the top ten reasons to be an orientation leader

Thinking of applying to be an orientation leader, but feeling unsure about making the commitment? Have you started your application, but get so excited every time you think about orientation that you can’t keep your mind on anything else? Great news:

You’ve come to the right place!

We asked current and past orientation leaders to compile a top ten list to describe the experiences they’ve had with the new student orientation program, to give you a better idea of what you can expect as a member of the orientation staff. They think you should apply to be a leader, and so do we! Here’s why:

10. Campus resources! As an Orientation Leader, you’ll likely learn more about the Hampshire campus and campus resources than you have in your first year at Hampshire. A big part of orientation training is learning about these resources so that you can be more informed when working with new first-year and transfer students. The information you receive preparing for orientation will undoubtedly benefit you as you continue to navigate your Hampshire experience, and you’ll be super helpful to your orientees.

9. Skills! The skills you’ll learn in orientation training will be useful to you beyond orientation. The leadership skills that you’ll acquire through being an orientation leader will help you to make a positive impact in your community, on and off campus. You’ll also gain facilitation skills by working with your co-leader, you orientation group, and by leading an interest day activity. You’ll build your resume while making a difference in the lives of new students. Sounds good to us!

8. Learning from your peers! As an orientation leader, you’ll be in training sessions with students from all different divisions and backgrounds. Listening to the opinions and experiences of other students when discussing their time at Hampshire can be a great learning experience, and can further expand your understanding of the Hampshire community on the whole.

7. Positive change! Didn’t enjoy your own orientation group experience? As an orientation leader, you’ll have the opportunity to create positive change and help us to improve the new student orientation program. Take what didn’t work for you when you were a first year and make it better for the new students — they’ll thank you!

6. Repeat performances!  Love the welcome ceremony? Want to help introduce students to the climbing wall? Looking forward to a new common reading discussion? You can do it all again, and help us to make it even better!

5. Relationship building! You’ll make a lot of new friends during orientation, both with your fellow leaders and the new students coming in. The people you meet could become lifelong friends, all because of the bond you made during the orientation program. (This happens ALL the time!) As an orientation leader, you’ll also become a part of a unique community of orientation staff, a bond that you can carry with you throughout your time at Hampshire.

4. Perks! As an orientation leader, you’ll get to return to campus early, be fed by the orientation program, wear a fancy orientation leader t-shirt, AND receive a $300 stipend. Starting out the year with $300 is a great thing. Who knows, you may even get a chance to take a ride on the orientation golf cart with Josiah Litant and Jessica Ortiz. What’s not to love?

3. Representing Hampshire! Orientation leaders are chosen to be representatives of Hampshire during one of the most important times of the year. As an orientation leader, you’ll represent Hampshire to the community of new students and families, and will have the opportunity to share your experiences with these individuals. It’s an honor to be chosen to represent Hampshire at this crucial time, and something that our leaders are very proud of!

2. It’s fun! Orientation is such a fun time of year, and the positive energy on campus is palpable. It’s warm, it’s sunny, you’re outside, and you’re at Hampshire! Sounds good to us.

1. You know you want to! Seriously, you know you want to, so what are you waiting for? Start your application today by visiting the application website. Learn more about what’s required, the selection timeline, and more! Don’t wait — applications are due on Wednesday, March 5!

Still have questions? Come to an information session to learn more about the orientation leader position. Sessions will be held on Thursday, February 27 at 4PM and Friday, February 28 at 2:30PM, both in the Dakin Living Room. Meet Jessica Ortiz and get your questions answered.

In the meantime, feel free to e-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information.

organizing your papers (and your life)

Organizing Your PapersOn Tuesday, February 18 from 3:30-4:30PM in the FPH Faculty Lounge, Will Ryan and Deb Gorlin, two of the three co-directors of the writing program, presented a special writing skills workshop to a group of first and second semester students. Couldn’t make it? Wondering what you missed? Read on for more information about what happened, how to get a hold of the resources that were shared in this session, and how to connect with the Writing Center!

What Happened:
While participants enjoyed some delicious snacks, Will and Deb asked them to introduce themselves and share the details of a current writing project and why it had them vexed. Participants spoke about perfectionism, desiring to impress faculty members whose work they respect, finding space for themselves in their own writing, improving their note taking in research, and struggling to find the words to accurately capture their thoughts. Sound familiar? Will and Deb used this information as a starting point in framing the workshop to cater to the needs of attendees.

