Ohio University

Family and Guest Orientation

Family and Guest Orientation

Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) believes that a student's support system at home and the people in their lives are critical partners in the transition process.  To assist those people in a successful transition for our students, all student programs coordinated by BSO have an optional family and guest program that happens concurrently with the student program. Family and guest attendance is not required, but strongly encouraged.

Family and guest orientation includes sessions specifically designed to inform and educate family members and guests about Ohio University and its educational opportunities, as well as strategies for supporting their student with common transitional issues. While some sessions on program days will include students, participants in these programs should expect to be in their own program to meet these objectives.

Program Goals for Families and Guests

Through participation in a Bobcat Student Orientation program, families and guests will:

  • Understand the academic requirements and rigor of their student’s chosen major.
  • Identify campus resources, services, or programs available to their students.
  • Be more knowledgeable about the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) and how it will impact their partnership with the university.
  • Recognize the potential differences in their parental roles and the developmental needs of their students. 

Sibling Orientation 

In June of 2020, Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) will be piloting a new component to our first-year orientation programs for younger siblings who may come to campus and attend BSO with their family. This program will be open to siblings of first-year students who will be entering 7th-12th grades for the 2020-21 school year. Our goal for this addition is to provide a fun experience for those younger siblings who accompany their families but are not typically engaged in the content of our BSO program for family members and guests.

This program will be a one-day program that coincides with the first day of our first-year BSO programs on Fridays in June (5th, 12th, 19th, and 26th).  Additional information about signing up for the program will be available on this website by mid-March, but any family interested in participating in this new component should make sure their incoming student signs up to attend one of the Friday/Saturday sessions available in June. These programs will be limited to 20 students per day, so early sign-up will be encouraged and the process to sign-up will be separate from the BSO sign-up process.  Incoming students should sign-up for their BSO session first, before signing up a sibling to attend this program to ensure they have a space in that particular BSO program.  

Sign-Up Information

When students sign up for their BSO program, they are asked to indicate how many family members or guests they intend to bring to orientation.  This number is only used as an estimate for the program and students do not need to update us if that number changes.  Anyone who wishes to attend the family and guest orientation will check-in with the student on the day of the program and that is when the guest counts are finalized.  For information about the program fees for family and guest orientation, please visit our Sign-Up and Fees page.

Overnight Orientation Programs

Two-day student orientation programs in June have a two-day family and guest orientation program, so attendees should plan to be in attendance for both days of the program.  Students are required to participate in all sessions on both days, but family and guest attendees may choose to skip some of the sessions in their program. If you have questions or concerns about the program length, please contact us

Family members and guests attending the orientation program have the option to stay on campus in a residence hall for the overnight stay with an additional fee. Family and guest attendees staying on campus for the night of orientation will be housed separately from students, who will be with other students attending the program.