With new students’ first time on campus, there is no telling what questions they may ask.
This summer, 400 incoming Jaguars have completed New Student Orientation at Texas A&M University-San Antonio, and 250 more are expected to participate July 17-18.
Julianne Garcia, a student orientation leader, said she enjoys enlightening future Jaguars.
“They typically ask different questions each New Student Orientation,” Garcia said. “I like to elaborate on any questions they ask me so I can be as much help as I can.”
Garcia provided the most common ones in an interview with The Mesquite:
- “Are classes hard?”
Garcia laughs as she often receives this question from new students.
“I’m not sure how to answer that question more than half of the time,” she said, “because students will take different classes than others to begin their first semester here at TAMUSA.”
- “How do I sign up for classes?”
Garcia said she typically refers them to the IT Desk for this particular question.
- “Will I have enough time to make it from class to class on back-to-back classes?”
Garcia said she tends to tell students they should not worry about rushing to their next class during a back-to-back because the campus is small for now.
- “When it says ‘MWF,’ does that mean I choose which day I go to?”
No, students must attend all three days: Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
“I like to answer this question and save students from missing one of their MWF classes because it seems like quite a bit of them think they pick from MWF classes,” Garcia said. “They do not know all MWF classes are mandatory, not optional.”
- “Are professors nice?”
She likes to tell students that each and every professor she has encountered has been a nice and respectful person since her first day on campus.
“The campus has a home type of feeling to it since we are so small,” Garcia said. “Everyone kind of knows everybody, and you always see a familiar face.”
Every orientation follows specific routine schedules. Students begin by checking in at the designated assigned building to them. Financial aid, housing and military offices are available for students to visit on orientation day if they have any questions.
While checking in all of the new students, orientation leaders play minute-to-win-it games to pass time. Once all are checked in, orientation begins with a welcome from campus VIPs.
After each new student settles into campus, they are introduced to what is called a JagZone, the agenda new students follow for their designated orientation day. All new students begin by touring the campus, followed by a visit to the IT Help Desk on campus to set up their JagWire and email.
Day 1 of the two orientation dates consists of meals, tours around campus and receiving all the information students need to register. New students will end Day 1 with an information fair where organizations and clubs try to recruit new students.
Day 2 starts with a similar check-in; only this time students begin their day with university police to go over common safety rules of the campus. This is followed by what is known as the Jaguar Scoop, where students have the opportunity to ask questions.
Elisha Bedford is the leader of New Student Orientations over the busy two days.
“Although it is very hectic to keep an organized, on-time schedule throughout all the new student orientations, seeing the students’ faces and body language of excitement when they are given the opportunity to further their education is worth it,” Bedford said.
Day 2 ends with the Traditions Tour. Students visit six areas on campus and become more familiar with their surroundings by answering scavenger-hunt-like questions from the student orientation guides.
Before sending off each new student with an ID holder bearing their potential graduation year, orientation leaders encourage participation in a few lively competitions. They are Bedford’s favorite part of the ending of orientations.
“To conclude the fun orientation Day 2, we put on a Jag Rally where the new students participate in a game of Ships and Sailors, a chant battle and dance battle,” Bedford said. “It really serves as a good closing fun scene for the students to look forward to coming back to campus for their school semester.”