UNO Athletic Department Hosts New Student-Athlete Orientation
Editor's note: This article was written by UNO Athletic Media Relations feature writer Tim Shannon and later edited by the University's Office of Communications, Public Relations and Marketing.
The New Orleans athletic department hosted a new student-athlete orientation on Sunday.
The orientation. held at 6 p.m. in the Privateer room at Lakefront Arena, was designed to help all student-athletes who are new to UNO become familiar with the department's expectations and visions of student-athletes moving forward in their college careers. Attendance was mandatory for all incoming freshmen student-athletes, as well as transfer students.
"The idea is that we want our new student-athletes to get off to a great start," said Charles Small, the University's new assistant athletic director for student-athlete enrichment. "We want to give them a base for understanding our department's goals, help them understand our vision, and really personalize how this experience is going to help them to develop."
Small also described how the orientation also acts as a formal introduction to the department and UNO as a whole for new student-athletes. During the orientation, the department introduced students to practical skills through workshops on study skills and study strategies, academic integrity, time management and learning styles. The process was very interactive.
"And the great thing about this program," Small added, "is that it is a collaboration between athletics, Enrollment Services, the Counseling Center and the Earl K. Long Library staff. It is a great example of how as a university, everyone is coming together to get student-athletes off to a great start."
The athletic department received strong support from UNO President Peter J. Fos and Vice-President of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management Brett Kemker for the new student-athlete orientation, which was designed to ensure that students are prepared for the university on a variety of fronts, Small said.
"It has not been done for the last couple of years," said Small. "However, it is something that we definitely feel is a necessity to make sure that we (student-athletes and administration) are all on the same page."
Small, together with UNO Director of Athletics Derek Morel, Associate Athletic Director for Business Operations Ola Adegboye, Lakefront Arena General Manager Marco Perez and equipment manager Mike Hill, directly addressed the students on a variety of topics before having the students break out into interactive group exercises.
The day's workshops were designed to: tie individual students' abilities to how they learn and retain information in class, delve into academic integrity issues, show students how to properly cite information in papers to avoid academic dishonesty and plagiarism and familiarize the new students with the all resources UNO has to offer.
The orientation program "allows new student-athletes to meet each other for the first time," Small said. "Everyone remembers the first time they walk onto a college campus. The great thing about sports is that you're part of a team, and (this orientation) welcomes students to the Privateer family."
Small closed with an appreciation of how Fos, Kemker, and Morel stressed a student-first approach in developing the orientation, which was designed to help student-athletes have a great experience at the university.