OCBP: Orientation Counselors Begin Preparations

Stephanie Scarmo

The OCs, the icebreakers, the workshops, the chants and of course, “The Bugaloo.” All of these are familiar concepts to any Villanova student who has experienced the Villanova New Student Orientation Program. Villanova Orientation has always been one of the most visible and positive events on campus and this year’s 2003 program is expected to be better than ever.

Villanova’s Orientation program originated in 1975, when an entirely student-composed steering committee began planning events designed to acquaint new students with both academic and student life at Villanova. The program has since undergone many changes and is constantly updating its format to accommodate the corresponding changes among the student population.

One of the most important aspects of the program has always been the Orientation theme, which is redesigned each year by the Steering Committee and serves as the basis for the program’s format. This year’s theme, “Discover the Wildcat Within … Let the Experience Begin,” is a favorite of the 2003 student chairperson, junior Matt O’Malley, because of its intensity.

O’Malley explained, “When the new students arrive in August, they will be starting a new chapter of their lives. What better way to start it than by discovering the Wildcat within themselves?”

Along with an effective theme, the key component to a successful orientation program is the staff. Villanova students interested in becoming part of this year’s program can apply to be either Administrative Assistants or Orientation Counselors.

AAs are a group of approximately 20 selected students who work behind the scenes of the Orientation Program and are responsible for making sure all of the physical aspects of the program are in order. The 76 or so selected OCs are in charge of leading a group of about 22 new students through the program.

Both the AAs and OCs return to campus one week before Orientation for training. They are also responsible for actively leading and assisting the students throughout the four-day event, which consists of a Parents’ Orientation, academic and student life workshops and plenty of exciting group bonding.

According to O’Malley, “In August, we will be welcoming approximately 1,700 new students into the Villanova community. It’s important that we have a staff diverse in all aspects of life to meet the needs of the incoming students. So really, anyone that feels they have something to offer the program should apply.”

The motivation to apply for the Orientation staff varies with the individual, but a consistent incentive is generally present — a strong desire to welcome new students to the Villanova community in an informative way, while sharing with them the Wildcat spirit.

“For me, being able to share the magic and passion of Villanova with 1,700 new students is one of the most amazing moments that I have experienced as an undergrad, a feeling I will take with me forever,” said Annemarie Marcus, a junior and member of this year’s Steering Committee.

This year’s Orientation theme is expected to draw a large number of interested applicants, and O’Malley as well as the rest of the steering committee are looking forward to a very successful event.

When asked if there are any new changes or surprises in store for Orientation 2003, O’Malley joked, “Of course! We are always looking for new ways to do things and fun things for our staff and new students. But if I told you what they were, it wouldn’t be a surprise!”Interested students can pick up an application for the 2003 Orientation staff in the Student Life Office (202 Dougherty Hall). Applications must be returned to the office no later than Monday, Feb. 17th at 4:00 p.m.

For additional information and a list of important dates, visit the Orientation website at www.orientation.villanova.edu or e-mail [email protected].