Orientation welcomes new students

Members of the Class of 2013 and new transfer and exchange students soon will be arriving on campus and will be welcomed with a variety of activities during New Student Orientation Aug. 20-25.

New events this year include a reception for students who took a year off from school for study abroad or other reasons; a program on the history of the University; a text message-based scavenger hunt; and daily morning fun runs and yoga.

Once again, a highlight of orientation will be the Freshman Reading Program.

The annual program is designed to reach freshmen before they arrive on campus to help them focus on skills they will continue to cultivate throughout the academic year and in their entire college careers. It also encourages interaction with members of the WUSTL faculty in informal discussions outside the classroom setting.

This summer, incoming students are reading “When the Emperor Was Divine” by Julie Otsuka. The book was chosen by the Freshman Reading Program steering committee and explores the experience of a Japanese-American family interned during WWII.

“We’re very excited about this year’s book choice and all of the related speakers and programs this fall being offered in partnership with the Center for Ethics and Human Values,” said Alicia Schnell, director of special projects. “We hope the book, which explores the experience of a Japanese-American family who was interned during World War II, will spark good discussion and thought among the first-year students about history, race, justice and many other related themes.”

In planning for this year’s Freshman Reading Program, Schnell and others discovered a set of historical documents in the Chancellor’s archives that shed light on Washington University’s relationship to the Japanese internment during World War II. The University elected to accept the transfer of a significant number of Japanese-American students who would have otherwise been sent to internment camps. Many of these documents can be viewed online at frp.wustl.edu/internmenthistory.

As part of orientation, students will attend small discussions on the book led by nearly 90 faculty members Aug. 24.

Freshmen will encounter themes from “When the Emperor Was Divine” during the semester in lectures, classroom discussions and on-campus programming and exhibits. The programs are further explorations of the issues raised in the book. Otsuka also will give an Assembly Series lecture at 3:30 p.m. Sept. 15.

For more information, visit frp.wustl.edu.

New Student Orientation officially kicks off Aug. 20 with “move-in” and residence hall floor meetings. Convocation, Chancellor Mark S. Wrighton’s annual opportunity to welcome all new students and parents to the University, will take place at 7:30 p.m. in the Athletic Complex.

An array of departmental open houses is scheduled for Aug. 21. The open houses give students an opportunity to meet with representatives from the faculty and staff to learn more about the departments.

The football team’s Red/Green scrimmage and tailgate party will be held at 4:30 p.m. at Francis Field.

The day’s closing event is the Club 40 Dance at 10 p.m. in the South 40 Clock Tower Plaza.

Aug. 22 will feature deans meetings and residence hall floor meetings.

Highlighting the evening will be “Choices 101 — An Introduction to the First Year Experience,” presented by upperclass students. A discussion will follow. The presentation will be at 8 p.m. in Edison Theatre. The evening ends with an event hosted in the Danforth University Center by Student Union, titled “SUP All Night.”

Aug. 23 consists of a full schedule of adviser meetings for many incoming students. At 8 p.m., students will attend “The Date,” an interactive theatrical presentation that examines the issues of sexual assault and alcohol on college campuses. A discussion will follow.

The evening ends with a comedy show in the Athletic Complex sponsored by Campus Programming Council.

On Aug. 24 students will have the opportunity to explore St. Louis and learn more about their new city. A U-Pass and student ID are required. Cornerstone will host a panel of students who will talk about their academic experience, and several faculty members will host lectures on their favorite academic topics. The evening culminates with a movie festival in the Athletic Complex featuring films created by the new students.

Aug. 25 will feature more campus orientation. “Freshmen Foundations,” a presentation by Richard J. Smith, Ph.D., the Ralph E. Morrow Distinguished University Professor and dean of the Graduate School of Arts & Sciences, provides an opportunity for students to gain an insider’s view of how to succeed in the classroom while at the same time creating a healthy balance outside the classroom.

Cornerstone will host a panel of students who will talk about their academic experience. More faculty lectures also are listed for this day. An outdoor movie will be shown at 8 p.m. in the South 40 Swamp.

Also scheduled during the week are a variety of events designed especially for international, transfer and exchange students.

To view the complete schedule for freshmen, transfer students and parents, visit orientation.wustl.edu.