Swat on the Range: first years welcomed to campus

Editor’s note: This article was initially published in The Daily Gazette, Swarthmore’s online, daily newspaper founded in Fall 1996. As of Fall 2018, the DG has merged with The Phoenix. See the about page to read more about the DG.

Each year, before returning sophomores, juniors, and seniors arrive on campus, Freshman Orientation welcomes the new first-years to Swarthmore College. The theme of this year’s orientation was “Home on the Range,” providing an opportunity for new events to be planned in addition to the usual activities that occur yearly during the orientation.

The Orientation Committee is determined from applications, and it works in conjunction with Campus Advisors (CA’s) to organize Freshmen Orientation week. Highlights from this year’s week of activities include events which students from older classes remember, such as the trust walk and ice cream socials. Unique events were also centered around the week’s western theme. Freshmen enjoyed a “Hoe Down” on Parrish Beach, complete with mechanical bull and slip ‘n slides, Saloon Night in Upper Tarble, and a Four-Square Dancing Festival in the Field House. Roger Shaw ’08 especially enjoyed Swat Theater because he found the Harry Potter theme to be “effective and funny, yet informative”.

Overall, the experience seemed to be positive for the new students. While Shaw stated, “I didn’t feel like I gained anything by being in a CA group, even though the CAs were friendly and nice,” Mark Loria ’08 found that the CA’s were “helpful, approachable, and answered questions.” Both Shaw and Loria agreed that Freshman Orientation week helped make their transitions to college life easier.

Jeffrey Mao ’06, a CA, commented, “The OC [Orientation Committee] and a lot of CA’s put a lot of time and care into the whole orientation deal–whether it was making the door signs or helping people move in or getting the events set up–and so hopefully it was all worth it in giving the freshmen a good memory that they can look back on.”

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