by Ian Wheeler, Student Admissions Ambassador and NSP Graduate Assistant for Residence Life
One of the first steps to officially becoming a VCU student is attending New Student Orientation. NSO is mandatory for all new incoming students and is the formal introduction to the university. I can proudly say that all incoming first year students are in for a unique treat when they arrive for NSO. We are about two weeks in and the New Student Programs (NSP) staff is definitely off to a running start!
Incoming freshmen start their experience by checking in at Brandt Hall at 12:30 p.m. on their registered orientation date. During check-in, students will receive their summer reading book, room keys for their overnight stay (only incoming students are provided with lodging accommodations on campus), parking validations for those driving to campus, and some other awesome free VCU items! Families part ways from the students shortly after check-in; parents and guests of incoming freshmen, don’t worry – we have workshops and welcoming receptions for you to attend while your student is becoming acclimated to the campus!
The first afternoon of orientation for students begins with an overview of some prominent campus buildings that all students should know. Students then attend the RAM Resources Fair, where representatives from numerous campus departments and student organizations are ready and waiting to answer questions and provide information about campus resources! On the first afternoon of orientation, new students also participate in one of their first of many VCU traditions: rubbing the Ram horns outside of the University Student Commons. Rumor has it that rubbing them will guarantee graduation in four years!
During the remainder of the evening, students are provided with the opportunity to better connect with their orientation leaders and other incoming member of the Class of 2017 through a series of presentations, games, and performances. Students will also dine at Shafer Court Dining Center where there are a number of different food options to select from in Market 810’s buffet-style dining room, including vegetarian and vegan choices. Before returning to Brandt Hall for the night, students will have one last chance to hang out at either the Break Point Games Room or the Cary Street Gym and meet with some representatives from the Office of Fraternity and Sorority Life.
The second day begins with breakfast at Shafer Court and is followed by an academic overview the student’s intended major. Students then sit down one-on-one with an academic advisor and pick their classes for the fall semester. Students will also get their VCU ID card, which provides access to everything from the Monroe Park and MCV Campus dining facilities and on-campus housing to the Cary Street Gym and entry to VCU home athletic games!
Incoming transfer students, we haven’t forgotten about you! While your orientation session is not an overnight experience, your morning will begin at 7:30 a.m. with check-in in the University Student Commons. Following check-in, you too will attend the Rams Resource Fair and learn more about resources that will better acclimate you to becoming a VCU student. After having lunch at Shafer Court, you will meet one-on-one with an academic advisor to create your class schedule and get your VCU ID card.
Don’t forget that both incoming freshmen and transfer students will need to take the online Math Placement test and any other required placement tests for their major(s) before attending NSO: http://uc.vcu.edu/new-student-programs/new-student-orientation/course-placement-testing/.
We are extremely proud of the NSO successes thus far; students and parents alike have provided lots of positive feedback on their orientation experience! The Office of New Student Programs is deeply committed to insuring that everyone has a great time getting to know VCU. We’ve had so much fun getting to know some of the amazing students of Class of 2017 and we are excited to meet the rest of you this summer!
If you have further questions about NSO, please contact the Office of New Student Programs at (804) 828-3700 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.