Surviving Freshmen Orientation as Non-Freshmen

Students gather in front of the Crosby Student Center during Orientation

Now it is a tradition of the Gonzaga Bulletin to create a “Welcome to Spokane, Freshmen” article. So, rather than simply doing that, here is a “How to Avoid Orientation Weekend as an Non-Freshmen” post.

First off, for those of you who are already back on campus, “Welcome back!” And for those of you who have been here already, “Sorry that campus is getting so crazy again.” Anyone who has experienced back-to-school at Gonzaga knows that there is nothing more hectic than Freshmen Orientation. This is the time when roughly 45,943,957 freshmen, siblings, parents, grandparents and random family friends show up at Gonzaga and help all the little freshmen babies move into their dorms. This also means that campus is suddenly more chaotic than a Jay Sean concert. So how do you avoid this? First thing to do: Find out a little about Orientation events. However, not so you can attend them, but rather specifically to avoid them. Don’t worry though; there are a few events worth crashing (remember that time that Sodexo gave out thousands of dollars of free food?)

As most of you know Orientation begins on Friday, therefore, if you need to hit up the mailroom or even consider going into Crosby do this WAY before all those freshmen show up. Otherwise, you will simply be herded into a line and end up awkwardly standing around as freshmen ask you if you are living in CM or Madonna. This conversation is probably something you want to avoid. Along with Crosby, you can most likely expect that Cincinnati Street (you know the one that CM is on) will be so overrun with cars that it is not even worth driving through. It is important to know that from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Friday you probably want to stay clear of all residence halls where freshmen will be living since that is when check-in times are!

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Orientation Station (you remember that, right? Where you check-in, they give you a shirt and that handy packet of who knows what) will be happening on the steps of Crosby. Unless you are dying for some Crosby coffee or someone has sent you something that really, really, really is not worth waiting for, this might be the time to stay away from Crosby.

However, if you are one of those few Gonzaga students who never had a campus tour and still does not know where College Hall is (There was one senior last year who admitted that he had never been in College Hall. Incredibly weird, right?) Then, though it is not recommended, you might want to show up and get a campus tour between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. This could be a great way to make some new freshmen friends or really just hear a little bit more about the Gonzaga campus!

After this is all over, there are nighttime activities. While no one besides Orientation Staff and incoming freshmen are really suppose to attend these, there are always those people who inappropriately crash them! Luckily, for anyone who does not want to crash events, there is always Fred Meyer’s night, which is open to everyone!  If you have not experienced this joyous event then it might be worth attending. Essentially this evening consists of free shuttles to Fred Meyer’s where you and every incoming freshman student and their parents have the opportunity to run around Fred Meyer’s and purchase items for a slight discounted price. Keep in mind though, each of these people will have shopping carts and be more than willing to shove you out of the way to grab the last pack of $1 Bic pens.

You can most likely expect Saturday to be just as hectic as Friday. Orientation Station will still be going and therefore, you probably want to continue to stay away from Crosby. Sadly, there are not many events that would be considered exciting (unless you really want to crash a small group meeting). However, later in the evening one of Gonzaga’s best-kept secrets will occur: Welcome Night. And, while you obviously can’t just crash welcome night, there is always a welcome night dance that occurs on the QUAD. For all you Gonzaga kids that want to hit on freshmen, this might be your chance. However, the GUBB would never recommend or condone anyone crashing this event—by the way, it starts at 10 p.m.

Sunday pretty much has the same routine: Orientation Station and people running around everywhere creating complete and total chaos. The QUAD will pretty much just be taken up for the whole weekend, since there are so many small group meetings. However, especially stay away around 3 p.m. on Sunday since all of the 2016 class will be getting their special class photo taken! Also be aware that any student who is not already back on campus will be moving in on Sunday. Therefore, if you can completely stay away from campus, it might be for the best. This day is probably going to be the craziest of them all since not only will the freshmen, their parents and all those others still be here, but then to top it off, every other student and their parents suddenly are thrown into the mix. Talk about madness.

Bad news for all of you hoping to crash the foam dance. Rumor has it that this dance no longer exists (maybe because it destroyed all the grass on the QUAD?) However, something called Splatter will be beginning at 9:30 p.m. on Sunday night. Supposedly it is the replacement of the dance so hopefully it will be interesting!

Monday is the last day of Orientation. The annual Academic Convocation will be held in St. Al’s at 9:30 a.m. therefore, if you were planning to go near that end of campus, you might want to reconsider it. The rest of Monday’s Orientation consists mostly of advisor meetings, Student Employment day, an Arts and Science fair, and even S’mores on the Shore. So unless you were planning on going swimming in Lake Arthur at about 9:30 p.m. you probably will be good.

For all of you who are reading this blog post, hopefully it was helpful and if not, at least somewhat amusing. Just remember the most important part of surviving Orientation as non-freshmen is simply just hiding from the crowds of people. However, if you are more social than most of us, go out there, meet all those freshmen and say hi to their parental units! But if you aren’t social then we probably will be seeing you hiding out in Jack and Dan’s starting at about 9 a.m. on Friday!

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