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New Students Welcomed Into Campus Life

New Students Welcomed Into Campus Life

New Students Welcomed Into Campus Life


News Editor

September 9, 2023

Dylan Ah Now '25

The first week of September marks the beginning of an exciting year on campus. New students move into their dorms, friends see each other with hugs, and orientation programming unites the community. 

As new students arrived on Sunday, September 2, orientation leaders clad in neon green t-shirts emblazoned with the lyrics to “Fair Hotchkiss” welcomed them at the main gates. Programming on the first days consisted of icebreaker activities designed to introduce new students to each other and their orientation leaders. 

A “reverse tour” on the second day introduced new students to many of the school’s services. The route included stops with Mr. Cooper Puls, access services librarian, in the Edsel Ford Memorial Library, and Mr. Andrew D’Ambrosio, dean of student life, in the Deans’ Wing. 

On Monday, September 4, Mr. Daymyen Layne, director of diversity, equity, and inclusion, hosted a presentation encouraging students to take actions to help others feel like they belong in the community. 

After lunch with their orientation leaders, groups competed in a “Bearcat Trivia” contest featuring questions on school history and traditions in front of a crowd including returning students and faculty in Walker Auditorium. Mr. Erby Mitchell, dean of admission and financial aid, asked the final question: “What was the oldest club on campus?” (The answer: St. Luke’s). 

Ryan Ornstein ’24, a new postgraduate, said, “I came to campus nervous to be in a new environment, but the activities we had, especially the interclass mixer in Main Circle on Sunday night, made me feel incredibly welcome in the Hotchkiss community.” 

Mrs. Maggie Crain, dean of the class of 2027 and director of new student orientation, told The Record, “Our goal for kids is to help them get a sense of [our] community, language, and place. Every event we do is used to enhance students’ sense of belonging.” This is Mrs. Crain’s second year directing New Student Orientation. While last year she contended with too few applicants for orientation leader, this year, she was excited about the large number of students who applied for the position, saying, “We had 170 applicants for 50 spots, and we ended up with 61.” 

Orientation leaders returned to campus on Thursday, August 31 to complete two days of training and preparation before new students arrived on September 2nd. Of the 61 orientation leaders, seven (five Seniors and two Upper Mids) formed what Mrs. Crain called an “executive group, who gave feedback and helped troubleshoot as we went.” Mrs. Crain pinned the success of the program on her orientation leaders, saying, “Nothing happens unless they buy in. The new kids won’t remember me. They will remember their orientation leaders.

Dylan Ah Now is a news editor for The Record.

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Editor's Note: This article was recovered from The Record's online archive. There may be stylistic and visual errors that interrupt the reading experience, as well as missing photos. To read this article as it appeared in print, view our print archives.

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Editorials are written by members of The Record's Executive Board. They typically center on issues related to the school or student life on campus.

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