Will and Deb began by sharing some useful advice about understanding writing assignments and prompts and the writing process, and then spent some time answering individual questions. They later went on to introduce a model for organizing analytical writing, which they further explained with a handout that has been dubbed as the most requested in the history of the writing program (you can view it here!). The facilitators followed the handout throughout the session, explaining each step and providing helpful hints for each stage. We’ve included a number of these hints below!

What We Learned (and other helpful notes from Will and Deb):

  • Getting ready to start a writing assignment? The first thing you should do is read the course description all the way through. Assignments are drawn from this document, and reminding yourself of the fullness of a course’s content can often help you if you’re struggling to start an assignment. Next, read the assignment to make sure you have a full understanding of the instructions and expectations. If the assignment is based on a text, make sure to read the assignment first. You’ll read the text more effectively and will be able to start calling out pertinent information sooner. Sound obvious? You’d be surprised at how many people miss this step!
  • Finished reading the text, but not sure that you understand the reading? Feel free to look up book reviews and secondary sources to help clarify things for you. Once you have this supplemental information, you can go back to the original text for a more informed read.
  • Ready to start writing? You might benefit from freewriting about the text first to help you spark some ideas for how you want to proceed. Once you’ve taken some time to think about things, try making an outline to organize the main points that you want to make. Just as you’d work out a math problem on paper, determining how to organize your work on paper can be a tremendous help. You don’t have to figure it all out in your head.
  • Once you begin your draft, pay attention to what part of the paper you’re in at any given moment (introduction, literature review, method, body, conclusion). Use the guidelines provided in the handout to help you determine how long each section should be, and where the different pieces of information you wish to share should be included.
  • Are your main points changing as you continue writing? That’s okay! Periodically going back and adjusting the introduction to accommodate these changes is an important part of the writing process. Plan to revise, and give yourself enough time to do so.

Additional Tips from the Facilitators:

  • Faculty often write assignments in the form of a paper outline. Try to break apart the prompt in this way to better organize your thoughts.
  • Your process is your process — don’t compare yourself to others. Some writers are heavy planners (pre-planning each step), while others are heavy revisers (free-writing first and organizing things during revision). The brainstorming <–> organizing <–> drafting <–> revising <–> editing <–> brainstorming loop goes in both directions, and doesn’t always have to be linear!
  • Thinking of taking a break? Don’t stop writing until you know what you’re going to say next. It’s much easier to come back to a writing piece when you’ve given yourself something to go on.

Get In Touch:
Want to schedule an appointment for yourself? Call or email the Writing Center staff to set up a meeting time:

  • Will Ryan – wjrWP@hampshire.edu – 413.559.5646
  • Deb Gorlin – dfgWP@hampshire.edu – 413.559.5531
  • Ellie Siegel – etsWP@hampshire.edu – 413.559.5577

Kyla and Andrew, the Writing Center interns, also hold drop-in sessions from 6-10 p.m., Monday-Thursday in the Library Training Room on the 2nd floor of the Johnson Library. Kyla and Andrew are also available on Sundays from 1-9 p.m. Check out their flyer for details on how to set up an appointment, send drafts, etc.

Learn More:
Can’t get enough of these great academic skills? Join us for another workshop! Our next workshop, Taming Your Reading Dragons, will be held on Tuesday, February 25 from 3:30-4:30PM in FPH 102. Learn how to get through your reading with the help of technology, all while enjoying some free snacks!

Questions? Did we miss something? E-mail us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu for more information.

people you should know: nina gunther-segal — our new program assistant!

Written by program assistant Nina Gunther-Segal 13F

3152c21Hi everyone! I’m Nina Gunther-Segal, the new Program Assistant in New Student Programs. I’m a first-year Hampshire student, so I know exactly what first years are dealing with (and I’m as excited as you all are about the cool new stuff that we’re experiencing). I, too, am figuring out how to navigate college and semi-adulthood, so as I write about helpful information I’ll also be learning it all myself. I’ll be at many of the events put on by New Student Programs, taking notes and participating as much as possible; I’ll also write about those events here on the blog for those who weren’t able to make it but still want access to that valuable information.

I’m a Div I, of course, so I’m not exactly sure what I want to study yet. However, I’m particularly interested in social justice/feminism, sustainable agriculture, and writing. I’m always up for a good conversation (or rant) about those (or other) topics. I spend a lot of time working on the Hampshire farm, heading over there to do chores (regardless of the severity of the weather–sometimes it’s a little treacherous, which adds some excitement to my days!) I’m also a part of the Black Sheep Journal and the Hampshire Climbers Coalition (the latter introduced me to rock climbing, which I now love and get to do for free–thanks Hampshire!) Having had great experience with both groups, I can highly recommend them. I also like to take advantage of Hampshire’s many yoga classes, and go on hikes up Bare Mountain and around Hampshire’s hundreds of acres of trails.

