This Tuesday kicked off New Student Orientation for the Class of 2017 with torrents of eager pick-up lines from upperclassmen, open houses for families and technology help for those still trying to figure out how to install Dartmouth Secure. Orientation week marks the first time that the 1,122 members of the Class of 2017 come together to meet each other and explore the College before they begin four years together.
At 5 p.m. Wednesday, the Class of 2017 will gather in Leede Arena for their first official class meeting, followed by a class photograph outside Dartmouth Hall. Immediately following the photograph, all freshmen are invited to the Class of 1953 Commons to eat dinner with College President Phil Hanlon and his wife, Gail Gentes.
Thursday at 9:30 a.m., new students are invited to attend a lecture on this year's summer reading book, David James Duncan's "The River Why." Throughout the day Thursday and on Friday, academic departments will host open houses across campus to welcome students and provide information about the opportunities and requirements provided by each major.
Economics department chair Douglas Staiger said the main goal of academic open houses in his department is to provide an overview of the field for those unsure of whether they're interested, as well as to give more direct guidance about specific requirements for those confident in pursuing an economics major.
Staiger said the open house is an informal gathering during which freshmen can expect to hear about economics in general, how the major is structured and what kind of courses freshmen should plan on taking. There is also an opportunity to talk to faculty members and ask specific questions about the major and the department, he said.
Matriculation for the Class of 2017 will take place on Sunday morning. That evening, students are invited to attend the activities fair to learn about the wide variety of extracurricular activities offered on campus.
In addition to informational lectures and formal events, freshmen can look forward to a preview of campus entertainment with an a capella showcase on Saturday and a dance showcase on Sunday, both of which Orientation Team leader Yobi Kelati '15 said tend to be highlights for new students. Kelati also said that the hypnotist show, scheduled to take place on Friday, is a hit for audiences from all class years.
Orientation aims to make new students feel welcome and teach them about the wide range of opportunities at Dartmouth, Kelati said.
Collis Orientation Team leader David Chiang '15 said he hopes freshmen he interact with feel comfortable being themselves in the context of Dartmouth.
Christiana Johnson '17 said that Orientation is "essential" for helping students meet one another and learn about academics at the College, especially in light of the quarter system's fast pace. Johnson said that though she is unsure of her major as of now, she is curious to learn more about the types of departments available at the College and their specific requirements."It'll be interesting to get a better grasp on how everything works at Dartmouth," she said.
Alex Frye '17, a member of the track and field team, looks forward to meeting new people. "I'm most excited just to meet everyone, like floormates and teammates," he said. "I don't know too many people yet on campus, so I'm looking forward to expanding that number."
This year, the new College policy barring freshmen from Greek houses until Homecoming weekend means that more freshmen will likely participate in events organized by the Orientation Team, Chiang said. "It's given us a bigger incentive to make sure these events cater to as many people as possible within our limits and budget restraints," he said.
Chiang said that though many students have always participated in Orientation and Pre-Orientation activities regardless of Greek influences, de-emphasizing these social spaces gives Orientation Team more wiggle room to highlight existing events and come up with new ones.
Those students present on campus for Pre-Orientation, which took place from Sept. 3 to Sept. 9, got the chance to participate in new events including an outdoor movie night and a game night in the Collis game room, along with classics such as the yearly "capture the melon" version of capture the flag on the Green, Chiang said.
This year, Orientation has returned to its original length after being cut short by two days last year to accommodate the College's new fall schedule.