Orientation puts 2017s on right path

Last Friday and Saturday, the College held several events for sophomores as part of the SophomOrientation program.

The program began on Friday at 3 p.m. with an academic department mixer at Paresky Center. Representatives of academic departments were available to speak with sophomores, whom the College requires to declare majors by the end of the academic year. The attendance by sophomores was “less than expected,” according to Jasmine Thomasian ’15, a religion major who staffed the Religion Department’s table and said that Friday afternoon is a difficult time to gather students together.

From 8 to 10 p.m., the sophomore class gathered at the Log to enjoy free ice cream from Lickety Split and to sign a class banner that will be hung in the ’82 Grill. The  Sophormal Dance, a semi-formal dance held at Goodrich from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., offered sophomores a chance to “relive part of the experience” of Frosh Formal, according to the SophomOrientation Facebook page.

On Saturday at 9 a.m., 150 sophomores participated in  SophServe, a day of community service projects and a part of the broader Fall Great Day of Service initiative. At 1 p.m. in the ’62 Center, Provost William Dudley delivered a speech entitled “Launching Your Academic Future.” At 2 p.m., Dean of International Study Laura McKeon  held an information session for sophomores considering studying abroad in their junior years.  Students wishing to go abroad are required to attend one of McKeon’s information sessions.

“The goals for the program are to help transition those who were recently first year students from a high-touch, residential life intensive experience into a more self-driven and self-developed future as a student, leader and community member here at Williams and beyond,” Ben Lamb, Assistant Director for Student Involvement-Student Organizations, said.

Lamb and a committee of sophomores were in charge of planning and executing this year’s SophomOrientation program, which has been in development since spring.

This is the fourth year that the College organized SophomOrientation. It began when the class of 2014 were sophomores. This is, however, the first year that the event has not coincided with convocation, allowing for more attention to be devoted to SophomOrientation. Convocation is usually the first weekend of the semester, but the administration decided to delay it to coincide with the opening ceremonies for the new Sawyer Library later in September.

Programming focused on sophomores does not end with SophomOrientation. Sophomores can look forward to a variety of similarly oriented class events in the future.

“As we go into the rest of the year, the SophomOrientation committee will be working to put on a number of speakers, events, such as an etiquette dinner and workshops aimed at providing sophomores more targeted information and tools that they can utilize as they move forward,” Lamb said. “We’ll be collaborating with the career center, alumni office and other key offices across campus to hopefully grow upon the model of past years and create a more sustained distribution of sophomore specific knowhow.”