Jan 212008
Authors: Cece Wildeman

Starting college in the fall is difficult enough, but new spring students joining the rat race at the halfway mark face an added challenge with connecting to the CSU community.

In an attempt to ease the oft-awkward shift, CSU officials created the Ram Welcome program, an event usually only available to students entering in the fall, for the spring semester. This is the first time CSU has hosted orientation for incoming spring semester students.

Blanche Hughes, vice president for Student Affairs, said she hopes this week helps new students learn about CSU, discover the resources the school has to offer and meet some people in the process.

“We are trying to give everybody a good start, the best start we can,” she said.

Over 100 students incoming freshmen and transfer students, along with family members, got their first taste of campus last Thursday with the Spring Ram Welcome Dinner. Keith Lopez, coordinator of orientation and transition programs, said he expects just as many to attend upcoming events.

Each event is different, so event coordinators are hoping that they can reach out to a large number of students. And with most events open to new and returning students, it is a good way to connect students with each other and with CSU staff members, Lopez said.

“We expect to have people attend, but it’s the first year, so we don’t know exactly what to expect,” he said.

The dinner kicked off a full week of orientation events, all of which will take place in the Lory Student Center.

Students attending Thursday’s dinner said they appreciate the offered events.

Madisen Thomas, a freshman business and Spanish major, took a semester off after graduating from Niwot High School to work and figure out what she wanted to major in.

“Orientation was extremely helpful for new students,” Thomas said. “Spring orientation communicates to students that they aren’t being overlooked and that they are just as informed and just as much a part of the school.”

Theresa Ruland, a sophomore transfer student from Washington D.C., said the spring orientation has been helpful in alleviating some of her “new student” pressure and that she will continue to attend the Ram Welcome events.

“It’s been really good being able to do it and not just being dumped in,” she said.

Senior Reporter Cece Wildman can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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