Calumet College of St. Joseph in Whiting kicked off their school year with a bang on Wednesday with their new student orientation, welcoming over 100 new students from the class of 2021 to the campus. One of the largest parts of CCSJ’s new student orientation is what they call “The Amazing Race,” a competition where teams of freshman students, led by one upperclassman each, travelled the school in search of 16 different stations, represented by places and people on campus.
Once they found each station, students would be required to complete a task, which could be fun, such as defeat CCSJ’s President, Dr. Amy McCormack, in a game of Jenga (a harder feat than you’d think!) or something necessary to their college career, such as receive their student ID cards. Each of the stations for the event were intended to introduce the students to the school and vise-versa, allowing faculty and staff to meet with students and inform them of the services available to each student, such as the Student Disabilities Office and the Student Library.
Dr. McCormack, who is also starting her first year serving as CCSJ’s first female president, was excited to see so many eager young minds from so many different backgrounds participate in The Amazing Race.
“Many of our students are from all over,” said McCormack, “We have international students, students from all over the United States, and we have students from right in our back yard that are from three blocks away.”
The race also serves to introduce students to each other. “The opportunity is for these teams to work together and meet their fellow classmates and hopefully make some relationships,” McCormack added, “While they’re doing that, they’re able to also understand all the services and support that the faculty and staff can provide for them during their first year.”
Linda Gajewski, Special Assistant to the President and CCSJ’s Director of Marketing, was also excited to give the students an opportunity to meet each other and learn about the school’s services.
“We’re a small university, and I think that lends us to opportunities such as this,” Gajewski commented, “We really get to meet our students one-on-one, and have our students meet everyone here. Our students will meet the president, they’ll meet all of the vice presidents, they’ll meet everybody they will need to know along the line. If they have any questions, they’ll know who to go to in order to help them find that answer.”
Sainima Moliga, an incoming education major, was happy at the change of pace from what she expected.
“There are lots of games, lots of cool activities,” Moliga said, “so it definitely wasn’t just your normal ‘let’s sit down and listen to a lecture and read the syllabus sort of thing.”
That’s what Learning Community Coordinator Jessica Young, who helped organize the new student orientation with the English Department Chair, Kirk Robinson, aimed to provide for students on Thursday.
“I like to see all of these smiling happy faces,” Young commented, “This is the students’ first opportunity to meet the campus and learn who we are and what we do, so we want to welcome them. Our new slogan is ‘You Belong,’ and we really want to make them feel like they belong.”
Classes at CCSJ officially begin Tuesday, September 5th.