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Orientation Begins Relationships that Last a Lifetime

Date: July 9, 2001
By: Dawn Fuller
Phone: (513) 556-1823
Archive: General News

Hundreds of students and their parents got their first introduction to the University of Cincinnati as they started summer orientation July 2. The get-acquainted sessions not only took students on a tour of their class buildings, but also gave them tips on how to stay academically successful as they experience their first years of independence. The students also were reminded that despite the large campus, they had a family right here in their UC community.

"How can you have a sense of family among 33,000 students and 12,000 faculty and staff? How can a place like this be considered a family? The orientation program is meant to introduce you to the things in our family that we consider important...our values and beliefs," said Stan Henderson, associate vice president for enrollment management.

Henderson described the eight principles for a Just Community, unveiled last February. "We will challenge you to model the principles and values of our family and expect you to challenge us to provide the education you expect - a world-class education to prepare you to move into whatever hopes and dreams and ambitions you have for the rest of your lives."

As students discussed and explored their perception of a Just Community, they broke out into small groups to design canvas flags. The flags will be tied together to become a 48 X 40 foot backdrop at their Convocation in September. Jason Ramsey leads the Hokey Pokey

Student orientation leaders Jason Ramsey, a second year history major from Lorraine, Ohio, and Zarina Mitchell, a second year student who graduated from Withrow High School, led a group of 14 freshmen who worked on their flag early Tuesday morning. Reminding students that even at 8 a.m., they needed to get themselves into a creative state of mind, Ramsey worked on getting the students' adrenaline going with the hokey pokey.

"Draw a picture on the flag of what you think represents a Just Community. Remember you also need to write all your names around the flag, come up with a name for yourselves and draw something on the flag that symbolizes UC," said Ramsey.

The small group settings not only encouraged teamwork, but also gave students a chance to form relationships before fall quarter starts in September. This group wanted to make sure they would be able to spot their flag in the large backdrop at Convocation, so they decided on drawing a Smurf. Michael Wang, a finance major from Knoxville, Tennessee, like the idea of a Smurf with a beard, so he started sketching his ideas on the blackboard. Ramsey joked with Dave Reho, a business administration major from Canton, Ohio, that his Smurf was looking more like an alien. Dave Reho and his alien

Nina Neuhaus sketched the final Smurf outline as the others filled in the pattern. Once they wrapped up this session, it was time for a campus tour and then a preview of how the campus was undergoing a metamorphosis.

"This is probably one of the most exciting times to be at UC," said Niraj Dangoria, director of Campus Planning. "You are going to see this campus transformed like never before. If your parents attended UC, they may have seen a lot of asphalt and concrete when they were here. Now there are green spaces." Deciding on a Smurf pattern

Another first for incoming freshmen this year, a shared learning experience among students at all colleges that provide undergraduate programs. Students saw a video, narrated by Rocco Dal Vera, a CCM associate professor of drama, and edited by Peter Simon, an employee for the new media division of the College of Nursing Center for Academic Technologies and Educational Resources (CATER).

The video, titled Foundations for Success, outlined and gave examples of the four baccalaureate competencies under General Education: critical thinking, effective communication, knowledge integration and social responsibility. Students also saw examples covered under the Breadth of Knowledge requirements, defined as "broadening your intellect while specializing in your major."

The university-wide plan was approved last fall. The university will submit a report to the North Central Association of Colleges and Schools, a regional accrediting body, on implementation and assessment by April 2003.

Approximately 3,000 students will go through orientation by August 3. Residence halls will open Sept. 13 for all students. Fall quarter classes begin on Thursday, Sept. 20.

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