Posted on Friday, August 22, 2008
The mission: To welcome the Classes of 2012.
Orientation Coordinators Alexandra Bowers ‘09 and Brendan Csaposs ‘09 have been preparing for their top secret assignment all summer and are finally ready to reveal the theme for Orientation 2008: Get Smart.
“We were trying to think of a way to incorporate the Colleges’ message of service and activism,” explains Csaposs about why they chose the theme. "And we think that incoming students will enjoy being a spy for the weekend."
When the Classes of 2012 arrive on campus this Friday, they won't be first-year students; they'll be agents of change, encouraged to be a positive influence on campus and the greater community. The newly appointed agents will even get some cool new spy toys—a gadget, not unlike the shoe phone, which will help them visualize themselves at HWS.
After meeting President Gearan (our own Chief), the agents will move into their new homes, meet their fellow operatives and enjoy a celebration in remembrance of the work previous agents have done on behalf of the Katrina Relief effort.
On Saturday morning, the agents will spring into action, participating in a local service learning project. This year, agents will volunteer at more than 25 sites throughout the Geneva and surrounding areas and will have a chance to interact with Geneva community members at the Smith Opera House, Keuka Outlet Trail, Lodovico Sculpture Trail and much more.
Following the community-orientated mission, a sustainability picnic will emphasize the campus-wide commitment to going green, and Associate Professor of Environmental Studies Tom Drennen will speak on the importance of green initiatives on campus. As agents of change, the incoming first-years will use biodegradable plates and cups throughout the weekend, and all waste from Orientation events will be brought to a compost pile.
On Saturday evening, the agents will channel James Bond (or his comedic counterpart Steve Carell) at the baccarat table when the Scandling Campus Center is transformed into a Casino and Karaoke bar. By Sunday, their training nearly complete, the agents will be ready for war: pizza wars, that is: an annual event sponsored by the Hobart and William Smith student governments.
"We have been working all summer to plan Orientation weekend,” says Bowers. “We're really excited to see it all come together and to welcome the Classes of 2012!"