QuinniPeople: Erik Panzer, orientation staff looking ahead


Ayah Galal

Photo courtesy Quinnipiac University

By Ayah Galal

Of the hundreds of applications that the New Student Orientation Program received, only a lucky few were accepted to serve on the 2015 Orientation Leader staff. The application process is fiercely competitive and the program maintains its reputation of being very exciting and welcoming to Quinnipiac’s incoming freshman class.

The orientation program eases the transition to college for new students in a number of ways. Students participate in a number of activities such as learning the Quinnipiac fight song, signing the Book of the Legend, learning about campus resources, and meeting new people.

This 2015 orientation has six sessions for freshmen and transfer students—four in June and two in August. The program is not just “designed to acclimate incoming students to Quinnipiac University,” but also strengthens the bonds amongst the orientation leaders in a highly energetic atmosphere.

Erik Panzer, 21, decided to apply to become an Orientation Leader because he saw it as “a great opportunity to prepare students for an incredible journey that they are about to begin.”

The psychology major and entrepreneurship minor said, “I felt it would broaden my network of friends and colleagues within the QU community.”

Panzer is originally from New Zealand and came to the United States to play on the Quinnipiac Men’s Soccer Team. The transition from New Zealand to American college was challenging, but Panzer was able to adapt more easily through his campus involvement. He is also the co-chair of the Student Athletic Advisory and a member of QU South Africa service learning trips.

Panzer enjoys being an Orientation Leader because of the myriad of people he meets through the program.

“I have certainly broadened my network of friends to outside of athletics and that’s very important to me,” he said.

Being an international student is undoubtedly difficult. To make the transition easier, Panzer recommends international students to be open to new culture and experiences.

“Be ready to dive in,” Panzer said.

Though being an Orientation Leader is a time demanding position, Panzer enjoys working with others to better themselves and their experiences at Quinnipiac. He encourages all freshmen to be who they are because college is a fresh start where they can be themselves.

“Stay positive and enjoy the experience while you are here,” he said. “Because it goes by quickly.”

To Panzer and the orientation staff,  orientation is not just a two-day program, but also an experience that all students will hold onto and remember long after they graduate.