Orientation staff prepares for another year


The 2019 Orientation staff posing for a group photo in the lobby of the Woods residence building. Photo courtesy of NMU Housing Instagram.

Mary McDonough

The beginning of summer means many things for Marquette: long days at the beach, plenty of festivals and painted sunsets over Lake Superior. However, it also brings a whole new wave of NMU students.

During the summer orientation, future students along with their parents are taken through a three-day all-inclusive experience to get basic things set like ID cards, placement tests and student emails, before the start of the fall semester, while also providing a time for incoming freshman to get used to their soon-to-be home.

With the last semester barely a month behind them, training begins. Behind the warm welcome is a trained staff made up of current students. This is the orientation staff.

Senior multimedia productions major Christine Charette describes the three week process as something that is worth the sweat and effort for time spent with a quality staff.

“Our training is over the course of three weeks where presenters from different departments come in and tell us about the different aspects of NMU,” Charette said. “It’s a lot of hard work but it’s fun to do with the other staff members.”

During summer orientation, the staff members send most of their time leading workshops of varying sizes and campus tours. All this requires extensive knowledge about the inner workings of campus. Charette describes the training process as an incorporation involving many different things to make sure that they are prepared for the sea of nervous new faces. All of this includes, practice tours and workshops, along with presentations from a number of different university departments.

For junior sports science major Maddie Hagg, being able to offer comfort for those who haven’t yet made the step into college is what drew her into being a part of orientation staff.

“I wanted to help new incoming students be able to see there potential growth at NMU and help them feel comfortable in the transition,” Hagg said.

With the late night preparations and trying to memorize a list of materials, the focus for this summer’s staff remains not on their work but the people involved. Being a first time member of orientation staff, Charette most looks forward to the different personalities that she’ll have the opportunity to meet.

“Every new year brings in another wave of students that change and shape NMU’s culture, and I’d love to learn more about them,” Charette said.
When it comes to those who might be curious about joining the future of orientation staff, Hagg offers a bit of insight, already having a walk through or two under her belt.

“It gives the opportunity to grow as a leader, build relationships and be able to represent NMU while showing new students why you love you Northern,” Hagg said.

The first summer session runs from June 10-12. There will be four additional sessions until mid-July.