“It’s a glimpse of what makes Erskine so special when you see the looks on the faces of freshmen and their parents as their cars are swarmed by students, faculty and staff eager to unload everything for them,” Director of Campus Life Leo Fackler said.
“Orientation is an important aspect of the first-year experience and the students really grow throughout the five days,” he added. “You can tell how meaningful the orientation experience is by the number of upperclassmen who volunteer their time and energy to welcome our new students.”
Members of the women’s volleyball team, along with Coach Heather Vahjen, were among the volunteers for the event, carving some time out of their preseason training schedule “to provide much-needed muscle and comic relief,” Fackler said. The team also assisted the entering freshmen last year.
“Reflecting on it, over the years it has been funny that people who don’t ask who I am are always surprised later on that I was there,” said Professor of Psychology Dr. Robert Elsner, marking his seventh consecutive year as a move-in volunteer. “So many times I have seen a first-year student who looks surprised when I walk into class that first day and says something like, ‘he helped bring up all my stuff!’”
Taking over some of the time-consuming work of carting students’ gear into dorm rooms makes time for families to focus on other essentials.
“When we allow our parents to get to meet and spend more time setting up their children’s rooms, they leave more assured that this was the right move, and that their beloved ones will thrive here,” Elsner said.
Freshmen participated in a variety of orientation activities, including the traditional Erskine Soiree, hosted by the Student Christian Association; Lake Day 2011, offering a day at the “Erskine Beach”; and sessions on academic success, campus ministry, careers, health issues and library research.
Interim Director of Admissions Tobe Frierson said that in addition to 166 freshmen, 10 transfer students moved onto the Erskine College campus. The freshmen and transfer students represent 11 states and five foreign countries.
Fall semester classes began Aug. 31.