LATROBE, PA – Since freshman move-in day on Aug. 22, the Saint Vincent College Orientation Team has assisted in helping the newest Saint Vincent students transition from high school to college life with one of the most involved programs in the country.
Over the first five weeks of the fall semester, the Orientation Team, under the guidance of director of campus and multicultural student life Deanna Wicks, has arranged a bevy of special events for the new Saint Vincent College students.
The semester began with move-in day, when 130 dedicated Orientation Team volunteers unloaded and carried the belongings of nearly 400 members of the Saint Vincent class of 2023 into their residence hall rooms, not stopping the valet baggage service until every student was completely moved in.
Following move-in, a special social for first-year students was held, while the next night, the Orientation Team sponsored the annual graffiti dance, a social event designed to help freshmen meet their classmates while exchanging autographs on one another’s t-shirts.
The majority of the freshman class resides in the state-of-the-art Saint Benedict Hall, which is comprised of 21 “pods,” or groups of 10-12 rooms that share common lounge areas and bathrooms. Throughout the first five weeks of classes, the freshmen took part in “Pod Wars,” a series of fun competitions including a scavenger hunt, door decorating contest, human battleship, Saint Vincent Jeopardy and minute to win it. Other popular on-campus orientation events included a club fair, pool party and a luau.
Freshmen were also afforded the opportunity to travel off campus for a pair of “mystery trips,” of which nobody knew the final destination except for the bus driver and the advisers, as well as a trip to the Pittsburgh Zoo. One of the “mystery trips” went to Washington, D.C. for a weekend adventure, including a tour of the Capitol building.
Saint Vincent Orientation also includes a big/little program that pairs every new student with an upperclass mentor, an academic orientation and freshman seminar, meetings on career planning, education on drug and alcohol abuse, personal safety and Benedictine values and an online parent program.
Saint Vincent College students are serving as volunteer leaders of the Orientation Team, including lead director Gina Coldren, a senior biochemistry major from Perryopolis; Kolony Miller, a senior communication major from Latrobe who serves as director of academic orientation and mystery trips; Helena Zrile, a senior anthropology major from Mercer who serves as director of move-in day and Welcome Weekend; Alexis Ohree, a junior communication major from Henrico, Virginia, who serves as director of big/little matching and committee relations; event director Casey Kalp, a senior allied health major from Mount Pleasant; event director Harry Hiles, a senior biology major from Isabella; event director Brianna Carter, a junior integrated science major from Suitland, Maryland; and event director Gabriella Furey, a junior psychology major from McKeesport.
PHOTO: Front (L-R): Gina Coldren, Kolony Miller, Alexis Ohree and Brianna Carter. Back (L-R): Gabriella Furey, Harry Hiles, Helena Zrile and Casey Kalp
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