As a relatively new student myself, I’m doing my best to use my own experiences to come up with new ideas, new content, and new events for New Student Programs. I’m also hoping that my fellow first-years (or anyone else who has ideas) will approach me with their suggestions and requests–please feel free to email me at nmg13@hampshire.edu if you’ve got any suggestions.

Hope to see you all at New Student Programs events! Have questions about what’s coming up? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontAre you ready? It’s time for our weekly care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Got it? Good!

 If you could invent one new home appliance, what would it do?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before 8 a.m. FRIDAY MORNING to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow. Ready? Okay!

If you could memorize one book from history in its entirety, which book would you choose?

win this week’s care package!

Care Package Front

Happy Thursday, friends. It’s time for the first care package giveaway question of the semester!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Yay!

If you could choose the person who would play you in a movie about your life, who would you choose?

our identities, our community (and why you should attend!)

OIOCAre you a first-year student? Want to learn more about identity and how to engage in dialogue about difference? Our Identities, Our Community, a foundational identity workshop for first-year students, is coming up on Saturday, February 8, and we’d love for you to join us. Want to learn more? Read on for great information, and answers to the most common questions!

What’s this workshop all about?
As individuals, we bring a variety of different identities with us to the Hampshire community, many of which take on new meaning as we immerse ourselves in our new surroundings. As a participant, this workshop will help you to better understand your own multitude of identities, the ways in which they intersect, and how they inform your experiences at Hampshire and in the U.S. You’ll also be introduced to behaviors that support dialogue in a diverse community, with the goal of empowering yourself and others to continue to engage in conversations about social justice, oppression, power, and privilege at Hampshire and beyond.

Who is facilitating the workshop? Anyone I know?
The workshop will be facilitated by the Design Studio for Social Intervention, great friends of Hampshire College who have hosted workshops and trainings for a number of different groups and programs on campus. They have an informative, interactive, and engaging afternoon planned, and can’t wait to share it with you. Staff members from the office of new student programs will also be in attendance to provide support to the facilitators and to connect you with campus resources that will help you extend what you’ve learned beyond the workshop space and into the campus community.

Why would I want to attend something like this?
There are innumerable reasons to attend Our Identities, Our Community, but here are a few of our favorites:

  • You want to engage more deeply in conversation about identity and social justice in class or with other students, but feel intimidated and worried about saying the wrong thing.
  • You want to learn more about your own and others’ identities, how they intersect, and understand how identities can influence individuals’ experiences in the United States.
  • You want to meet other first-year students who share the same interests and passions as you do, and find new ways to connect.
  • You want to learn more about campus resources related to social justice and community advocacy.
  • You want to attend the ASK Conference in late February, and would like to learn some foundational concepts beforehand.
  • You’d like to earn four CEL-1 hours while you learn!

Sounds good to me. When is it and how do I register?
Saturday, February 8
12-4 p.m. (lunch provided)
Franklin Patterson Hall

Registration is limited to 50 participants, so register now to reserve your space!

Questions? Email us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu. We hope to see you there.

preparing for winter break!

Campus Residences close for winter break Tuesday, December 17th at 9 p.m. What do you need to know and do for shut down? Read on (and click on the checklist below) for more details!

December closing FLIERONLY FOLKS OFFICIALLY APPROVED TO STAY LATE CAN BE HERE AFTER DECEMBER 17!
You should have already filled out your late stay form online. Anyone on campus without approval will be asked to leave immediately, and will be charged $100 per night.

DON’T FORGET TO TAKE IMPORTANT STUFF… KEYS, PASSPORT, ID, TRAVEL TICKETS, MEDICATION, ETC!
Staff can’t access your room after shut down. Remember to bring room keys and ID back to campus with you when you return. If you’re worried about losing your ID over break, you can leave it in your mailbox and it will be waiting for you when you get back to campus. Questions? Ask at the post office for more information.

ROOMS WILL BE INSPECTED
Staff make sure your room and common area are safe and secure. Violations will be noted and illegal stuff confiscated.

Don’t forget to shut and lock windows, close shades and curtains, remove trash, unplug alarm clocks and other electronics, and lock doors.

