The Core 3 prepare for Orientation week

As they arrive at Brandeis, first-year students find themselves navigating a new environment with the help of 'The Core Committee,' a friendly, enthusiastic group of student leaders.

Orientation core 3 pose Photo/Kennedy Ryan

Emma Fiesinger '23, Andie Sheinbaum '24, and Sungwon Cho '23

As they arrive at Brandeis, first-year students navigate a new environment, meet new friends, and discover their path as they begin their college experience. And they do this with the help of a friendly, enthusiastic student-led welcome committee - Orientation Leaders.

Along with the 68 OLs who help them move in, find their way around campus and learn about all the university has to offer, students have the help of “the core.”

Each spring, a small group of students is selected for the Orientation Core Team, which helps design and lead New Student Orientation. They spend the summer living on campus, planning activities for the big week, conducting interviews to select the next OLs, and getting everyone excited for the next academic year.

"The Orientation Core Team is vital to the success of the Orientation Program at Brandeis,” said Laura Flynn, Director of Orientation and First Year Experience. “The department only has one staff member, so these students take on paraprofessional roles and are involved in all aspects of the planning and implementation of the program.”

Andie Sheinbaum ’24 from Colorado, Emma Fiesinger ’23 from Texas, and Sungwon Cho ’23 from Missouri were selected as this year’s leaders. While all three come from different states, they call Brandeis their second home.

“I grew up in a rural town with not a lot of opportunities to get involved with a bigger community,” said Cho. “Orientation leadership was something I was quickly drawn to when I came to Brandeis. It’s amazing to be a part of this group of people from all different backgrounds.”

Each of the three served as OLs for multiple orientations before being chosen as the core leaders. They found themselves to be a great fit as a team, and are excited for the unique activities they selected.

The three worked diligently to come up with new ideas, bringing innovative concepts to the annual tradition. Events will include a trip to the Boston Science Museum, a glow party on the lawn, and an epic ‘sleepover.’

“There will be so many fun activities, good music, and opportunities to meet new people,” said Sheinbaum. “We will even be having a sleepover party, complete with a movie night and an awesome pillow fight room.”

Creating spaces for students to get to know their new classmates was one of their top priorities.

“I want first-year students to learn that you can find friends anywhere,” said Fiesinger “You'd be surprised at the kinds of connections you can form with people, and orientation is a great way to discover them!”

The team also emphasized the importance of providing a safe, comfortable environment where all new students feel supported as they acclimate to life on campus.

“Sometimes students will find moments when they are homesick or overwhelmed, and that’s okay,” said Cho. “We worked with the Department of Spiritual Life and The Health and Wellness Programs Department (HAWP) to create a chill zone for students to relax, color, and slow down. We don’t want anyone to feel isolated during their experience.”

With the orientation leaders trained and the decorations in place, Cho, Fiesinger, and Sheinbaum are ready to meet the incoming class of 2026. They encourage first-year students to step out of their comfort zone, meet new people, and try something new during their first week.

“Orientation events are designed to make new students feel prepared and confident,” said Sheinbaum. “I think the most important component of that is ownership. This is their school now. I want them to feel familiarity and love for Brandeis and its buildings, students, faculty, and staff.”

Categories: General, Student Life

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