There is a lot that goes into making orientation at UTC great, and with the recent announcement that orientation will be back in-person, excitement for current orientation leaders—along with next year’s mocs— are at an all time high.

Incoming freshmen should expect to feel welcome and acclimated to the campus after this two day experience. One of orientation’s main goals is to make sure students feel comfortable on their first day of classes. 

“In 2019,” said second year orientation leader Daniel Taylor, “I got here to orientation, signed in, and got my room assignment. And then we all kind of met in the auditorium. We got to meet the orientation leaders and we were split up into individual groups, other people that were the same major, or at random, and then we'd be assigned two orientation leaders, and they kind of showed us around campus, where we needed to be at certain times for different meetings. And then we had the organization fair, and then went back to West and kind of hung out and had a pizza party.”

This year the OL staff is trying to revert this orientation into its pre-pandemic style, like including the two night stay in the West dorms, putting on the organization fair, and advising appointments in person. Their goal is to provide a more traditional experience, and to simply acclimate the incoming students.

During the past two virtual orientation years, students completed all modules and informational presentations from their computers at home. Each student also received a swag box in the mail, which was the only physical aspect of the orientation.

Leading up to orientation there is training two days a week, starting March 8, and in May there is a week long of in person training. This is for the orientation leaders to not only bond but to learn the information they’ll need to guide the freshmen, like the history and ins and outs of all things UTC.

Taylor was an orientation leader last year as well. He said, “Last year it looked a little different from the normal orientation just because we're kind of transitioning from COVID. But this year is, to me, fully back in person like the original, before 2020.” 

For those who aren’t aware of the orientation leader process, it is quite long. Once everyone who attends the OL interest meetings and then applies is when group interviews start. 

This is where the interviewees engage with the applicants; they get a sense of who the future orientation leaders are and if they represent the “ideal student.”

There is a second round of interviews which are one on one. After this round one will receive an email pertaining to whether or not you got the position. 

The length of the process shows how passionate and excited the orientation leaders are to meet the new students and for the opportunity.

Amongst the great effort that goes into to a smooth orientation, each year the OL staff and admissions office work hard to ensure that all new Mocs are welcomed with bright, and this year, physical, smiling faces. 

 

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