By Arianne AryanpurHoya Staff Writer

For the past year, the New Student Orientation staff has been preparing for the class of 2005’s arrival on the Hilltop. Organized by sophomores, juniors and seniors, orientation is designed to acclimate freshmen and transfer students to university life.

As in years past, the four-day-long orientation kicks off with move-in. This year, however, space limitations caused by the construction of the Southwest Quadrangle Project pushed the university to arrange move-in for two days instead of one. Residents of Harbin Hall and half of Village C will move in Friday evening, while remaining students will move-in Saturday morning. Slated for fall of 2003, the Southwest Quadrangle Project consists of a 780-bed residence hall, a dining hall, a new Jesuit Community and an underground parking facility.

According to NSO Coordinator Chas Dorman (COL ’03), NSO 2001 is more group-centered than in past years. Before, after meeting in a small group once, students were left to themselves, Dorman said. The new format of NSO encourages students to meet with the same group of students several times to make them more comfortable. “We want the students feel good about being here,” he said.

Dorman said activities this year focus on diversity and aim to allow students to forge relationships not only with fellow classmates but also upperclassmen. “Not all students have an upperclassman friend,” Dorman said. “We want [a new student’s] orientation adviser to be that person.”

According to Dorman, the orientation staff consists of leaders who not only possess enthusiasm about the university but have knowledge about it at as well. The 220-person staff consists of group leaders, orientation advisers and captains, all of whom undergo an interview as part of the application process. Dorman said atleast 500 students applied for staff positions.

An addition to NSO 2001 is an activity called “Recess,” which has a grade school theme. Dorman anticipates that the activity will be a highlight of the NSO experience and encouraged” students to attend.

In addition to activities and academic open houses, orientation allows students time to purchase identification cards and textbooks. Through its numerous activites, organizers say orientation’s purpose is to make the adjustment to college life as easy and stress-free as possible. “[We want] to engage students into the new community,” Dorman said.

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