Orientation keeps first-years' interest

By Matthew Stone

Though it’s a well-known fact that Orientation activities can’t hold first-year students’ interest for the entire introductory weekend, those involved with organizing this year’s round of Macalester introductions are saying that more students stuck around until the end this year than in years past”It always does drop off but I feel like we did a better job this year,” student organizer Katy Haugland ’08 said.

Haugland said more mandatory events helped stem some of the attendance decline. And even if students skip out on Orientation events, it’s not necessarily a bad thing, she said.

“If they’re ditching out on things together, that’s one of our goals right there,” Haugland said. “Orientation is never everyone’s deal.”

Orientation this Labor Day weekend featured many of the same staples as years past with a few new ones added to the mix. With move-in day one day earlier than in the past-on Friday, Aug. 31-the first day featured a session dubbed “Welcome to Your Life at Mac,” which featured panels of students offering advice to ease the first-year students’ transition.

“We needed to do something to really kick off and welcome them here and give them an idea of what Macalester is really about,” Associate Campus Programs Director Jessy Rosenberg said.

For the first time, the Department of Multicultural Life helped to organize “Faces of
Macalester,” where six upper-class students spoke about their experiences with multiculturalism on campus.

Other firsts included a $100 stipend for the 37 Orientation Leaders, assigning one leader per group, and groups of half the traditional size.

The weekend’s mainstays included the annual student talent show, Casino Night, and Macalester Games, a series of quirky competitions.