Friday, May 24, 2019

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Bobcat Student Orientation 2018 kicks off June 4

More than 4,000 first-year students expected to participate

The Ohio University Athens Campus will welcome about 9,000 of the newest Bobcats and their families and friends during 2018 Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO), which runs June 4 through June 30. 

Cimmeron O’Connor, OHIO director of undergraduate orientation programs, said about 4,000 first-year students, 200 transfer students and approximately 5,000 parents and guests are expected to attend the orientation sessions.

About Bobcat Student Orientation
BSO connects incoming students with available resources to help them make a smooth transition into their first year on campus. The one-and-a-half day orientation also incorporates programming for parents and families that helps them understand how to best support their new Bobcats throughout their college experience. 

Students will have the opportunity to complete placement exams, finalize a schedule for their first semester, learn what it means to be a Bobcat, interact with faculty and staff and connect with other students during their stay. 

Here’s what’s new this year
BSO is part of OHIO’s new initiative, Ready. Set. OHIO!

The initiative was designed to encompass the many phases of transitioning from an admitted student to officially becoming a Bobcat. The student’s journey begins with Bobcat Student Orientation and culminates with Welcome Week, which starts on Thursday, Aug. 23, when fall move-in begins. It ends Saturday, Sept. 1, when the OHIO Football Team hosts Howard University in their first home game of the season.

“We are starting to integrate Ready. Set. OHIO! so that students can see similar branding throughout their entire transition experience,” O’Connor said.

The University has also brought back a printed Orientation magazine this year, which has already been mailed to incoming students.

“Our goal with the magazine was to help the new students feel more prepared and also outline a few more steps for them to complete before they come back to campus,” O’Connor said. “It also creates a little more excitement for them about their Orientation experience. We’ve received good feedback so far.”

O’Connor said the University will still use a Bobcat Student Orientation online app despite the return of the magazines.

“We printed the magazine because we were still getting questions and people said they felt like they were missing something, especially many of the parents who said they wanted something they could touch,” she said.

The magazine features an Athens Campus map so that the students and their guests can easily navigate campus. Because the magazine doesn’t answer all of the questions people may have, the University will still drive people to the Orientation website and online app for more information.

This year, for the first time, OHIO has implemented a new online advising worksheet that students should complete prior to Orientation.

“The worksheet helps the students think through things a little bit, like this is my major and this is why I picked it,” O’Connor said. “Or, these are the majors I’m interested in and here are some questions I have about them.”

O’Connor said the worksheet helps students think about what they want to be involved with on campus and even asks questions such as what hobbies they have and what clubs they’re interested in.

Another change is that most of the student advising has been moved to McCracken Hall.

“We are excited that our Patton College of Education partners let us use their building,” O’Connor said. “Students will be coming from Nelson Commons and they’ll get to see our beautiful East Green on their way to McCracken.”

Upload your own ID pictures

For the second consecutive year, students will have the option to upload their own OHIO ID photos (no selfies please) before they arrive to BSO. It gives them the option to choose a photo they like and also streamlines the check-in process.

Zero Waste Initiative

For the third consecutive year, BSO will be 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. 

“A big thanks to the Zero Waste Initiative and Sustainability Office,” O’Connor said. “They have been great partners in helping us improve our waste efficiency.”

Read “The OHIO Guide” on Top Hat

Incoming students and their families will also be encouraged to read an online copy of the award-winning “The OHIO Guide,” a handbook designed to help students navigate their college experience from orientation through graduation.

The guide can be found on the Top Hat Marketplace and has twice been designated as an “Outstanding Orientation Handbook” by the National Orientation Directors Association. 

The online book is part of the University’s Top Hat initiative, which aims to save students at least $500,000 in text fees each semester.

Navigating campus during BSO 
Students and parents attending BSO will be asked to use 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. Visit the University’s website to see the parking legend

All orientation guests will stay overnight in Boyd and Sargent residence halls on West Green and will dine in Nelson Dining Hall for meals. 

Campus visitors should also take note of construction projects on the Athens Campus during BSO. Visit the Parking Services Construction page to keep up with the latest news.

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