Orientation programs welcome students

The Office of Orientation Programs has implemented new changes to this year’s sessions. To encourage incoming students to bond with other freshmen and and their orientation advisors, they will be arranged into groups to solve a five-part challenge on facts about the University. Photo by Emily Smith | Daily Trojan

Beginning June 7, USC will host freshman orientation programs to welcome the class of 2022.

Over the summer, USC will offer seven on-campus orientations, five off-campus U.S. orientations and three international orientations to accommodate the needs of rising freshmen.

Several changes were made to this year’s orientation sessions. According to orientation advisor Minji Cho, one of the many changes includes a new interactive task for attendees. This event will take place at the beginning of orientation, once the incoming students are separated into their groups with other freshmen and their orientation advisors.

“Rather than sitting in a circle and talking with their peers and orientation advisor, the freshmen will participate in a five-part challenge called ‘Trojan Challenges,’” Cho said. “They will go around campus while learning about USC facts. This year’s redesigned challenge will be a lot more interactive than previous years . . . it’s designed to help the students bond with each other.”

According to Cho, the orientation advisors will also perform their annual “SCits,” which sheds light on significant campus issues for today’s students. However, they have added new topics that students may face during college, such as social anxiety and microaggressions.

“Freshman orientation gives incoming students an opportunity to acclimate to the campus,” director of orientation programs Lisa Starr said. “It allows them to meet fellow students, touch base with their academic advisors and to experience a little bit of the Trojan Family before they start here in the fall.”

Orientation is scheduled to take place over the course of two days. On the first day, students meet with their orientation advisors and groups, take necessary placement exams, attend seminars for their respective colleges and tour the University Park campus. During the second day, students register for their fall classes, learn about different campus services and organizations and are introduced to their residential colleges.

“When students come to orientation, we want to start their journey towards academic success and to make sure they feel excited about their upcoming classes,” associate director of orientation programs Julia Stanton said. “The other layer to that is to connect students with other people . . . we’re really hoping that students have the chance to connect with not only current students, like the orientation advisors, but with other incoming students as well.”

According to Starr, the most crucial aspect orientation offers are the academic advising sessions that students are required to attend.

“At [their advisement appointments], they learn the nuts of bolts of what they need to do in order to be successful once they get here in August,” Starr said.

Orientation advisors will assist incoming students and parents throughout the two-day event. According to Stanton, the advisors underwent extensive training during the spring semester to prepare for the arrival of new students.

“We’ve got an amazing group of students, they just have a lot of great energy and each year, the students are really engaged and excited to foster the new class,” Starr said. “Their whole purpose is to let the incoming students see an actual student perspective and to have someone be a role model for them. They are there not necessarily to be the authority, but to be there as a resource.”

From the spirit rally to the Student Services Fair scheduled during orientation, Starr hopes that incoming students will feel welcomed and take advantage of the University’s resources.

“To get the most out of orientation, I encourage students to attend as many events as they can and to take this opportunity to connect with other students,” Stanton said. “I think that connecting with other people — incoming students, staff and academic advisors — is what really makes USC a second home for students. Using the different resources offered will give students a strong transition to USC and everything that is ahead of them in their years here.”