While admissions are still being confirmed, preparations to welcome the NYU Shanghai Class of 2020 on campus are under way. NYU Shanghai’s fourth Orientation session, which will be held from Aug. 20 to 27, has been given the theme 盛, or “Flourish” to celebrate the school’s completion with four full classes.
This year’s Orientation Committee, which falls under the Student Resource Center (SRC), is being led by Student Life staff Shelly Lu and Joyce Tan, along with Director of the SRC, Judy Li. The team also has three students serving as Orientation Ambassador Captains, namely Tyler Rhorick (‘17), Ho Bin Kim (‘19) and Lyndsy Qu (‘19), along with twenty-three student Orientation Ambassadors (OAs).
This year’s theme also represents the structure of this year’s diverse Orientation Team which involves not only staff but also students from three different grades. This year’s team has eight seniors, one junior, and sixteen sophomores, an unprecedented structure due to the absence of one or more classes. “We have an amazing team this year,” commented Tan, “not just because the students are more pro-active but also because we as a staff are much more aware about what we want to create and what the students would benefit from. We make things clear at the beginning and really try to motivate all the Captains and Ambassadors, so they are doing a really good job.”
For the past month, OAs have been reaching out to and having calls with international students to provide information and answer questions; they will be reaching out to the Chinese students at the end of July, when acceptances based on Gaokao scores have been confirmed. This year, the OAs and Captains have also been given a more active role in the development and planning of the Orientation Schedule, with time set aside during the week for activities planned solely by the OAs. The Ambassadors attended two training sessions in Spring 2016, and will be undergoing further training on campus beginning Aug. 15.
OA Captain Tyler Rhorick commented, “Personally speaking, I am very excited about Orientation this year because this is the year we get the fourth torch in our flower. The whole school will be complete and I am excited to see how that will work out, how we will all interact, how it will be on campus and to see the vision as a whole. There’s going to be a lot more energy this year as the seniors are back from study abroad, the freshmen will bring in new energy, and there will be excitement about the juniors studying abroad. I’m confident that it will be a very exciting year ahead.”
A new development for Orientation this year is the focus that will be placed on sexual education. A Consent and Sexual Misconduct Working Group has been established, and is made up of ten student volunteers from this year’s OA group and last year’s Ally Week Ambassadors. The ten students provide a diverse set of voices with regards to sexual orientation, gender, and race, and will be introduced to the school as Peers for Sexual Misconduct Awareness. During the 2016-2017 academic year, they will be responsible for raising awareness about sexual misconduct and keeping the student body informed and updated about the subject and resources available on campus to deal with incidents of sexual assault and abuse. The group will be leading an interactive workshop on consent, healthy relationships, and sexual misconduct during Orientation, and is also currently in the process of creating a website that will contain accurate information about sexual misconduct and its definitions, relevant university policies, prevention and reporting procedures, and other related issues. The website will be available for all NYU Shanghai students as a resource.
“This is important because given the diversity at NYU Shanghai, students come in with different levels of sexual education and thus we want to make sure everyone is on the same page in the very first week of campus. It also helps reduce the chances of such events happening during the first two weeks when some students may not be aware of the issue of consent or specific cultural cues,” added Lu. This initiative furthers NYU’s no tolerance policy with regards to sexual misconduct and assault.
Other events to watch out for during Orientation:
- The Coffeehouse Cabaret Show – an annual Orientation tradition to allow the freshmen to integrate into and celebrate NYU Shanghai’s college culture.
- SH’MASH Performance – a performance competition by the different student orientation groups.
- The Shanghai Expo – an international festival on the different cultures and regions of the world represented at NYU Shanghai.
- “Amazing Race Shanghai” planned entirely by the OAs which will be a city-wide scavenger hunt. Current preparations involve a flower given for each task completed so students will have a bouquet at the end, in line with the theme.
- The Six Week Dialogue Program – fostering conversation for the first six weeks of school where students can have open conversations in small groups moderated by staff and OAs about their transition into college and new life at NYU Shanghai. Each week will discuss a new topic.
While some of the events are still yet to be finalized, the basic structure of Orientation has been set and the Orientation Schedule is expected to be released in early August, to be delivered to the incoming freshman via the Class of 2020 newsletters they have been receiving.
This article was written by Editorial Staff. Please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to get in touch.
Photo Credit: NYU Shanghai