New Corban students connect in Salem
September 2, 2009
Monday on the Oregon Capitol steps, young men and women wearing the same-print, blue shirts sang a bold, improvised rendition of Disney’s “Under the Sea.” With their un-choreographed twirls and leaps, it was probably not considered artful, but it certainly was entertaining—both for these ad-lib performers and for Salem community observers.
Twenty-seven teams of eight college undergraduates per team, in fact, made a debut in downtown Salem—they were participating in a scavenger hunt organized as one of the orientation activities for incoming students of Corban College & Graduate School from Friday, Aug. 28–Tuesday, Sept. 1.
The 2009 Scavenger Hunt had Corban teams find the price of a haircut from the Academy of Hair Design, ask the Governor’s Cup for just one coffee bean, locate the bus station to determine which bus travels to Corban daily, and have a teammate do a cartwheel across the crosswalk of Court and Liberty, among other directives.
“It’s ‘get off work and see the entertainment’ night,” said observer Shirley Pierce, who was relaxing downtown after finishing her shift at Garten Services.
Sandy Van Dyk, Special Events Coordinator at Corban, said, “The Downtown Scavenger Hunt is a great way to introduce our new group to our very cool downtown and the places our students frequent. We so appreciate the business community which allows us to do this crazy activity!”
More than 30 other activities, including meals together, made up Orientation Weekend at Corban. “The purpose of our activities,” said Van Dyk, “is to help our students get connected. We want to help them in the process of making Corban their home away from home.”
This might be considered a daunting task, especially since the 2009-10 freshman class is the largest in Corban’s history: 217, as of the first day of classes. However, Van Dyk recognized the “Core Group” meetings as a key component for accomplishing Orientation’s goal.
In Core Groups, small student groups along with their staff leader and upperclassmen assistants met continuously throughout the weekend. “They are meeting other students who are all in the same situation: i.e., new and maybe a little scared,” said Van Dyk.
“I liked the Core Group activities and getting to know them,” reported Freshman Ana Newman (Gresham, Ore.) when asked her favorite part of Orientation.
Incoming transfer student Sergio Aguirre (Madras, Ore.) also was grateful for Orientation. “I’ve made a lot of good friends quicker than anywhere else I’ve gone,” he said. Aguirre was one of 55 incoming transfer students this weekend.
So after the Downtown Scavenger Hunt, the students gathered at Riverfront Park for a Western-themed BBQ, many sitting with new friends from their Core Groups. Although the winning team members did get a prize ($10 gift cards to Target), Director of Admissions Heidi Stowman summed up: “It’s not about winning the contest—it’s about winning new friends.”
By Jenny Hirschfelder, Staff Writer, Office of Marketing & Communications
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