Coordinators Prepare to Set Sail

Arthur Dowell, Web Master/ Online Sports Editor

The spring semester is not even half way through, but  Student Activities staffers are searching for orientation coordinators and leaders.

The orientation program consists of five one-day sessions and sessions spanning the four days before the start of classes. The theme for this summer’s program is “Smooth Sailing Into Success.”

The theme is similar to that of 2010 with the seafaring focus.  Student Activities Director Darcy Broddmerkel said she is not usually one for repeating themes, but with a new president to take over in July, she wanted the theme to honor and welcome him.

Newly selected president Thomas Botzman, which is pronounced boats man, spoke of a cruise ship he brought to his old school when a nasty storm ruined much of the living space.

Brodmerkel asks for four leaders to stay on campus throughout the summer and work six-hour shifts for four days a week. Leaders perform a lot of the behind-the-scenes preparation for all the orientation programs. They will make bags consisting of helpful pamphlets and information and work with other departments to make the program successful.

The need for coordinators is not as extreme as it could be with two coordinators planning to return this summer. The four coordinators are the backbone to the program, Brodmerkel said. They are some of the first faces  incoming students will see, and they have to share their own experiences in front of the crowds of students and their families.

Brodmerkel hopes to get a lot of interest from the first year and sophomore classes.

“I want to get people who I know will be willing to do the program for two or three years,” says Brodmerkel. “They have to be creative and enthusiastic when doing this type of work.”

Junior Shannon Joyce has been a coordinator for two years and she plans to do it for her third and final time this summer. She fits the criteria Brodmerkel is looking for.

As she prepares to take on the challenge again, Joyce enters this program with mixed feelings.

“I love everything about orientation and know that we can make this one just as great as others have been,” says Joyce. “But knowing this is the last time I can do orientation, I know it will all hit me in August.”

Admission rates are looking to drop slightly from 511 to  460-480 first years for next year. The high numbers are causing coordinators to look for help from students for the one-day programs and the four-day orientation.

While Brodmerkel has not determined the number of leader she will select, she said she is pleased with the interests she has received thus far.

“A lot of students expressed interest and came in to pick up the applications within the first week we had offered them,” said Brodmerkel. “That makes the process easier for myself and the coordinators.”

After the applications are in and the two remaining coordinators are selected, the leaders are then expected to show up to one of two training days.

Joyce speaks highly of the leaders she had the experience of working with.

“The relationship with the leaders and coordinators is something I don’t see everyday,” says Joyce. “The memories that go along with it are definitely something I will never forget.”

As Joyce enters her last year as coordinator she hopes to gain something else from her service: She wants to lose her fear of water and water animals, and thinks the theme might do the trick.

Applications for coordinators are due no later than Feb. 26, and the deadline for leaders is March 29.

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