute-long sessions held on the second and third floors of the main building. The sessions expanded on what they learned on their respective Advising and Registration Day and included information about wellness and resiliency, IT services and Online Campus. One session included a panel of four current students who shared about their own experiences at Clarkson College and offered tips on how to be successful. Another session allowed students to visit a series of booths to gain information about health and safety requirements, the Writing Lab and other student support services.
Following the breakout sessions, the students returned to Howard Hall for lunch and to hear from Student Government Association President Joseph McMahon and Alumni Association President Nicole Hardin. Their speeches encouraged the students to serve as leaders, supporters and change agents for the Clarkson College community.
At the end of the day, students split up once again—this time based on academic program. “Each program designed an hour-long interactive session for their students to connect with each other,” says Clements.