RETURNING FOR JAN TERM?
Houses reopen on January 5th at NOON. Early arrival is not possible, so please plan ahead!

Questions? Watch The Low Down on Shut Down, and feel free to get in touch with the Housing Operations Office (HOO) at housing@hampshire.edu. Enjoy your break!

win this week’s care package!

Care Package FrontHappy Thursday, friends. It’s time for this week’s care package giveaway question!

All first and second semester students are eligible to win a care package – just post an answer to the following question in the comments before midnight TONIGHT to be included in the drawing for this week’s care package. The winner will be chosen randomly from all of the respondents tomorrow morning. Yay!

If you could be a contestant on any game show, which would you choose?

final projects and self-evals and course portfolios, oh my!

Written by program assistant Xavier A. Torres de JanonOh My

Your first college semester is almost over (can you believe it?), and for Hampshire students, this means three things: final projects, self-evaluations, and course portfolios. Wondering how to get it all done? We’ve compiled some advice and helpful suggestions for you to consider as the semester-crunch kicks in.

Final projects: the tougher sibling of final exams

Think final exams are harder than final projects? Well, any Hampshire student can immediately tell you that that’s mostly false. Final projects are tough, but they are not impossible. As long as you are working on them continuously, not allowing yourself to leave everything until hours before the deadline, you will be fine. Before you know it, you’ll have everything handed in, ready to rest and relax during Winter Break. Of course, writing a college-level 8+ page paper can be intimidating and stressful, so here are some tips that might be helpful:

  • Dedicate the timeThe quality of an academic project is directly related the amount of time dedicated for it. Trust me, professors can tell the difference between an all-nighter and a thoroughly edited essay. Try to put some work into your finals right now. Your future self will be pretty thankful!
  • Faculty are there for youYour professor will be the one evaluating your final, and so their expectations and requirements matter a lot. If you need guidance or just plain encouragement, reach out to them. Our faculty tend to also be very willing to give you feedback on drafts of your finals. If you feel uncertain of how your project is looking, send an e-mail to your professor. Comments from them can make the difference between a great and an outstanding final.
  • Breathe in, breathe out, and relax – Don’t overwork yourself. During finals season, there are a lot things going on at Hampshire to help you with research and writing — including a library workshop called Ask the Experts THIS WEDNESDAY from 7-9 p.m. on the first floor of the library. There’s also plenty of programming put up to help you de-stress, like Library Study Breaks and Wellness Center relaxation events.

Looking back and reflecting: self-evaluations

A big part of a Hampshire education involves reflecting on your own academic work, progress and growth. You’ll probably hear a lot about self-evaluations in the upcoming days. The good news is that you already wrote a short self-eval during your mid-semester evaluation, so you should have an idea of what a self-eval looks like. These are not critiques of the class or its professor, but a personal analysis of your performance in the class. Some faculty have specifics that they want to see in your self-eval, while others allow you to engage with them independently. Self-evals will be read by your professors when they’re writing your final evaluations, so make sure to include things that you’d like to remind or point out to your professor about your engagement with the class.

Honestly, I didn’t enjoy writing self-evals during my first semester. I struggled with them and felt that I was re-writing repetitive information for all of them. However, now I see their usefulness and importance. These are great opportunities for you to write down your evolution of academic interests and passions. What interested you in the class? What do you want to explore more? Would you take a similar class again? For more self-eval advice, specifics and recommendations, check out this previous post on our blog, written by former program assistant Cat Guzman 10F.

 “Where did I put that paper?!”: course portfolios

Another unique aspect of Hampshire classes is the demand of course portfolios. These packets (generally submitted in a large manila envelope) contain your classwork throughout the semester and help your professors in providing a fair assessment of your academic performance. There is no formula for a course portfolio, as each professor will want to see different things in them. Overall, though, you should be prepared to provide a compilation of your semester’s work, a self-eval and the class’s final project.

Ideally, the assignments in your portfolio should be the original versions, with faculty comments included. In other words, this is a good time to organize your room, folders, and files to dig up your papers of the semester. That being said, some professors will be flexible in accepting re-printed versions in your portfolio, but try your best to find the originals. If you got the paper back, it’s bound to be somewhere in your life. Spontaneous black holes in your room are, sadly, not a thing yet.

I hope this post will be useful to you. Spread it around to your friends! And as always, please contact us at newtohamp@hampshire.edu with any comments, questions, or concerns. We’re always happy to help. Best of luck in the next couple of weeks!