CONTACT: Marisa Cigarroa, News Service (650) 725-9750
More than 170 student volunteers wearing red shirts will descend on campus Sept. 16 to help prepare for the arrival of freshmen and transfer students and their parents on Friday, Sept. 19.
"It's a lot of work coordinating all these activities," says senior and head orientation coordinator Blake Harris, who has been working on orientation week since last spring. "This year, there have been a lot of changes made to orientation and it has become a bigger deal."
The week-long introduction to campus life begins on Friday morning, when new students check in at their residences. During the day, there are loan information sessions and receptions at various departments, research centers and student centers.
While students return to their residences for lunch, parents will join Provost Condoleezza Rice and other Stanford administrators for a box lunch at Wilbur lawn prior to the parent information panels. Parents and students will also be separated at dinner time, with the students returning to their dorms and the parents returning to Wilbur lawn to dine with President Gerhard Casper and his wife, Dr. Regina Casper.
"There are a ton more parents participating in the meals this year," said Harris, who noted that about 1,500 parents have registered for lunch and about 1,200 for dinner. The parent meals with top administrators is a new feature of orientation.
"We are trying to increase the amount of contact that parents have with faculty, staff and the administration the people involved in student life on campus," Harris said.
Convocation, which has been held at 11 a.m. in previous years, will now be held at 3:30 p.m. in the Main Quad. Because the university is anticipating a large turnout for the event, which features an address by President Casper, access will be limited for faculty, staff and students. Those interested in attending should call Stanford Events, 723-2551.
From 7:30 to 9 p.m., a new program for students on academic planning and advising will be held at Memorial Auditorium. "We have placed a larger focus on academics and advising throughout the week," Harris said. "But that doesn't mean that we aren't going to have fun, though," he quipped.
Saturday begins with language placement tests for some students. Several workshops will focus on student choices for fulfilling general education, science and mathematics, or engineering core requirements. The evening includes a student-organized program on life at Stanford that explores health, wellness and safety issues.
Students will meet on Sunday with their academic advisers and begin working on class schedules. They are invited to attend a program on Stanford's new Freshman Seminars, an open house at the Haas Center for Public Service and a workshop on self-defense. In the evening, students will meet at their residences for a discussion on the impact of alcohol and other drug use, head to Memorial Auditorium for an a cappella fest, then watch "Frosted Flicks," a movie under the stars at Frost Amphitheater.
Orientation planners have reserved much of Monday, Sept. 22, for students to run errands, such as opening bank accounts, buying books, renting refrigerators and hooking up telephones. Additional language placements tests and workshops are scheduled for this day. In the afternoon, students are invited to a reception, hosted by President and Dr. Casper at Hoover House. The evening concludes with a program at Memorial Auditorium intended to introduce students to "the different faces of Stanford."
There are more workshops and open houses scheduled through Thursday. "From the Farm to the Moon," the last event of the week, features a talk from Mae Jemison, B.S. '77, the first woman of color to travel in space. Students will also be treated to a multimedia presentation on Stanford's wild and western history, remarks by football coach Tyrone Willingham and an appearance by the Stanford Band. SR
By Marisa Cigarroa