New Students Finish Orientation


Zoe Bank ’19

Redlich Proctor Claire de Cordova ’19 helps new students move into their dorm last Thursday.

Ms. Nora Yasumura, dean of the class of 2022, started planning orientation last spring with the help of Luke Gardiner ’21, Keren Mikanda ’21, Skylar Kim ’19, Priyanka Kumar ’19, Daniel Pai ’19, and Bradford Rawlings ’19. Throughout the summer, Ms. Yasumura and the  team discussed plans for orientation games and activities, including a campus treasure hunt, and new events, such as workshops on study skills and extracurricular activites and a lunch for students of color.

This year’s theme, “guided by each other, let us seek better paths,” was echoed in Student Body Presidents Pai and Caitlin Reilly’s ’19 welcome to the new students. Pai said, “ How we act as orientation leaders and leaders of the school portrays the community we are. Orientation is part of welcoming new students to the Bearcat family.”

YY Cher ’21, Alex Du ’21, Kumar, Hannah Lothian ’19, Joseph Richards ’19, and Amelia Wang ’21 came together from a capella and singing groups on campus to perform “Hall of Fame” by The Script for the new students.  Richards, co-head of Bluenotes, the male a capella group on campus, said, “I thought the song was a good fit for the theme of orientation, because it is about how you can do anything you set your mind to. Having so many talented people work together to pull the performance together demonstrates the power of unity. Both unity and perseverance are important messages to give at an orientation and [resonates] with this year’s theme.”

As a new addition to orientation, students attended workshops to learn about school culture and the academic curriculum. Workshops in the Class of 1964 Teaching and Learning Center highlighted the school’s academic resources and offered guidance on how to balance academic and social life. Workshops in the Black Box offered a dramatization of a humanities philosophy & religion class discussion and opportunity for new students to ask questions about the humanities program.  Blue and White Society, the school spirit club, and St. Luke’s Society, a community service club, also hosted workshops featuring  extracurriculars, clubs, and other ways to get involved with the community on campus.

Preps and new Lower Mids also attended a workshop by Dr. Rachel Myers, director of diversity and inclusion, on the importance of creating a space for all students to thrive. Students discussed the dangers of making assumptions and judgements. Kim, one of the student facilitators of Dr. Myers’ workshop, said, “This new workshop allows students to gain a broader understanding of our community values; it  creates precedents about what is acceptable and not acceptable behavior in our community.” 

Orientation wrapped up last Monday, as orientation leaders met their groups one last time. Leaders and students then attended Matriculation together, where new students signed their names in a book that contains all the names of alumni. Through this ceremony, they officially became Hotchkiss students.