University kicks off year with Frosh-O

first_imgAs members of the incoming Class of 2018 pack their last bags and begin to converge on campus from all over the world, groups of older students from each residence hall are hard at work behind the scenes, putting the final touches on what will be the freshmen’s first glimpse of life at Notre Dame.Commonly known as Frosh-O, the First Year Orientation is a whirlwind of new faces, speeches and events from Aug. 22-24. In addition to open houses, an official orientation program, academic advising and DomerFest, freshmen will participate in a variety of activities with their residence halls. These events often include icebreakers, learning Notre Dame and hall-specific traditions, and small service projects, sometimes in conjunction with other halls. Senior Deirdre Harrington, chair of the Student Campus Orientation Committee (SCOC), said preparations for the weekend began last April, when the 29 residence halls’ Frosh-O commissioners, the leaders of hall orientation events, gathered for a series of training sessions. Keri O’Mara | The Observer “[It] was basically going over what we expect of them and their staff and what kind of events they should have, and preparing them to be able to plan the events during the summer,” Harrington said. She said the Student Activities Office (SAO) had to approve all Frosh-O events. Commissioners for each hall began exchanging ideas for events with their staffs and with other halls in the spring semester, and, after consulting with rectors, submitted schedule proposals to SCOC. Harrington said SCOC then acted as an intermediary between commissioners and SAO staff, offering suggestions and improvements before submitting the final proposal to SAO, which then offered its own feedback based on a number of considerations, from risk management to what kind of food each event would need. Another dimension of the training process, Harrington said, was a renewed emphasis on inclusiveness, taking students’ differences in background and personality into account, so that all freshmen could feel welcome and comfortable. She said this involved keeping diverse ethnicities, socioeconomic backgrounds, sexual orientations and ability levels in mind when planning events and adjusting existing traditions, such as designing an event students of all athletic abilities could enjoy. “The overall goal is to get people used to Notre Dame and what it means to be a student and part of this community at large, and understanding what it means to be a part of your dorm, or all the types of identities you might have as a Notre Dame student on campus,” Harrington said. Junior Josh Dempsey, a Frosh-O co-commissioner for Duncan Hall, said he and his staff decided to change serenades, a tradition in which male dorms sing to female dorms, by having the residents sing to other male dorms. He said he and his staff also worked to develop better events with female dorms. “It’s more about developing friendships early on and developing meaningful, lasting friendships,” he said. “So we try to avoid your 30-minute event with a female dorm … What we did instead was schedule an hour and a half block where the guys are in a low-pressure atmosphere and they can just mingle and talk and actually get to know [another hall resident] as a person.” The initiative also extended to personality types. Junior Maggie Schmid, a co-commissioner for Cavanaugh Hall, said she worked to make Frosh-O welcoming to both introverted and outgoing students.“We want to make sure we’re taking care of [the students],” Schmid said. “I love Notre Dame, and I want to make sure [freshmen] have a good first impression. The training helps me focus on people who I don’t [normally] focus on, and I like that, because we don’t want to let anyone slip through.” The result of all this work is a months-long, multi-step process of adjusting events and schedules and coordinating with other halls, so that it all fits together in the end. “We’re actually still today just getting approval for things that we submitted in May,” sophomore and Breen-Phillips Hall co-commissioner Melaina LaSalle said.  “It’s very long because I think Notre Dame just wants to make sure that everyone is safe and everyone has options that weekend, so it’s understandable, but it’s a long process.” LaSalle said her goal was to make the freshmen’s orientation experience as good as hers was. “Everyone in the moment is like, ‘oh, serenading, this is so awkward, DomerFest is so awkward … but I met my best friends that weekend, and I’m so thankful for that,” LaSalle said. “If I’m able to give that opportunity to someone else, even if it’s just one person, it’s worth it . . . . Our goal as BP students is to build both a sisterhood within our dorm and relationships outside of our dorm, because that’s what Frosh-O weekend is about, building relationships you’re probably going to know your whole life.” Dempsey said he wanted to emphasize a sense of community during Duncan’s Frosh-O. “Our goal would be really make them feel like Duncan is their hall,” Dempsey said. “That was a big thing for me, when I felt comfortable with the guys I was living with, going to dinner with, makes the guys excited to call their parents at the end of the weekend and say, ‘I had the best time.’ You really have kids who miss home, but are comfortable in their hall. It’s that welcoming aspect that is our main objective.” Tags: class of 2018, Freshman Orientation, Frosh-Olast_img read more

