BSO Orientation leaders

Bobcat Student Orientation Leaders dance at the end of a BSO session last year in Baker Center Ballroom.

Photographer: Kaitlin Owens

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Bobcat Student Orientation kicks off May 30


The Athens Campus will welcome nearly 10,000 of Ohio University’s newest Bobcats and their families as they begin the transition to college during Bobcat Student Orientation, which runs May 30 through June 24. 

About 4,350 students are expected to attend the orientation sessions, including about 4,100 first-year students and 250 transfer students. In addition, more than 5,400 parents or guests of the first-year students also have registered for BSO, according to Cimmeron O’Connor, director of student orientation programs at OHIO.

What’s new this year 
This year, students who attend BSO have the option to upload their OHIO ID photos ahead of time, giving them the option to choose a photo they like and streamlining the check-in process, O’Connor said. 
Also improving the check-in process, students will receive a check-in time based on the placement tests they need to complete. 

Returning to a practice from years past, Bobcats will gather in Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium for large group sessions rather than Baker University Center, as in more recent years. 

“It’s such a cool venue to house some of those programs and a place our incoming students haven’t traditionally experienced yet on a tour of campus,” O’Connor said. “We’re excited to showcase that space.” 

Parents and other family members accompanying their Bobcats will also have the opportunity to participate in two new programming sessions focused on supporting first generation college students and diversity and inclusion, making them aware of the resources and support available to students on campus. 

About BSO
BSO is designed to connect incoming first-year and transfer students with the resources and people to ensure a smooth transition into OHIO. The one-and-a-half day program also incorporates programming for parents and families to understand how to best support their new Bobcats next fall and throughout their college experience. 

Students will have the opportunity to complete placement exams, finalize a schedule for their first semester at OHIO and learn what it means to be a Bobcat, all while interacting with OHIO staff and connecting with fellow students. 

Adding to the BSO experience are 55 undergraduate students who serve as orientation leaders, welcoming new students and their families and walking them through the BSO experience. Orientation leaders participate in a seven-week training class for which they receive class credit and a four-day intensive training in May. 

“They are truly the highlight of orientation,” O’Connor said. “All of our orientation leaders have achieved success at OHIO and are the perfect people to show new Bobcats how special this place is.” 

In addition, this year’s BSO will be the second in a row that the event is a zero waste experience. In an effort to reduce waste and promote sustainability efforts on campus, students and their families will be encouraged to recycle through the use of extra bins placed on campus. Reusable bags will also be distributed to all BSO participants. 

Incoming students and their families will also be provided a copy of the award-winning “The OHIO Guide,” a handbook designed to help students navigate Ohio University’s academic experience from orientation through graduation. The guide has twice been designated as an “Outstanding Orientation Handbook” by the National Orientation Directors Association. 

Navigating campus during BSO 
Students and parents attending BSO will be utilizing parking lots on both West and South Greens. As in past years, participants will be parking around the Convocation Center for the first day of BSO and in Lots 51-54 on South Green during the second day of the program. 

According to O’Connor, all orientation guests will stay overnight in the residence halls on East Green and will dine in Nelson Dining Hall for meals. 

Campus visitors should take note of several construction projects underway on the Athens Campus, including culvert replacement work on South Green Drive and the closure on Stimson Avenue between McKinley Avenue and Rock Riffle Road, which will affect access to campus from US 50/32 and US 33 to the Stimson Road exit. Drivers should enter campus using the Richland Avenue exit instead. 

For more information about BSO, visit https://www.ohio.edu/uc/bso/.