UNO Names New Orientation Leaders

new orientation leadersOrientation leaders introduce new students to the ins and outs of campus life at the University of New Orleans.

A new crew of OL's has just been selected for the 2013-2014 academic year. "Take some time to get to know our 2013 Orientation Leaders. They look forward to working with you and assisting all of our new students with their transition to UNO," said Christy Heaton, associate director of first-year orientation and student success."We have a great mix of returners and new staff. All five colleges are represented, as is the Interdisciplinary Studies program. This year, we will have several transfer students on staff, as well as out-of-state and international students. They are a great bunch and are eager to help our incoming students."

An orientation leader, or OL, helps incoming freshmen and transfer students transition to UNO's academic and student life, introducing them to university resources, campus facilities, student services, social and recreational activities. Whether in orientation sessions, in class or having fun on campus, they answer new students' questions about UNO or the college experience. They provide new students an opportunity to become familiar with their colleges, help them to meet faculty and administrators and help freshmen to register for their first semester of classes.

OLs are typically active campus leaders, Heaton said. They represent a wide cross-section of the student body, diverse in age, race, major, upbringings and other facets of life.

The new crew of orientation leaders will hit the ground running, starting "orientation season" this month, staying on campus during the summer and leading summer orientation programs through August. Each winter, OL's lead a training session for new OL's, as well as some freshmen, transfer and international orientations. This spring, OL's will hold a "spring invitational" for select high school seniors and participate in a regional orientation conference.  They also help with the New Orleans area district literally rally and have monthly team meetings.

Summer fun includes training, orientations for summer school students and large freshmen programs, as well as orientation sessions for transfer and adult students and weekly meetings. Rounding out the fun at summer's end, OL's help freshmen jump feet first into the Privateer Plunge, a six-week welcome orientation for new students, by leading them through Welcome Week. They help new students move in to their residence halls on Move-In Day, host a "blackout party" and serve as hosts in campus "Just Ask Me" tents.

OLs also do community service work, organize teams for campus events including Swampball and SAC Trivia Night, hold fundraisers such as bake sales and a Wallyball tournament, and explore the City of New Orleans as a staff.

The new crop of 2013-2014 OL's already have one orientation under their belts and "many more to come," said Heaton.

To see who made the team, visit the Orientation Leaders web page and click on staff photos to read their bios.