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Orienting the Orientation Leaders 2013

Molly Carl
Arts & Culture Writer

The OLs help incoming freshmen get used to Millersville.
The OLs help incoming freshmen get used to Millersville.

Most everyone who is currently attending or has attended Millersville University in the past has gone through the orientation program. They’ve done all of the ice breakers and attended all of the information sessions. However, very few people think about the men and women behind the curtain: the orientation leaders, or OLs.
Sophomore tour guide Nick Stauffer said, “Being an orientation leader is the best decision I have made since coming to Millersville.”
Millersville’s orientation program is one of the crown jewels that sets Millersville apart from most other colleges. While many colleges have a few disengaged days of orientation the summer before the students head off to school, Millersville has a five day orientation program the week before classes begin which is so packed with activities that it promises to leave no time for homesickness.
Brock Miller, a junior, called the OL program “life changing” and said that the best part was that he “got to watch a group of students develop from new incoming students, most fresh out of high school, into Millersville University students excited to begin their new life at this school.”
Every year, a few dozen students are needed for the orientation program to become orientation leaders and be the driving force behind orienting the new students. In order to become an orientation leader, there are several steps students must go through.
To begin, students need to fill out an application, which can be found online at http://www.millersville.edu/sprogram. To be eligible to apply, students must have completed at least 12 credit hours at Millersville with a minimum GPA of 2.30. These applications are due Feb. 15. Then, the students meet for a group interview. From that group interview, a select number of students are chosen for an individual interview, and out of those students, the orientation leaders are chosen.
Orientation training begins in April when the OLs have an orientation retreat which takes over a Friday and Saturday. The new OLs have a chance to get to know one another and form connections as a group. Then, there are several Sundays for the remainder of the semester that all OLs must attend to keep communication lines open. Official training begins the first week of August where the OLs go through two and a half weeks of preparation.
During this time, organizations and resources from all over campus come in and give the OLs the information they will need for the week of orientation. The training alone is an incredible opportunity to learn about many of the resources that Millersville has to offer, many of which may be foreign to the new OLs. Not only is training informative, but it is one of the most life altering opportunities to get out, meet new people, and make lifelong friends.
“Being an orientation leader was a truly wonderful experience for me,” said returning OL Josh McCune. “It was a chance for me to exhibit my leadership skills while picking up some more along the way. The friends I made in this program will stick with me for the rest of my college experience!”
Finally, the week of orientation takes place the Wednesday through the Sunday before classes begin, and every day is packed with information sessions intermingled with fun activities and giveaways.
The orientation program is one of the most rewarding experiences Millersville University has to offer. It is an incredible way to branch out and meet countless new people, it is an incredibly gratifying job to earn some extra money, and it also reflects very highly upon the OLs, as well as looking excellent on a résumé.
Marie Le Gall, a junior here at Millersville said, “Being an orientation leader has enabled me to grow as an individual and as a leader in our campus community. It was an extremely empowering experience.”
Those who are interested and meet the 12 credit, 2.30 GPA requirements should apply! Again, the application can be found at http://www.millersville.edu/sprogram, and is due on Feb. 15.

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