As Case Western Reserve University’s newest class of students arrived on campus this weekend, they were greeted by 150 smiling faces—those of the university’s orientation leaders. Coordinated through the Office of First-Year Experience (FYE) and Family Programs, orientation leaders are student volunteers who are committed to making new students’ transitions to college as exciting and seamless as possible.
But how exactly do these students make sure our new class gets off to a great start? Orientation leaders work directly with incoming first-years and transfer students throughout Discover Week; they help them move into their new homes, implement programming to acclimate them to the university, and even lead them on excursions in Cleveland.
Their efforts during Discover Week are the culmination of hard work and planning throughout the year, led by an executive board of student leaders who previously served as orientation leaders. This year, six students from the Class of 2022—Queen Hassan, Sandy Huynh, Jacob Kauppi, Kristen Lay, Megan Rodriguez and Mayura Umapathy—comprised the exec board and helped the FYE team navigate logistical hurdles relating to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Of the 150 orientation leaders this year, 70 are returning to the role, more than in previous years. Juniors account for approximately half of the orientation leaders, while sophomores and seniors round out the group.
These students are able to share diverse perspectives, since together they represent 52 majors at CWRU. Nursing, biomedical engineering and psychology are the most common majors among orientation leaders, but they’re all eager to encourage new students to explore a variety of interests.
In addition to their diverse academic backgrounds, our orientation leaders call 31 states and countries home, with Ohio (37) and California (17) coming in first and second, respectively.
Across their differences, our orientation leaders all share one thing in common: Their love for Case Western Reserve.