54.7 F

Davis, California

Tuesday, April 23, 2024

Students share their experiences during Sept. 16-19 orientation events

Participants and leaders expressed mixed opinions about the four-day mandatory programming 


By SYDNEY AMESTOY — campus@theaggie.org


This year’s orientation process saw swarms of incoming freshman and transfer students across campus who were led by orientation leaders to various programs and events. However, student participants and orientation leaders shared mixed opinions about the mandatory event.

“Some of the […] programs were very specific,” Samual Ospinal, a first-year mathematics major and a participant in orientation, said. “Some subjects were touched on in-depth, and others were not considered.” 

The programs Ospinal referred to, according to the UC Davis orientation website, include events such as “Health, Wellness, and You,” “Aggie Success: A Professor’s Guide” and “Violence Intervention and Prevention,” as well as college-specific programming. 

Orientation leaders, the students in charge of guiding the first-year and transfer students through these programming events, offered a different perspective.

“I thought the overall orientation program had improved greatly from last year, as the programs were more exciting,” Katie Tran, a second-year managerial economics and psychology major and an orientation leader, said. “Overall, I thought Aggie Success was very useful for the first years. They got to hear from professors and orientation leaders on their experiences at UC Davis, as well as how to succeed while being a student here.”

The official description of orientation on the UC Davis website describes the four-day event as an opportunity for “building support networks with faculty, staff, and peers, learning to navigate our campus to access relevant people and resources, addressing academic questions and concerns, experiencing first-hand the academic rigors of UC Davis, and finding support and community on our diverse, global campus.”

However, not every participant said that they felt that these general goals were necessarily sufficient for a successful orientation.

“We could have reviewed things like the halls our classes could be in,” Ospinal said. “If I did not take a tour of the university earlier in August, I would have been lost.”

The weather also proved a challenge during orientation. On both Sept. 18 and 19, the final two days of orientation, there was significant rainfall in the Davis area, as well as on campus. 

Ultimately, Ospinal said that despite both the weather challenges and some room for programming improvements, orientation did promote community.

“My orientation leader can only do so much, I reckon,” Ospinal said. “I think our orientation had a tendency to consist of team building and spirit. These are all details, and orientation was most likely a good thing for everyone.” 


Written by: Sydney Amestoy — campus@theaggie.org