|Members of the Cal Poly Pomona Pep Band try to sign up new members during Freshman Orientation.|
Incoming freshman Melissa Ramos was initially nervous about going to college.
“I was kind of scared to come because I didn't know what to expect,” says the San Gabriel resident.
But after two days of orientation, Ramos feels like she belongs at Cal Poly Pomona.
Nearly 4,000 incoming freshmen and transfer students are attending new student orientation this summer to find out what it's like being a member of the Bronco family. It's also a chance to ask questions, obtain academic advising, register for classes, tour the campus and learn about the many activities and opportunities at the university.
Traci Lew, senior coordinator of Orientation Services, says incoming freshman often worry about making friends, finding a niche on campus, graduating on time and living away from home. Many of those anxieties are relieved after they attend orientation.
On the first day, students go to workshops on financial aid, health, the college experience and safety. About 30 percent of students bring their parents, who ask questions on a wide range of topics — the best time to buy books, what kind of computer to purchase, campus safety and living in the residence halls.
On the second day, students tour the campus, go to academic advising and register for classes. During lunchtime, students attend a club fair to learn about getting involved. The festive event hosts more than 80 organizations, a live DJ and barbecue.
The two-day orientation is required for all 2,500 incoming freshman; the 1,400 transfer students attend a one-day session.
Ramos entered orientation as an undeclared major but discovered she could study hotel and restaurant management in the Collins College. Now, she says, she plans to become an event planner.
“Orientation was really fun,” Ramos says. “The orientation leaders make you feel comfortable.”
Lew says the team, composed of more than 30 students, tries to make orientation both informative and entertaining.
At the end of the two days, students not only leave with their fall classes and a few new friends, they also participate in a pep rally with Billy Bronco and take home a “spirit pack” that includes a Cal Poly Pomona rally towel, sticker, megaphone and car decal.
Lew says: “We want them to leave orientation with a good feeling, amped to start the school year on the right foot.”
For more information about orientation, visit www.dsa.cpp.edu/orientation.