Freshman Adventure

Laker Leaders' team-building exerciseA wireless-enabled scavenger hunt was one of several new features of 2010's high-energy orientation sessions for new students.

“We’re looking for engagement, adventure,” said Nate Emmons, who coordinates orientation programs and runs them with the aid of 16 current students called Laker Leaders.

He contacted the gaming software company SCVNGR to use its location-based mobile program — which relies on cell phones and GPS — in a game of seek in campus offices from financial aid to student government. The game pushed the college’s newest citizens, from day one, into finding offices and meeting the people who could help them most as they negotiate their college careers.

Other new features in 2010 included a “day before” optional add-on of activities for students and their families and a volunteer opportunity to collect school supplies for local schoolchildren. Next up: all-electronic academic advisement folders.

“We’re constantly thinking how we can improve orientation,” said Emmons. “No two years have been the same.”

Photo: Laker Leaders’ team-building exercise

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