Class of 2018 Orients to Life at RIC
Graduate Student Aide Christopher Margadonna, second from left, with Class of 2018 members, from left, Thomas Gendron, Jordan Zerva and Arielle Ayotte. At orientation, students are given bandanas as part of an icebreaking exercise.
Welcome, freshmen, to Rhode Island College.
This summer, members of the Class of 2018 are taking part in two days of programming designed to orient them to campus, college life and their classmates.
“You are all here because we believe you can be successful at RIC,” said Holly Shadoian, interim assistant vice president for academic affairs, as greetings to each orientation group. “Congratulations on making a great decision to attend Rhode Island College.”
RIC’s Office of Academic Support and Information Services (OASIS), in collaboration with Student Affairs, organizes and coordinates orientation programming to prepare new students for their college career.
“Orientation provides our new students with an introduction to the academic life and the social life here at Rhode Island College,” said Susan McAllister, OASIS coordinator. “They leave the experience ready and excited to return in the fall.”
In addition to registering for fall classes, freshmen participate in discussion groups and social activities, have meals in the Donovan Dining Center, spend a night in campus housing and meet with faculty and staff advisors.
During program sessions dedicated to the practical aspects of college life, Dean of Students Scott Kane addresses students on what is expected of them as undergraduates, and faculty advisors address the academic side of RIC.
Students also take campus tours specific to their intended major and learn about campus involvement opportunities.
Throughout orientation, students have many icebreaking opportunities to interact and make new friends.
“The icebreakers made everybody feel comfortable and I think it was good to participate in all this,” said Ariel Ayotte, a Cumberland resident who plans to study social work, psychology and music at RIC.
In a building community exercise, graduate student aide Christopher Margadonna, leads a ‘barnyard’ full of freshmen in learning what it means to be part of the RIC community. Blindfolded and assigned an animal name, students are asked to find their community using only the sound their animal would make. The goal is to enable students to take a leadership role, to work as teams and to help lost students find their home.
Students at orientation said they were most interested in taking care of class registration, getting their student ID cards and becoming more familiar with the campus.
Many said they did not know exactly what to expect of the orientation experience, but found it very easy to navigate the programming.
Ayotte’s high school classmate Jordan Zerva, who wants to major in criminal justice and business, said he was most nervous about making new friends.
“I thought it would be hard to talk to people, but everyone is inviting,” he said.
Thomas Gendron, an East Providence resident, said he came to orientation seeking more awareness of campus goings-on.
“I wanted to have a modicum of experience on campus before the fall, so I’d have an idea of what happens here,” he said. “A lot of students have been friendly and we’ve all had a good time here.”
As part of orientation, students attend a Counseling Center session on building and maintaining healthy relationships with classmates. They are also given a list of RIC dos and don’ts, offered by Shadoian on matters including joining a club, reading the required new student book and calling their parents — all dos.
Don’ts, Shadoian said, include not taking full advantage of educational and social opportunities on campus.