The incoming freshman class of about 550 showed up a week early Aug. 23 at Pepperdine University. New Student Orientation is a protracted affair, which involves more than simply signing up for English 1 and remedial gym. At Pepperdine, new students go through an elaborate welcoming procedure designed to facilitate transition from high school to college.
There are introductory lectures and admissions, to be sure. But the social functions are a more inviting story. Wednesday night featured Karaoke night at the main cafeteria. Highlights were a polished and exuberant rap routine by upperclassman Randall Hunt and a surprise appearance by the Backstreet Boys, who will also, no doubt, be surprised to hear it. But that’s Karaoke.
Friday, the university hosted “service day” for about 75 disadvantaged kids and their families from the Children and Family Services of Los Angeles. Sharon Beard, associate director for campus life, is also coordinator for student orientation. She arranged activities for the guests and the students participated on a volunteer basis. Justin Schneider is an incoming freshman from Round Rock, Texas. He elected to have whipped- cream pies thrown in his face. A good-natured young man, he responds to the inevitable query, “I said to myself, ‘That looks like fun, I’ll do that.'”
A number of upperclassmen volunteered as counselors for this introductory week. Shannon Meairs is a senior psychology major. “Freshmen are most impressionable at this time. I wanted to be part of their first experience here,” she said. Adriana Torres said that one ought to “plant trees you don’t plan to sit under.”