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ThunderWolf welcome new student orientation program is getting renovated

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The New Student Orientation program, ThunderWolf Welcome, will be held four times this summer here at Colorado State University-Pueblo. File photo

The New Student Orientation program, ThunderWolf Welcome, will be held four times this summer here at Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Over the course of the summer there will be four sessions, each lasting two days, for the new first year students or new transfer students living on campus. The first session is June 27-28, second session is July 15-16.

The third session is July 25-26. And the final session is August 22-23 for out of state students, according to an email by Cora Zaletel, executive director of External Affairs.

For new students or transfer students over the age of 24 living off campus, their Orientation will last from August 15-16. Every student must register online at www.colostate-pueblo.edu.orientation, at least a week before their session begins.

Patty Witkowsky, interim director of Student Engagement and Leadership, explained the reasoning behind having separate sessions for new and transfer students living on or living off campus.

“Transfer students and non-traditionally aged first year students have different needs than students beginning college for the first time right out of high school,” said Witkowsky. “The August orientations for them are geared toward information and resources, which is based on their needs as stated in various assessments over the years.”

The sessions targeting traditional first year students that live on campus deals more specifically with aiding students in developing a bond and sense of community with the people on campus, while also informing them about resources available them, according to Witkowsky.

The New Student Orientation will help all students learn about academic expectations in a meeting with the deans and faculty from their respective colleges, according to Witkowsky. Students are also informed about organization, leadership and research opportunities that are offered in their college.

Students will also be advised about co-curricular expectations like financial issues as well as concerns mentioned in the code of conduct. Technological resources, such as SkyDrive, PAWS and Blackboard will be discussed as well.

In recent years, the orientation program consisted of one session, in August, lasting around three days long. Witkowsky explained the new schedule change in an email.

“By having four options, we are able to provide students with a more personal experience and ensure that they are connected to the CSU-Pueblo community (students, faculty, and staff) in a smaller venue,” Witkowsky said.  The first session, June 27-28, is expected to have around 200-250 students attend, with 150 students already registered, according to Witkowsky. Witkowsky noticed an improvement in students’ participation in the last three years.

Although the orientation is mandatory, Witkowsky is hoping that the new summer schedule will take away distractions, such as moving into the dormitory rooms. Witkowsky believes that the involvement of student’s family will result in students being more likely to participate in the entire program.

With the revamped orientation schedule, some students or faculty familiar with previous Orientations will wonder if past events will be held this year.

According to Witkowsky, casino night will still be held for students, allowing them to “learn about campus involvement and leadership opportunities in a fun casino atmosphere.” Other well-known events such as the campus barbecue, New Student Convocation, and hypnotist will be held during the opening day, on Aug. 23, 2013, when all students will return.