Campus welcomes class of 2012
Published: Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Updated: Sunday, February 22, 2009 10:02
Four-hundred and eighty-three new students arrived on campus two weeks ago for Freshman Orientation, which kicked off Wednesday, Aug. 22 with optional early move-in.
According to Kathy Bray-Merrell, Associate Dean of Student Life, Orientation was meant to expose freshmen to the people and resources that they will need while they embark on their college career: their roommate, their academic advisor, their hall counselors, the librarians, public safety, academic resources, student counseling and the health center.
According to Bray-Merrell, although most already know that the Honor Code, care and concern for others, service and the life of the mind are integral parts of the college,
Orientation is the time when freshmen are truly introduced to the culture and values of Davidson because they get to experience it firsthand.
Bray-Merrell said that this year's Orientation was successful in achieving those goals. "If you can judge a class from their behavior during Orientation, this is an awesome class," she said.
Bray-Merrell noted that new students' enthusiasm and level of involvement in the variety of orientation activities was very high. According to Bray-Merrell, one of the initial concerns was that the tailgate picnic, an activity introduced this year, might not have gotten a high turnout because students may have been exhausted after a series of activities. The tailgate was held Saturday, Aug 23, before the women's soccer game against Virginia Tech.
"They [the freshmen] were there, they were involved and they were excited more than past classes have been," Jason Shank, the Assistant Director for Programs of the Union Board, said of the Class of 2012's participation.
A parents' session on safety at Davidson was another addition to the schedule. At this point, it is unclear whether or not that particular activity will continue. Many of the decisions made on Orientation depend on surveys passed out to students and parents.
Community of Respect was a collaboration between the health advisors and the Department of Theatre. The health advisors helped frame major issues on campus and how they are presented.
Those issues tend to be the same each year; substance abuse, sexual misconduct and coming out of the closet have consistently been integral parts of the skits. The latter issue was refocused on lesbianism this year as some health advisors feared that homosexual women have a harder time coming out
There were a variety of events throughout the four days, including a party in the Alvarez College Union, an ice cream social, swimming at the lake campus, A Community of Respect skits, a tour of Davidson emphasizing the theme of sustainability, President Tom Ross' convocation and a discussion on a Janisse Ray's novel.
The Davidson Show filmed the events and then presented the first episode of the year to a packed house in the Duke Family Performance Hall Monday, Aug 25.
Caroline Halaby '12 appreciates all the events of Orientation much more now that classes have started. "It felt like the longest four days of my life, but once it was over, I missed it. Real college actually began," Halaby said.