Quinnipiac moves new student orientation online this summer

Quinnipiac University has moved the orientation program online due to the ongoing pandemic.

According to Erin Provistalis, director of campus life for Student Centers & Student Involvement, the new pre-orientation program is a “virtual engagement program” that will run for eight weeks. Each week will feature a different theme, such as academic excellence or fitness and well-being, with the goal of having the students become more familiar with life at Quinnipiac.

The first-year students will be able to take part in these weekly webinars through Zoom and by staying up to date with Quinnipiac’s Orientation Facebook and Instagram. Students can also register for pre-orientation sessions on Quinnipiac’s website

The first week of pre-orientation began on June 8, as Dr. Monique Drucker and Provistalis welcomed the students to the university. The theme consisted of an overview of Quinnipiac.

Provistalis said orientation leaders will be more interactive throughout this summer with the first-year students.

“Whether that’s participating in a webinar for pre-orientation or meeting with their students, they’re going to be connecting, I think, even more with the students this way than previously,” Provistalis said.

There are four interns this summer who will be working closely with Provistalis:

  • Cassandra Harvey, logistics intern
  • Jonathan Sweeny, student intern
  • Kaye Paddyfote, communications intern
  • Lindsey Downey, family intern

“I feel like we’ve been able to actually be a lot more interactive with the incoming students and families,” Downey said.

Downey has been an orientation leader for the past two years and is now in an intern role. She said the changes have been challenging, but there are some good aspects to the new, online platform.

“I think that, through it all, doing everything remotely and over Zoom definitely has its challenges. We wish we could be together,” Downey said. “But doing Zoom calls and staying connected has definitely been important to all of us and it has been a lot easier.”

Even with the changes, Downey still has confidence in the new program. 

“We are feeling really excited,” she said. “We’re trying to make the most out of this situation and kind of getting to build this whole new program has actually been exciting even with everything going on.”

On-ground orientation sessions have been postponed at this time. Provistalis said her hope is to have at least one official on-ground orientation before the fall semester begins.

Plans put out by Provistalis for a physical orientation are still uncertain. “It’s really going to depend on where the state of Connecticut is at in terms of how many people I can pull together into a space,” Provistalis said.

Many schools around the state have moved their orientation online due to COVID-19. These changes follow a larger trend of event and schedule shifts in schools because of the virus.