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Orientation leaders arrive for training Aug. 16 at Bailey Hall.

At Orientation, peers are ‘guide to all things Cornell’ for new students

Orientation supervisors enthusiastically welcome trainees, Aug. 16.

Approximately 4,000 new first-year and transfer students will begin their journeys at Cornell Aug. 18-27, with orientation events exposing them to academic, social and cultural life on campus.

"Our student volunteers are working very hard to create a great orientation experience," said Peggy Arcadi, director of New Student Programs. "A lot of this is student-run. Peer-led orientation groups ensure that each new student has a guide to all things Cornell, including student organizations, campus resources and academic opportunities."

The 14-member Orientation Steering Committee [OSC] has designed events for the incoming students, and 500 student volunteers have been recruited to run programs as orientation leaders and help new students to navigate the campus.

Students and their families can meet Cornell President Martha E. Pollack at the President's Reception, Aug. 18 from 4 to 5 p.m. on Rawlings Green, across from Helen Newman Hall on North Campus. Pollack, other university administrators and student leaders will officially welcome students and family members at New Student Convocation, Aug. 19 at 8:45 a.m. at Schoellkopf Stadium. This will be Pollack's first convocation; students, faculty and staff are invited to help celebrate her inauguration next week at events Aug. 24-25.

"A new program on Sunday [Aug. 20] focuses on the engaged student experience, with events throughout the afternoon at the Engaged Cornell Hub in Kennedy Hall," Arcadi said. "For three hours they'll be offering information and ice cream and tours, highlighting opportunities for students to engage in service, on campus and beyond."

A complementary program organized by the OSC outside of Kennedy Hall that afternoon will have additional engagement opportunities. For students interested in entrepreneurship, the eHub open house also is Sunday afternoon at Kennedy Hall.

New orientation programs this year also include the Identity and Belonging Project on Aug. 19 in Bailey Hall. "This is a presentation by student actors featuring stories representing many facets of student experiences at Cornell," Arcadi said.

Orientation supervisors prepare for training.

Other events include an introduction to Learning Where You Live courses offered on North and West Campus, and a field day organized by sports clubs as "a chance to get outside and run around after the first week of classes,"she said.

Several events during orientation will highlight diversity and inclusion on campus. Student Development Diversity Initiatives holds an information fair Aug. 26, 4-6 p.m. on Ho Plaza, to showcase the array of organizations, resources and more available for students under the African, Latinx, Asian and Native American (ALANA) umbrella. Food is provided.

Information on initiatives including the Center for Intercultural Dialogue and numerous centers, programs and resources within the Office of the Dean of Students will be available from staff at new student check-in, Aug. 18 in Barton Hall.

"I am excited to welcome a new group of students to Cornell this fall," said Vijay Pendakur, the Robert W. and Elizabeth C. Staley Dean of Students. "Orientation is such an important time for our new students to learn how to navigate campus, start making lifelong friendships and lay the foundation for their academic journey. Our orientation calendar provides new students with valuable information and experiences that will make their first year at Cornell all the richer."


Media Contact

Lindsey Hadlock