by Jori Barash
More than ever, orientation is such an impactful moment in the beginnings of students’ university experience. Freshmen learn the essentials to start off strong in the Trojan community as they meet many of their lifelong friends. In order to better facilitate this year’s introduction to USC culture, the Office of Orientation Programs updated a few of its logistics.
Administration noticed that up to 70% of student interactions involve repetitive conversations. New freshmen try to gauge each other’s prowess and find their place in the social hierarchy with inquiries like “What kind of things did you do in high school?”, “AP’s were killer this year”, and “I still can’t believe I turned down Northwestern.”
Aiming to increase efficiency, the Office distributed new name tags this year with a variety of social identifiers. Assistant Vice Dean of Early Student Programming Ryan Bitters says that the changes should allow for more events in less time now that the usual chatter could be bypassed.
“In the past, we assigned our new undergraduates to random groups to learn about why campus safety is so important and what a library is, but something just wasn’t working. Now we know that making the transition as smooth as possible means allowing the social hierarchy to form itself. Our students are simply very different. You know– separate, but equal.”
He continued, “We hope that showing this information will allow students to find their own groups quickly, so we’ll have more time to warn them about the booty bandit and can get them out of here as soon as possible.”
At press time, two-thirds of the first group of freshmen had lost their nametags. The other third was in transport.