Orientation 2009 begins with a bark

June 29, 2009

by Ka’Britney Forch

Summer orientation kicked off with a parade of new students and their families Sept. 15.

Parent and Tech alumna Rebecca Andrews said she couldn’t think of any other school she would want her daughter to attend.

“I graduated from Tech, I love Tech, and I know my daughter will as well,” Andrews said.

By early August, nearly 3,000 visitors will have explored campus by following closely behind the Blue-shirted backward walkers.

In its 36th year, Tech’s orientation continues to be an ever-evolving informational machine.

Holly Crowell, an Orientation Student Leader and a junior speech pathology major, said the first session brought in 475 students and was the largest incoming class ever.

“More than 300 people are needed each session to guarantee orientation success and the first session did just that,”Crowell said.

The most recent three-day orientation was held June 10-12 and ran Wednesday through Friday.

Incoming students follow a schedule of planned events that will give them an opportunity to be advised, register for classes and get familiar with Tech’s campus and organizations.

Future Bulldog and Baton Rouge resident John Pierre’ LaFleur said he liked Tech so far, and it all has been a big reality check.

“Registering for my classes, getting my ID, everyone has been really helpful,” LaFleur said. “I’m learning more about responsibility and taking each moment a day at a time.”

After a short hiatus, orientation resumes during the first week of July and will also accommodate transfer students July 20 and August 3.

Crowell said sessions are offered four times in the summer and rely heavily on 16 paid student leaders, who were selected during the spring quarter.

She also said the orientation leaders were hired through a rigorous selection process in January, spending the spring meeting three times a week in preparation as well as attended a weekend retreat.

Jaleesa Sims, an orientation student leader and senior architecture major said, she enjoyed every moment that led to this first session.

“We worked really hard and studied even harder,” Sims said. “I am so excited to be an OSL, I love helping people, and I love my university.”

Crowell said by the end of summer they will have gained confidence, sharpened their communication skills and become backward-walking-and-talking encyclopedias of Tech knowledge.

Hillary Garner, a junior biology major, said orientation student leaders know what is expected of them.

“We’re prepared and were expected to be perky 24/7. We are also expected to know all expects of Tech and remember to remain unbiased,” Garner said. “We hope at the end these future Bulldogs will love Tech just as much as we do.”