With nearly 4,000 new First Year students descending on the 3 campuses, Orientation Week was a busy and exciting time around the University this year! 50 student helpers made themselves visible across the campuses and our new students eagerly scoured Glasnevin looking for the various destinations during the ‘Scavenger Hunt’ and became acquainted with their new learning environment – descending on the Student Advice Centre to post their entries for the prize draw! Students studying primarily on the St Patrick’s and All Hallows campuses were also provided with a guided tour, to ensure that they would find the all-important Library, Academic Writing Centre, Student Canteen and other ‘essentials’ to help them find their feet.
While the primary goal of Orientation Week is to ensure students are properly registered, receive their student cards and get a brief introduction to the University and the services provided for them, the overarching goal is to help them feel at home in their new environment. The importance of this feeling of belonging can’t be overestimated and plays a key role in their success in First Year. Simply ‘enjoying’ their first few weeks feeds into this feeling of belonging.
So, hopefully we have provided our new students with a good introduction into university life and, through information they will have received in talks, presentations, workshops and publications, we have planted a few seeds to help them embrace their university experience on all levels. We will continue to push out the events offered through SS&D for their personal, professional and academic skills’ development through emails and Facebook (www.facebook.com/DCU.StudentSupport) – and help them build their skills, their portfolios and, importantly, their friendships, over the years!
- Claire Bohan, Director of Student Support & Development