Thursday, June 12, 2014

University of New Orleans Welcomes Fall Freshmen through NSO at UNO

Nearly 250 fall freshmen arrived at the University of New Orleans today to participate in New Student Orientation. The two-day overnight program runs several times each summer and is designed to introduce new students to campus and help them acclimate before school starts in August.

"Orientation is an opportunity for new students to connect with other new students at UNO before starting classes and getting involved in student life in the fall," said Associate Director of Orientation and First Year Experience Christy Heaton. "They get to meet students, faculty and staff and engage early on."

Blue-shirted Orientation Leaders lined streets into campus, welcoming fall freshmen and their parents or other guests and directing new students straight to Pontchartrain Hall, the residence hall where they will spend the night. At the University Center, each new student received a blue UNO T-shirt and a blue UNO mini backpack filled with goodies. The award-winning Orientation Leaders got the fun started with a skit that included tunes from the widely acclaimed Disney film Frozen.

"UNO is the coolest place in the world," an OL dressed as the Frozen character Elsa told the audience.

The new students split into Alpha Teams, alphabetically assigned groups with which they will spend the next four years connected to academic advisers, financial aid staff, admissions counselors and other enrollment management staff at the Privateer Enrollment Center. Over the next two days, the teams will tour the UNO campus, receive an introduction to the University's Webstar system, register for classes, learn new UNO traditions, compete in spirit sessions and enjoy a variety of long-planned and stellar orientation events.

Academic advisers and other staff will work with Alpha Teams today and tomorrow to ensure that all fall freshmen who participate in New Student Orientation are registered for classes before school starts in August.

Throughout the session, the new UNO undergraduates will Tweet their fun using hashtags #uno18 and #unoproud. Tweetchats from NSO at UNO have historically become trending social media topics in the greater New Orleans area. Parents and guests receive their own orientation, learning the ins and outs of critical resources, including financial aid and campus safety.

The overnight stay is one of three for fall freshmen to be held this summer, said graduate assistant Lindsey Desselle. The summer also holds two transfer orientation sessions, one orientation session for adult returning students and a specially designed session for international students.

On the books this afternoon is O-Fest, an outdoor backyard picnic and resource fair introducing new students to the University's 140-plus clubs, faith-based groups, Greek Life and other student organizations on campus. Nighttime fun continues with "Late Night at the Rec" and an Improv show. 

"We hope a lot of these students will sign up for Privateer Camp (a three-day two-night overnight retreat for incoming freshmen who hope to build leadership skills and play a role on campus) and hit the ground running in the fall," said Heaton.


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