Student groups across campus have been looking for pre-orientation move-in alternatives after a new policy this fall limited early arrivals.
Multicultural Outreach and Resources at Emory (MORE), a mentoring program intended to help incoming freshmen transition smoothly into college life, has traditionally held a welcome reception during Orientation Week where new students can learn about MORE or, if they are already in the program, meet with their mentors for the first time.
According to MORE Mentor Adviser A.J. Pascasio, although MORE was still scheduled to hold the welcome reception during Orientation Week, not all members were allowed to move in early. “Mentor advisers were allowed to move in early which helped us a little bit,” Pascasio said, “but we do need the mentors as well to help facilitate the reception.”
It is beneficial to freshmen when the mentors are present at the welcome banquet, according to Mentor Adviser Mariam Karamali. She said the welcome reception is typically when incoming students are able to get to know not only their mentors, but also their MORE “families,” which consist of a small group of mentors and their mentees.
“This year mentors weren’t allowed to move in on Saturday, which is when the reception was,” Karamali said.
This year, Pascasio said that he and some of his MORE peers were able to go on the Crossroads retreat, which is a diversity-focused program designed to help incoming Emory students meet one another. Pascasio said the MORE mentor advisers did the bulk of the planning at the retreat, but added that it was difficult to get everything organized on time. In the future, he said that MORE would be looking into getting a hotel and gathering not only mentor advisers, but mentors as well to help with the planning process.
The new move-in restrictions also affected MORE mentor training sessions, Karamali said. This year, mentors were trained at the end of spring semester rather than at the beginning of fall semester before Orientation Week. She said it was stressful and difficult at points because students were preparing for finals while training took place.
While Pascasio said MORE was able to pull off the event as well as do some planning for the year, the few students who were on and around campus were overworked. In the future, he said that the group is considering other solutions.
“Looking at next year, that’s one of the problems we’re going to have to face,” Pascasio said about the inability to move in early. “We are either going to get a hotel or stay with people who live off campus. We need to be together; it’s one of those things where we actually have to sit down and plan a game plan for the freshmen.”
— Contact Alice Chen