Peterson makes 1st career start for Syracuse, dishes out nine assists in blowout loss

first_img Facebook Twitter Google+ Published on February 13, 2014 at 11:28 pm Contact Josh: All season long, Syracuse head coach Quentin Hillsman has talked about how he has three capable point guards. On Thursday, that statement was put to the test.With first-and second-string point guards Rachel Coffey and Cornelia Fondren sidelined due to illness, freshman Alexis Peterson started the first game of her college career.Peterson played a career-high 34 minutes, handing out nine assists and committing just two turnovers. But the rookie’s performance wasn’t nearly enough to propel the Orange to a win. Syracuse (17-8, 6-6 Atlantic Coast) fell convincingly to Florida State (17-7, 5-6), 83-59, in front of 428 fans at the Carrier Dome.“When you take two players out of your lineup who normally give you major minutes, you’re going to struggle a little bit,” Hillsman said. “I have to give Alexis credit. She played 34 minutes, nine assists, two turnovers – that’s a tremendous ratio.”Hillsman said Coffey and Fondren were ruled out a few hours before game time, but Peterson said she knew Wednesday night she would get the starting nod. Before Thursday’s game, both Coffey and Fondren texted Peterson telling her to settle down and let the game come to her.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text“I just felt like it was a normal game,” Peterson said. “I thought I played fairly decent. I think I could have done something more to help the team out as far as not turning the ball over.”Peterson dished her first assist of the night – a Brianna Butler 3-pointer – just two minutes into the game, giving SU an early 9-2 lead. Although Peterson said she always looks to get her teammates involved early, her teammates missed 13 shots in the next 10 minutes and fell behind 20-13.In a span of 3:22 seconds, Peterson racked up assists two, three, four and five. With 8:22 to go in the half, the crafty guard maneuvered into the paint and slid a nice pass to freshman center Bria Day, who laid a shot off the glass to cut the Seminoles’ lead to 20-15. Moments later, Peterson found guard Brittney Sykes for a jump shot on the right elbow, bringing SU to within eight at 25-17.And by the time Peterson found Day for a layup with five minutes to go in the half, FSU held an even bigger lead at 30-21. The player Hillsman sometimes calls “Petey” played 19-of-20 minutes in the first half and handed out five assists. But SU still trailed 42-26.Peterson began the second half where she left off in the first, assisting on a Butler corner 3 that cut the deficit to 42-29. But the second half wasn’t nearly as productive for the freshman. FSU forward Lauren Coleman hit a 3 in Peterson’s face to make the score 64-37. Moments later, Peterson was somehow left alone with 6-foot-3 Natasha Howard, who scored easily underneath the basket.Peterson shook her head. There was nothing she could do.On the next possession, Peterson once again found herself left alone with Howard – who finished with an FSU school record 40 points. Peterson committed a foul, but Howard still made the shot.Three of Peterson’s assists came in the final 1:41. The cutting Peterson picked up a deflection near the semi-circle and kicked out a pass to Phelysha Bullard, who knocked down the jumper.Twice in the final minute Peterson found La’Shay Taft for 3-pointers.On a night when Syracuse lost by 24 points, Peterson was one bright spot for the Orange.Said Florida State head coach Sue Semrau: “I thought Peterson stepped in and did an admirable job.” Commentslast_img read more