Monday, April 15

UNO First Year Experience Amps Up Faculty and Staff Participation in the Privateer Plunge

Prep RallyThe Privateer Plunge is six weeks of welcome programming designed to introduce new
UNO students to resources, programs and fun
on campus.

The University of New Orleans First Year Experience aims to increase faculty and staff participation in the ever-popular six weeks of welcome programming for first year freshmen and transfer students.

Privateer Plunge Faculty Information and Training Sessions are slated from 12:30 to p.m. on Tuesday, April 16 in the Student Involvement and Leadership Conference Room in the University Center and from 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m. on Friday, April 26, in Milneburg Hall, Room 159.

"We're not going to be planning programs for departments," said UNO Student Success Counselor Mike Hoffshire. "We want to be able to give you the skills to do that."

The six-week Privateer Plunge, run by the Division of Student Affairs and Enrollment Services, provides new students a variety of opportunities to understand available resources and to meet UNO students, faculty and administrators. The six-week orientation challenge for new students is divided into four tracks representing academic opportunities and traditions; social and cultural events and opportunities; health, wellness and personal development, and community service and leadership.

The faculty information sessions are designed to introduce faculty and staff from various departments to the possibilities provided by Privateer Plunge and to provide tips and ideas on how to plan or launch an event, as well as best practices for marketing or advertising a student event. Opportunity runs the gamut, said Hoffshire. Last year, the Chemistry Department ran students through a cornstarch experiment to get students excited about fun and science. The Interdisciplinary Studies Program hosted an ice cream social, which allowed students a chance to ask questions.

In fall 2012, 445 freshmen and 99 transfer students participated in the Privateer Plunge, said Meghan Schwab, UNO student success counselor. In fall 2011, 682 freshmen and 116 transfer students participated. Last year's numbers were affected by Hurricane Isaac, which blew through town as school started, as well as a change in the contest and prizes.

Still, Privateer Plunge is a fantastic way to connect with and engage students early on in their UNO experience, said Hoffshire. It's a chance "to better engage students right off the bat."

Read about UNO's Privateer Plunge >>