Senior Disorientation `Disorientation’ Tries To Strike Balance With All Seniors

By Michael Kocher Special to The Hoya

Beginning with registration Sunday in Red Square, the week-long Senior Disorientation continues a tradition that dates back at least 10 years. This year’s theme is “Children of the ’80s” and will culminate with a toga party on the Leavey Esplanade.

Senior Class Committee Chairman Aaron Polkey (COL ’02) said the Disorientation activities give seniors the opportunity “to hang out and get pumped” before the stress of their classes and jobs begins. Polkey said events like “Take Back New South Night” and “Cheeseburger in Paradise: Senior Cookout” offer the opportunity to get reacquainted with old friends and meet less familiar classmates after a year in which many members of the class were abroad.

Senior Disorientation used to be four or five nights of bar hopping, Polkey said. The committee tried to change that by planning a variety of activities that appeal to more people, including those seniors under 21, he said. Although entry to some events requires participants to be of legal drinking age, the majority of events set the minimum entry age at 18.

In 2000, over 1,100 seniors attended the Senior Disorientation barbeque. Polkey projected equal enthusiasm this year.

According to Polkey, the most important part of the activities is that they bring seniors back to campus. Seniors are encouraged to go to the on-campus Senior Disorientation activities instead of or before going to off-campus bars or parties.

Senior Disorientation aims to be about more than just partying. According to Polkey, there is a wide array of aspects which fulfill the Senior Class Committee’s goal of providing social, cultural and career-oriented events.

On Sunday, Fr. James Walsh, S.J., said a special Mass for seniors in Dahlgren Chapel, and Rev. Constance Wheeler led a Protestant service in the St. Williams Chapel. Tuesday offered a Career Center open house from 3 to 6 p.m. Before the toga party on Saturday night, there will also be an Urban Oasis Community Service Trip from 11 a.m. until 2:30 p.m.

On Friday, Sept. 14, a trip to a Baltimore Orioles game is planned. The bus will leave Healy Gates at 5 p.m. Later that evening, a toga party on the Esplanade with several DJs will be held.

Because noise complaints from the neighborhood have traditionally been a problem at Senior Disorientation, the Senior Class Committee planned all activities away from the borders of campus. Events that do not take place off campus will take place at locations other than Copley Lawn. Polkey said he hopes such planning will help the university improve relations with area neighbors.

Polkey said so far seniors have seemed “very excited” about the scheduled events.

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