Orientation 101

Hit the ground running your first day on campus with these tips from Champlain senior, Grace Safford.

Even though I’m now entering my senior year at Champlain, I can still remember the irrational worry that kept me up the night before my first-year Orientation weekend. What if I can’t find my way around campus? Wow, am I going to need a map? Who do I go to if I have a question? When will I get my schedule? Is there a schedule?

I was practically convinced I was going to get lost in the Champlain parking lot.

Of course, I didn’t get lost, and I promise you won’t either. All of my questions were answered at Orientation, and all of the amazing events and activities showed me everything I could possibly need to know about Champlain—I even met a few great friends. I’m sure you have your own questions and concerns. Here are some of the most common ones we hear from incoming students about Orientation.

When is Orientation?

Champlain College Orientation starts bright and early at 8:00 AM on the Thursday of Orientation weekend. You can begin moving into your residence hall starting at that time and throughout the morning. Scheduled Orientation activities will begin in the afternoon and extend through Sunday.

When do I need to register by?

You’ll need to register for Orientation weekend by August 1. You can register online by clicking here.

What if I can’t afford the fee?

Jared Cadrette, Associate Director of Student Engagement, is available to help incoming students with any questions or concerns about the Orientation fee. You can email Jared at jcadrette@champlain.edu.

Jared, Associate Director of Student Engagement (left), with Orientation Leader Billy on Thursday morning of Orientation weekend.

What if I can’t make it on Thursday? Can I still get into my res hall on Friday?

You’re encouraged to arrive on the Thursday of Orientation weekend, so you can get settled in and attend all of the available events. However, Champlain understands there may be circumstances that keep students from arriving on time. If you need to arrive Friday or later, stop by Skiff Hall at 173 South Willard St. to check in.

Who do I see if my ID won’t let me into my res hall?

First, to make sure your ID is ready for you at check-in, be sure to send a photo of yourself to newstudentids@champlain.edu (use subject line: Firstname.Lastname; example: Sally.Smith) before Orientation. If your ID causes you any trouble here on campus, head on over to Skiff Hall. They’re always available to help you reprogram your card and make sure you’re in the right place.

What exactly will we do at Orientation?

Throughout the weekend, you will dive into a ton of fun and helpful activities—including class photos, educational sessions, games, resources, and, of course, free swag! Orientation is designed to help introduce you to life at Champlain. You need to learn a lot of information before starting classes, such as Champlain-specific procedures, information about your program, opportunities for you at the College, and more. Whether you’ll be living on campus or commuting each day, Orientation provides the best start to your Champlain experience.

Gathering at Finney Quad for the traditional welcome to first-year students.

Can parents stay for Orientation?

On Thursday, your parents are welcome to help you move into your res hall and attend parent-specific events. Friday through Sunday, the events are just for you.

First-year students say goodbye to their families on the Thursday of Orientation weekend.

Where do I get my Orientation packet?

Residential students will receive their Orientation packet at their res halls upon checking in. Commuter students will receive theirs at the start of the Commuter Student Orientation in Perry Hall.

Do I get credit for attending Orientation?

Students do not earn course credit for attending Orientation, but it is still a mandatory program for first-year students.

Will I be provided a complete Orientation schedule?

Yes! You can download the Orientation schedule a few days ahead of the event. You will also be given a complete schedule in your Orientation packet. Your Resident Assistants (RAs) and Orientation Leaders (OLs) will also know the schedule and have copies of it on hand.

I still don’t know campus very well. Will there be a map or tour guides provided?

Both, actually! You will be provided a campus map in your Orientation packet, and you can always find campus maps online:

Your Orientation Leaders will also serve as tour guides for the weekend, and they will be there for the full weekend to answer your questions and give you directions. There will also be tours during Orientation weekend to help you find your classes. Just bring along your class schedule and a tour guide will walk you to your classrooms.

Why is Orientation four days?

Orientation is designed to help you transition into college. Champlain wants to do everything it can to help make that process as easy and informative as possible for all students. The four days of activities help welcome students to Champlain and get you ready for your first year of college.

Can I skip the optional activities?

Champlain encourages you to attend all activities during the weekend, even those that are optional. Each event can provide you with important information about Champlain and give you the opportunity to meet your classmates!

First-year students hit the lanes for an evening of bowling at Spare Time.

Will there be any free time?

Of course! There is free time scheduled into all four days of Orientation. Friday will be the busiest day of Orientation, however, so make sure you are ready for a full day of activities.

What if I need to miss one of the required events?

Get in touch with an Orientation Leader or Jared Cadrette (jcadrette@champlain.edu) if you need to miss an event. Make sure you do this prior to the event so that you’re not marked as absent.

Who can I go to if I have questions during Orientation weekend?

Your Orientation Leaders (OL) are there throughout the weekend to help you. You can go to the OL specifically assigned to you and your res hall, or you can ask any OL on campus your questions. Champlain College staff and faculty are also ready to help students at any time.

If you have any more questions about Orientation weekend, you can email Jared Cadrette (jcadrette@champlain.edu) to have them answered. For now, relax and take a deep breath. Orientation completely prepared me for life at Champlain, and I had a great time getting to know the people living in my res hall, the people in my major, and everyone at Champlain. After the weekend was over, I was confident that I was ready to start college and be a part of the Champlain community.

Remember to register before August 1, and mark your calendars for move-in day!

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