The start of the fall academic year brings new faces to the Cabrini Campus, on August 22, 2014 Cabrini welcomed nearly 500 first-year students for orientation week. Students of all backgrounds traveled from near and far to start their college careers as Cavaliers.
Madison Milano, senior psychology and communication double major, was the co-orientation coordinator for the entire week. Milano had a strong connection with the first-year experience since her sophomore year at Cabrini.
“I was an orientation leader my sophomore year but I could not be my junior year because I was studying abroad,” Milano said. “But this past year I was orientation coordinator with my sister Alexa.”
As orientation coordinators, the Milano’s were responsible for the logistical planning of the week and the creative activities that students participated in the evenings such as the hypnotist and carnival.
The weekend started with move-in-day.
The first-year offices coordinated the day with live music from the Cavalier Radio which broadcasts on 89.1 WYBF FM and online. Light refreshments were served and games were open to the masses of people who flooded the campus.
The entire Cabrini community came out ready to flex their muscles. Like an assembly line, new-student’s boxes were unloaded from their cars and moved into their rooms. First year students didn’t have to break a sweat due to all the help from the volunteer faculty, orientation leaders and resident assistants who helped trek loads from nearly 800 cars.
Nicole Porreca, senior resident assistant and psychology major, was one of the purple-shirts-wearing army handing out information and refreshments to students.
“I remember moving in early to campus, so I wasn’t a part of move-in-day,” Porreca said. “But I got to know a lot of the sports team members. So I had a personal experience with moving in with just me and my parents.”
Not every student gets the opportunity to move in. First-year student Jonathon Steindl is excited to get started with classes but will be commuting from home in West Chester. Steidnl was exploring Founders Hall with his mother during move-in-day. Even though he has declared a business marketing major, he is interest to learn more about the new communication major in digital social media.
What do you like most about Cabrini so far?
“The smallness of the college,” Steindl said. ” I’m nervous because I am the only student from my high school but I’m excited to learn what I want to learn about.”
With an undergraduate student body of more than 1,400, the size of the campus is great for students who are looking for a place to make their home.
Cabrini’s First Year Experiences facilities (as stated on the Cabrini’s website) are there to support students as they transition through their first year of college. The offices help students like Steidnl adapt to college life and “fit into the Cabrini community.”
After the moving in, students and their families were invited to the Dixon Center for welcoming Mass and the matriculation ceremony. The ceremony formally welcomes students and they sign the college charter formally enrolling them into Cabrini.
The first day of orientation was slowly coming to a close,which meant it was time for the students to say good-bye to their parents and loved ones. At the family picnic, students had time to give their hugs and last words of advice from parents before heading to play fair.
Students also met with their orientation group and leaders. This year’s orientation theme was “Welcome to the Jungle.” Each leader wore a yellow t-shirt that resembles the CBS reality TV show “The Survivor.”
Megan Tustin, senior orientation leader, met with 16 students interested in communication. She encouraged students to attend all of the orientation events as it’s a great way for students to meet and connect with new people.
“Go to the carnival, it is really fun,” Tustin, referring to the Saturday night festivities of the weekend, said. “We have cut down the boring games and activities and put together all the great ones for everyone to enjoy.”
Late Saturday evening, students filed into the Nerney Field House at the Dixon Center for the carnival.
First year student Taylor Rice attended the carnival with her roommate, which she met on the Cabrini Facebook page.
“The carnival was okay,” Rice said. “My favorite part had to be the dancing for the flash mob.”
What are you nervous about when it comes to college?
“Not being able to manage my time,” Rice said. “I’m a double major criminology and sociology.”
Attending the orientation events won’t help students with individual class assignments for their majors but it helps them create relationships with other students, faculty and administration who can be of support to students like Rice when they need it.
As the semester goes on students will look back on the memories they made during orientation weekend. Strange faces will have become strong friendships and this new place called Cabrini will not just be a quaint school in the woods but their home.