New orientation board gears up for 2014-2015 academic year

Photo courtesy Calvin Orientation Board
Photo courtesy Calvin Orientation Board

Calvin’s newest orientation board spent last weekend attending a conference which included learning sessions, connecting with students from other universities, bonding as a team and developing ideas for the 2014-2015 academic year.

The new board is comprised of eight interns of various class levels: Chan Choi (Jr.), Michael David (So.), Lauren DeGroot (Sr.), Andrew Harris (Sr.), Libby Hunt (Sr.), Maaike Mudde (Fr.), Destiny Nobles (Sr.) and Ana Reyes (So.).

The new orientation board is responsible for planning and executing a variety of Calvin programs, including Passport, International Passport, Wilderness Orientation, Streetfest, Encore and Quest.

Each orientation board member is assigned to a specific focus, according to orientation leader Maaike Mudde. In this way, interns can utilize their strengths and abilities in order to contribute most effectively to the orientation board.

Despite their individual emphases, orientation leaders form a unified team, according to Mudde.

“Our board is truly a team — we share each other’s work, we share ideas, we share our lives,” Mudde said. “I’m thrilled to be on this team!”

Elisabeth Hunt echoed that sentiment.

“I am most excited to be working with a new team full of great ideas,” Hunt said. “I can already tell that we have a solid group working towards the same goal.”

This year’s orientation board will also go through some structural changes.

“We are introducing new themes for the different orientation programs we help implement,” said Michael David, one of the newly hired orientation board interns.

“In addition, there are also some structural changes within the board leadership that have taken place, especially with Streetfest and having an orientation board member solely focus on its implementation.”

He also mentioned the board hopes to get more students involved in this year’s welcoming process.

Lauren DeGroot stated that the board plans to emphasize programs that are more inclusive of diverse backgrounds, experiences and personalities.

A prominent change that’s coming to this year’s orientation board is the diversification of its members.

“We have a very diverse board this year,” said Ana Reyes, “including two international students who are not directly working for International Passport. I am very excited to see this change happen, as this will hopefully motivate more minority and international students to be involved.”

The interns also stressed the importance of the orientation board’s role in representing Calvin and its mission.

“It is up to us to be a reflection not just of Calvin, but also of Christ,” Destiny Nobles said. “When we are effective in our job, the whole Calvin community benefits.”

For Andrew Harris, orientation board is a prime representation of the importance of student development at Calvin.

“The orientation board is an example of how much Calvin invests in its students,” Harris said. “As current students, we are able to connect with incoming members of the community and use our responsibility and passions to help make the transition to Calvin an engaging and inspirational journey.”

The interns set different goals for serving on the orientation board.

“Orientation for me personally was a wonderful experience,” said David. “I had wonderful student leaders throughout who embraced me into this community when I was a stranger. … I want to serve on this board not just as a way of saying thank you but to go beyond and embrace someone new into this community.”

Harris expressed his desire to inspire incoming freshmen as they begin their journey at Calvin.

“Ultimately, I want to help support and ignite passions in our incoming students. I want to show them that college is awesome — that Calvin is awesome — and to be a witness for the powerful growth that occurs during this time in our lives.”

The orientation board will continue to develop its strategies for the upcoming academic year and serve incoming students and their families.

“Our team is eager to learn, grow and, of course, welcome and orient new families and students to campus!” DeGroot said. “Overall, I believe that the Lord has great adventures in store for Calvin orientation this summer and fall!”

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