Bear Beginnings, Washington University’s orientation for first-year students, will be extended from its current four-day model to a nine-day session for fall 2019.
Pre-orientation programs offer more freedom in terms of activities, allow for exploration of self-selected interests and provide first-year students a chance to talk to upperclassmen.
Many pre-orientation program counselors have yet to be repaid by Student Union for extra expenses personally incurred during pre-o programs.
In response to pressure from the First Year Center to eliminate smaller pre-orientation programs, Raise Your Voice—an improv comedy and slam poetry program—became available to freshmen for the first time this year.
Little did I know, when I chose to participate in the “World of Politics” Pre-Orientation program, how much that experience would improve my experience as a freshman. Unfortunately, due to the new 20-participant rule put in place by the First Year Center, future freshmen may not have the same opportunity as I did.
ONLINE EXCLUSIVE: You can imagine my surprise when I heard that my Bear Beginnings, my foundation for a successful collegiate experience, is threatened by the First Year Center, which announced last week that any pre-orientation program with fewer than 20 students enrolled by June 15 would be cancelled.
In an announcement to student pre-orientation leaders, the First Year Center made it known that for the upcoming year they plan to cut any pre-orientation program that does not have 20 students signed up by June 15, 2016. We at Student Life can’t help but wonder why the FYC is going to such great lengths to limit student experience, something that the center supposedly champions.
In today’s news section, you will find a story entitled “FYC makes plan to cancel small pre-o programs.” It should be noted that Student Life has been running a small pre-orientation program known as Freshman Press for around 20 years, and therefore, there is not a single member of our editorial staff who does not feel strongly about the implications of the First Year Center’s decision.
As part of this year’s Bear Beginnings changes, longtime performance “Choices” was removed from orientation week. Next year’s incoming class is poised to have fewer choices for its pre-orientation schedule, too.
This fall, some pre-orientation programs saw a decrease in enrollment—and therefore funding—but all received varying degrees of scholarship money for participants.
While scholarship programs allowed new students to participate in pre-orientation, budget cuts as a result of decreased enrollment meant that some programs—including the campus television station WUTV’s “As Seen on WUTV”—could not afford to put on scheduled programming.