Gillian Reinhard ’20
Trinity College welcomed its new students, including 17 transfer students, nine Individualized Degree Program (IDP) students, and 582 members of the Class of 2023, a group of students lauded by Vice President for Enrollment and Student Success Angel Pérez during the Aug. 30 President’s Convocation as one of the most competitive and diverse classes in the school’s history.
To acclimate these incoming students, the Office of Student Activities, Involvement, and Leadership (SAIL) organized its New Student Orientaiton (NSO). The orientation saw widely recognized annual events such as the class photo, Friday night carnival, laser tag at the library, and weekend block party on Vernon Street. New Student Orientation, however, also saw important new additions to programming and training of orientation leaders, the upperclassmen student volunteers who lead individual orientation groups. According to Orientation Chair Kate Lucas ’20, each year, orientation is slightly different and sees changes throughout the weekend of events as well as in the lengthy planning process before new students arrive on campus. Lucas worked alongside orientation chairs Danyel Hudson ’20 and Connor Wilde ’21 throughout the summer to ensure that orientation was a success. One of the most recognizable changes of New Student Orientation was the adoption of a theme, “On the Sea with 2023.” As explained by Lucas, this was a fun way to engage students with a nautical theme and provide merchandise such as laptop stickers and t-shirts. This theme, also a play on the name of the SAIL office, was inspired by other colleges that also utilize orientation themes. Additionally, orientation groups were organized under the different nautical flags.
Lucas also noted positive changes in commitment to diversity training and credited the work of Vice President for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Anita Davis for allowing orientation to address important topics of diversity and inclusion.
Incoming students and upperclassmen student leaders partook in DiversityEDU courses, which engaged with microagressions, identity terminology, and multiculturalism on college campuses.
Additionally, the 2019 NSO gave incoming students more opportunity to be introduced to and explore the resources offered by the Center for Student Success and Career Development. Also present was an emphasis on introducing students to Hartford during NSO. During training, upperclassmen orientation leaders went on a walk of Hartford and reviewed the resources the city offers, particularly to first-year students.
While President’s Convocation and the signing of the book remain some of Trinity’s oldest traditions, new students also participated in a variety of more recent events on campus, such as the annual candle-lighting service, the weekend block party, and A Night of Wellness, a new event hosted by Bantams in Balance. Throughout the weekend, new students were introduced to campus and the resources available to them, such as the Center for Student Success and Career Development, the Bantam Network, and the city of Hartford. New Student Orientation was organized in the months leading up to the event by the SAIL Office, the orientation chairs, as well as thirty-six orientation leaders in collaboration with several offices throughout campus.