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Orientation Makes Lions Out of New Arrivals

About 1,400 new students will take part in freshman orientation this summer at Loyola Marymount University. Seven two-day orientation sessions on the LMU campus will inform and welcome the students and their parents.
O week
Jen Belichesky-Larson, director of First Year Experience at LMU, described orientation as a “three-pronged approach.” Before arriving on campus, students complete an online tutorial to learn about registration, core classes, etc. The two-day orientation on campus is the second step. The August Welcome Weekend rounds out orientation for students and families.

During the campus orientation sessions, incoming freshmen learn about LMU academics, scheduling, the university’s mission, interculturalism, student organizations, the judicial system and LMU traditions. A special orientation session for parents addresses financial aid, residence halls and more.

The orientation program “Becoming a Lion” teaches students about Ignatian spiritual reflection. Belichesky-Larson said that this program encourages students to ask themselves, “How are you going to use LMU to become your best self?”

Forty-four orientation leaders, or “O Leaders,” play an integral role in the orientation. O Leaders teach new students about life on campus by performing a skit on Day One of orientation addressing common first year themes; the skit is followed by an energetic “spirit session” in Saint Robert’s Auditorium and a dance in the Del Rey Pavilion.

On Day Two, students meet with advisers and register for classes.

New students move into the residence halls during August Welcome Weekend, when students can attend a job fair on campus, have breakfast at their residence halls and attend the First Year Academic Convocation. LMU Connect includes a dance, Club Fest and Hall Brawls Kick-Off a residence hall competition.

According to Belichesky-Larson, the most valuable part of orientation for the students is the people they meet. “It’s always about the bonding that happens with other students; we try to create as many opportunities for that as possible,” she said.

Posted June 1, 2010