Eager to acclimate next year’s fresh meat with the spirit and bare footedness of New College, over eighty students — one of the largest numbers yet — applied online to be Orientation Leaders (OL’s) for the coming 2012 semester. Among the vast pool of applicants, 38 were chosen, with seven returning OL’s.
“We’ve almost doubled the number and the reason we did that was because last year’s class was relatively large and it created large groups,” Orientation/family weekend coordinator Maura Murry explained. “We want to make sure that orientation is a smaller, more intimate [and] more comfortable experience.”
In the past, Student Affairs required a written application but this year they employed a questionnaire via surveymonkey.com for the convenience of the applicants. After the first round of cuts, interviews were conducted in groups of eight to ten candidates. The candidates then broke into even smaller groups where they were given a scenario and had to work together to come up with an idea or plan of action. The interviewing process ended with each student answering a random question in his or her own experience or opinion.
“We wanted a group of students who are able to work well together … and build off each other’s strengths,” Murry said. “We don’t want a whole bunch of people who are all clones. We’re looking for a lot of different interests [and] a lot of different personalities to build a broad kind of cross-section of what it’s like to go to New College … so that new students who are coming in, have someone to relate to.”
Newly-appointed Orientation Leader and third-year transfer Catalyst layout editor Shane Donglasan explained how her own OL’s unique experience as a transfer student offered her a perspective that was invaluable to her orientation experience — a perspective she hopes to pass on to the next batch of transfer students.
“There’s been a lot of discourse about community recently on campus and what it means to be part of the community,” Donglasan said. “I just want to be a part of that and be part of creating an open safe comfortable environment.”