By EMILY MONTGOMERY
Despite natural disasters such as an earthquake, a severe thunderstorm and a hurricane, freshmen orientation was mostly able to power on.
Delays and cancellations did occur for certain events. Honor convocation, which was scheduled for the Thursday before classes started, was moved to the following Monday due to inclement weather. Other events planned for that Saturday and Sunday were shortened or moved due to anticipation of Hurricane Irene.
The school had to be flexible and keep safety a priority, according to Vice President for Student Affairs Doug Searcy.
He added that the hurricane allowed for more opportunities for forming relationships, an opinion freshman Katie Redmiles also expressed.
It was a chance for everyone to bond, she said.
Orientation was much more scheduled than previous years, a change that Searcy said was quite deliberate.
Among other festivities, President Rick Hurley and the orientation leaders put on a flashmob for the freshmen during the President’s Barbecue on move-in day.
Searcy added that this year the administration had three primary goals for orientation: to teach new students about University of Mary Washington’s academic excellence, to create strong relationships and to support school spirit.
“I really believe we accomplished all three of those,” Searcy said.
Student and parent opinions of orientation were mostly positive.
Move-in day was very organized according to Jeff Ayers, whose daughter was moving into Virginia Hall. He and his wife, Denyse, said that UMW’s majors in art history and historic preservation as well as the beautiful campus won over their daughter.
“Other schools didn’t have the space, the nooks and crannies,” Ayers said.
Freshman Jared Krikorian said that he thought orientation was put together well and he met a lot of people that week who became his good friends.
Exchange students Emily Terwindt and Caroline Lejeune had differing perspectives on the beginning of orientation. Terwindt, who is here for the semester from Holland, said that it had been overwhelming but well-organized. Lejeune, on the other hand, did not feel like it was going smoothly.
“Choosing classes was a mess and I still don’t know how to work my mail,” she said.
President Rick Hurley thought that the excitement and spirit of orientation was great.
“This is going to be a good year,” he said. “For me, I’m hitting my stride. I’m learning to pace myself better, and I think that’ll be good for me and the university.”