May 27, 2010

Freshman orientation visits start Monday, continue through June 28

by Anne Krapfl

Most of this fall's freshman class will visit campus during June to get the ball rolling on their college careers. Between June 3 and 28, an estimated 3,600 freshmen, many with family members, will arrive to meet their academic advisers and register for fall classes, get their ISUCards, set up university e-mail accounts, attend college-specific welcome sessions and acclimate to the campus. They'll also learn about August move-in, parking personal vehicles, using the student health center, navigating Parks library, choosing a meal plan and paying their university bills. Current students will be tapped to offer advice on getting off to a good start and making the most of their years at Iowa State. A complete schedule of events is online.

Each orientation session lasts a day and a half and serves 280 to 300 students, said Liz Kurt, director of new student programs. And surprisingly, some of them still are shopping for the right fit.

"There's no assessment that captures how many of our orientation students haven't made a final decision yet," Kurt said, "but every day I talk to someone who is attending multiple orientations.

"That's why customer service is so important," she added.

East side HQ

Due to the State Gym construction project and the subsequent lack of visitor parking on the west side of campus, the orientation base moved to the east side. Registration will take place in the Hixson-Lied Student Success Center, participants will park in the lots surrounding the Maple-Willow-Larch complex, and guests opting to stay on campus will use Maple Hall and eat breakfast in Seasons dining center.

Kurt said she and her staff are pleased to be using the Hixson-Lied center. "It's an awesome facility and we're looking forward to showcasing not just the building but all the academic and student support services the university offers there."

Once they're registered, guests will move to central campus for their day and evening activities. There isn't a designated orientation shuttle bus this summer; instead guests will be encouraged to use CyRide's free orange route shuttle or walk. Guests will choose their own campus lunch spots and dinner is at the dining center in the Union Drive Community Center.

A little help

Kurt noted that central campus summer construction projects, particularly the replacement of Morrill Road, will make way-finding difficult for guests who don't know the campus well.

"We hope members of our university community will extend a little help to families that look confused or lost," she said. "FP&M has done a good job of putting directional signs in helpful spots, and we're grateful for that."

Beardshear, Carver and Hoover halls; Durham Center and the Memorial Union are central campus buildings with high foot traffic during orientation.