Orientation 2010 activities for new students set at Bemidji State University

BEMIDJI, Minn. (August 13, 2010) — Beginning next week, Bemidji State University is hosting orientation activities to help new students and international students make a successful transition into the college environment.

Orientation activities are designed to help new college students successfully transition to Bemidji State University. It intends to show students that the University has high expectations for them regarding academic integrity, respect for others and personal responsibility; and to encourage students to be actively engaged in learning. It also provides new students with information on academic advising and encourages involvement in campus activities. Finally, students learn where to access academic, personal and social support systems available at the University.

“We’re building the entire weekend around these principles,” said Mary Ward, director of the Advising Success Center and chair of Bemidji State’s orientation task force.

New to orientation this year is a coordinated parents’ program that will extend the principles being taught to the students participating in orientation to their parents as well. Parents will know of campus resources available to support them and their students, be provided contact information for faculty and staff they can turn to for support, be educated on the University’s mission, culture and traditions and be able to recognize common characteristics of and issues that come with being the parent of a college student.

Orientation activites conclude Sunday night with the University’s traditional Convocation event. At Convocation, students are given their academic charge and take part in a candle-lighting ceremony to officially complete their transition to college. Convocation begins at 8 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 22, in Memorial Hall 100.

The University expects nearly 2,000 participants in this year’s orientation activities, including more than 720 students and more than 1,200 parents.

“We have a commitment of 20 people on our orientation task force, faculty, staff and students, to make this event happen every year,” Ward said. “This is an all-volunteer effort; nobody has it in their job descriptions. It’s just a group of vested people who believe in this event.”

Orientation activities for international students begin Wednesday, Aug. 18, while orientation activities for new students begin on Friday, Oct. 20. Other activities during orientation include:

• Wednesday, Aug. 18 — Acquaintance and skills assessment day for international students.

• Thursday, Aug. 19 — First Year Experience class, campus tour and culture and services presentations for international students.

• Friday, Aug. 20 — Orientation activities begin for all students, and residence halls open for move-in. Welcome picnic and floor socials in the residence halls in the evening.

• Saturday, Aug. 21 — Family student farewell brunch, service learning events and the annual Beaver Bash at the Gillett Recreation and Fitness Center.

• Sunday, Aug. 22 — Responsible Men / Responsible Women sessions and orientation activities for transfer students. Annual convocation ceremonies in Memorial Hall 100.

For more information about Bemidji State University’s orientation activities, contact Mary Ward, chair of the Orientation 2010 Task Force, at (218) 755-4226 or advising@bemidjistate.edu.