Seton Hall’s campus will sit unusually empty for the next two weeks.
Rather than the typical two weeks of in-person orientations, incoming freshmen will instead attend Pirate Adventure online this summer as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
The annual orientation event has been condensed into a series of one-day online events, which will occur on four dates between June 15 and 25, with each day’s events catering to various school’s students.
Vice President of Student Services Dr. Shawna Cooper-Gibson said that all incoming freshmen are being sent pre-recorded videos from members of the University including Nicole Giglia, Associate Dean of Students, and Robin Cunningham, Dean of Freshman Studies. The purpose of the videos is to welcome the students as well as providing them with useful information to guide them through their upcoming fall semester, Cooper-Gibson said.
Cooper-Gibson shared a few examples of videos that will be sent to the freshmen. “One of the videos will be from the students’ college deans who will share information about the various academic majors within the College,” Cooper-Gibson said. “Another will be from our peer advisors about the importance of getting involved on campus and the role that they play with our incoming students.”
Cooper-Gibson said peer advisers (PAs) are the first friends that incoming freshmen make at the beginning of their academic year and play a vital role in integrating students into college life.
However, Brooke Mullin, a senior mathematics major and PA, expressed concerns about potential difficulties with connecting with students online rather than in person.
“It may be more difficult for new students to interact with one another online,” Mullin said. “As annoying as icebreakers get, they really are helpful in helping the students make connections with one another.”
Mullin added that PAs will be receiving additional training over the summer on effective methods to engage with incoming freshmen online as well as how to help students engage with one another.
During the Pirate Adventure live streams, students will also meet with their deans and faculty of their designated colleges. Their schedules include question and answer sessions with administration, according to Cooper-Gibson.
Registration will take place on Microsoft Teams in groups of five to six students with the hope that the students will be able to form more genuine relationships with each other and get to know one another better, said Myles Douglas, a senior marketing major who works as a PA.
Students’ University Life classes will also be introduced to them online next month following the June orientation, Cooper-Gibson said.
“The first University Life class will be taught virtually by the First-Year Advisers with the assistance of Peer advisers in July; a second session will occur in August,” she said.
The University Life sessions will outline to the incoming class how to utilize University resources and opportunities, as well as integrate technology into their academics according to Cooper-Gibson.
Cooper-Gibson also said the class will also expose students to study strategies and begin “forming students to be servant leaders in a global society.”
Nora El Houssini can be reached at email@example.com