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Orientation repetitive for transfer students

By Caton Deuso
On September 11, 2018

A total of 650 freshman and transfer students walk toward Woodruff Hall during the Candle Lighting Ceremony during New Student Orientation. Photo by Martin VanBuren III.

College is quite possibly the most stressful part of a young adult’s life. Don’t get me wrong, college is a great experience too! College educates you on how to manage your time, differentiate between social and school life, and even how to make and consume a cup of Ramen all in less than 10 minutes.

But being a transfer student who has had prior college experience, things like New Student Orientation can be a little redundant.

It’s understandable that the school wants transfers to see all of the activities, extracurricular opportunities and an overall view of the campus, but it’s something we know already.

As for the “we” party mentioned above, other transfer students who attended the New Student Orientation had the same thoughts.

David Malinowski, a 19-year-old Community College of Vermont alumni and Castleton junior, thought it was nice to get to Castleton early to become acclimated with the campus, but he wanted to be with other transfer students.

“I tended to separate myself with transfer students throughout the weekend,” he said.

Sophomore Summer Lampron, who previously attended Russell Sage College in Troy, New York, had already done many of the new student requirements at her previous college.

“I’ve already attended a health and wellness course along with a program that resembles the Red Zone,” Lampron said.

She said she views Orientation as valuable to transfer students, but suggested having them arrive later and hold all the events in one day.

For me, orientation was somewhat helpful, but it was a little extra. Having previous college experience, specifically an associate degree from CVV, being forced to attend lectures where I knew the information already was not as fun as I thought it would be.

I did find some things helpful, such as the information about therapy dogs that visit the campus. But, I feel like the Wellness Center could have just sent that information in an email rather than making us attend a meeting with freshmen who were a bit distracting.

It also would have been nice to see all of the faces of the other transfer students. Quality time with people who are going through the same thing you are is unbelievably helpful. Knowing the other people who may have the same fear of switching schools can be comforting to the nerves of transfer students.

Maybe instead of an overall New Student Orientation, the administration should look into dividing the orientations by transfers and freshman.

When speaking by email with the Dean of Students, Maurice Ouimet Jr., he brought to light that many of the new students this year are transfers.

“Of our 650 new undergraduate students at Castleton this fall, 164 are transfer students. This represents an increase of 26 percent over last fall,” Ouimet said.

This increase is a great thing for the campus! It shows that the campus is striving to gain more and more students every year. This also means more people at orientation.

“We have a very strong relationship with CCV and it certainly shows. There are 62 students who transferred from CCV in this incoming class,” Ouimet said.

So, if there was a total of 164 transfer students, why not create a separate Orientation for them?

It’s not that the orientation isn’t helpful, it’s just somewhat repetitious. It’s not that we don’t want to interact with underclassman, we just want to meet and bond with the other transfers going through the same thing.

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