Based on the vaccination data submitted by students and employees, we have created – in collaboration with offices and departments across campus – comprehensive policies and procedures that will be in place throughout the Fall 2021 semester to help mitigate the impact of COVID-19 on our community and on our experience as Chargers.
Orientation and Transition Leaders Welcome Class of 2025 to Charger Nation
Meet some of the students who are serving as orientation coordinators and orientation and transition leaders. They are committed to ensuring the newest Chargers have a seamless transition to college life and feel at home in the University community.
August 5, 2021
By Renee Chmiel, Office of Marketing and Communications
As an incoming student three years ago, Grace Beaulac '22 was excited to become a Charger, yet she was also a little bit nervous. When she got involved with the Welcome Week activities, she had a great time getting to know her new classmates. The week included a variety of fun and engaging activities for her and her new classmates, such as trips to Six Flags and to a trampoline park and other on-campus opportunities to learn about the University.
A national security major, Beaulac described herself as “quiet” in high school. She says transitioning to college helped her to feel a sense of belonging, and it was so impactful that she decided to become an orientation coordinator. She is part of the student leadership team that ensures the University’s newest students have a similarly meaningful experience as they begin their college careers.
“I learned that I could really be and do whatever I wanted,” she explained. “Welcome Week gave me a sense of ease, as it provided fun opportunities to do and try new things. I wanted to be a guide to help new students in their journey to discovering themselves.”
Beaulac is one of more than a dozen students who are helping to welcome the Class of 2025 this summer. Orientation and Transition Leader (OTL) Adam McPhillips ’23 has also enjoyed making friends and getting involved in the University community. He, too, is excited to help ensure that the newest Chargers feel welcome and enjoy what will be some of their first activities as college students.
“When I was a first-year student, my orientation leader told us that he was our first friend on campus,” said McPhillips, a business management major. “I really took that to heart because I was scared, since I was going to college out of state and did not know anyone. I mainly became an orientation and transition leader to do the same for other students who also may feel nervous beginning college.”
‘Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way’
The orientation coordinators and orientation and transition leaders include students representing each of the University’s academic colleges and schools. They helped welcome the Class of 2025 and transfer students this summer at the University’s Virtual Student Orientation, Advising, and Registration (VSOAR), which helps incoming students transition seamlessly to the University community, meet their new classmates, and learn what to expect as they begin their college career.
Orientation and transition leaders will continue to provide support to new students throughout the Fall 2021 semester, helping them transition to college life.
“Students should look forward to a lot of events on campus where they can meet new people,” said OTL Manuel Cortes-Jimenez ’22, a national security major. “One piece of advice I would give to an incoming Charger is to take advantage of every opportunity. The University has a lot of opportunities that enable students to grow and learn more about themselves and what they are capable of.”
‘It’s okay to be nervous about starting college’
OTL Kaylie Neal '24, a computer science major, has fond memories of her own transition to college life. She especially enjoyed getting to know her classmates and making a new group of friends during Welcome Week, and she looks forward to helping this year’s first-year students to experience that same sense of belonging.
“My favorite memory was moving into Westside Hall, since it really made me feel like an adult for the first time,” she said. “I hope new students know that it’s okay to be nervous about starting college. Just breathe, keep moving, and go at your own speed.”