IntroDUCKtion brings new Ducks into the flock
As the majority of students leave campus, heading home for the summer, others filter in. They are incoming freshmen, transfer students and their families, occupying the dorms, university buildings and nearby hotels. They’ve come to Eugene for the University of Oregon’s student orientation, referred to as IntroDUCKtion.
According to the University of Oregon website, IntroDUCKtion is designed to inform new students about academic requirements and opportunities, including having them meet with an academic advisor and register for their first term of classes. The orientation also allows students and their families to familiarize themselves with extracurricular activities.The university requires incoming freshmen to stay overnight in a dorm which helps them acclimate to life on campus.
IntroDUCKtion differs from the Week of Welcome in the sense that it is more about educating the incoming students about the nuts and bolts of the school, says SOSer Mathieu Wilson.
“IntroDUCKtion is [the freshmen] getting registered for classes, to learn about how to go through surviving. They learn kind of the basics of what campus has to offer as far as safety. They learn about personal safety, they learn about community respect, things like that. Week of Welcome is more fun-focused activities.”
Incoming freshmen feel that IntroDUCKtion helped calm their nerves about coming to college and provided useful information.
“I knew in theory that other people would be nervous, but when I actually got there and saw that other people were also awkward and nervous, it made me feel a lot better,” said incoming freshman Ryan Nguyen.
Transfer students have the option to attend a less rigorous one-day session, which does not require an overnight stay. In this session, there are fewer events and activities provided to allow students to socialize and familiarize themselves with the campus. Instead, the focus is primarily logistical — registering for classes, academic advising and general student information. If transfer students wish to have a more complete orientation experience, they are allowed to register for a two-day session.
Wilson also discussed how IntroDUCKtion evolves over the series of nine summer sessions.
“One thing that I do appreciate about the program is that it is changing pretty constantly. Year-to-year it changes, but session to session it changes… our bosses are very receptive to [staff suggestions].”
This mandatory student orientation, a precursor to the annual fall Week of Welcome, costs $280 for the two-day sessions. This price covers the cost of the overnight stay, some meals, staff and program costs and includes one family member, who attends a separate parent and family program. If other family members wish to attend any IntroDUCKtion sessions, they must pay an additional $95. The price for one-day sessions is less lofty at $195, but includes no overnight stay and “some meals.”
According to incoming freshman Katie Schmidt, students were provided with lunch and dinner on the first of the two days.
“It made me feel a lot more at home on campus,” said Miles Hurd, another incoming freshman. “The advisor really helped me realize what I could do with choosing different classes for different things I have to fulfill to get my degree.”
On a scale of one to ten, ten being completely panicked about college and one being totally ready, each of these students’ ratings dropped 4-5 points after attending IntroDUCKtion.
“It was a good immersive experience, a little sneak peak into what life would like at U of O,” said Nguyen.
Schmidt felt the same way.
“I had a lot of excitement coming in and it blew me away. I had an absolute blast.”