Note from the Editorial Board: Staff Editorials are the weekly opinion of the editorial staff. For this Poly Press Pass issue, we decided to let the Press Pass members put their thoughts together into a special piece on Student Orientation and Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond.
Navigating Rensselaer & Beyond was quite the experience for the incoming freshmen class this year. We found parts of the experience enjoyable, and other parts that could use some work. Many enjoyed the opportunity to get out and experience the Rensselaer campus without the pressure that classes bring. Many student clubs and sports teams had programs throughout the week and many of them were really accepting of the new freshmen. Many club events assumed the freshmen had the maturity and the drive to participate just like the upperclassmen. It was truly nice to see such a welcoming campus environment.
NRB was also a great time to meet fellow freshmen and make some friends before the stress of classes begins. Many people throughout the residence halls had their doors open whenever they were home. Everyone was open to making friends, which is important considering that most of the freshmen left home behind in order to join RPI. The resident assistants and other Residence Life staff really tried to make the dorms be the most welcoming environment possible. Members of Greek Life were helpful moving everybody’s stuff into the residence halls, and made a great first impression to many of the freshmen. It is always great to see people from many different parts of the country coming together and becoming friends. Also, learning to live with a roommate, or multiple ones, is something that will take a lot of getting used to.
There were also a few suggestions for improvement to the NRB experience from many of the freshmen. There were some miscommunications that were probably the inevitable result of trying to corral 1,400 people into doing something. For instance, at points Commons Dining Hall was slammed to capacity with people. Since the other dining facilities weren’t open yet, it made for some very interesting times. However, this week, with the rest of the campus dining facilities in operation, it should be more of a controlled crowd. Additionally, many people thought the number of floor meetings was excessive and that we did not need to be herded everywhere we went. By the end of NRB, the RAs were getting tired of parading us around like children when we were more than capable of going places by ourselves. There is a fine line between giving us enough support to avoid failure in our first week and letting us being adults finding our own way around RPI. For the most part, NRB was able to meet those two goals and at the worst we can all agree that it was the most fun that we’ll never get to have to again.