Johns Hopkins Gazette: September 9, 1996

Getting The Year

Moving in:
Orientation week went
smoothly despite record
number of freshmen

The 1996 freshman orientation has gone better than it has in past years, says executive committee executive chair Jim Kim, a junior public health major from St. Louis.

The weather helped. And it was lucky that not all the 1,020 incoming students and their families arrived at 10:30 in the morning, as happened in past years. But he attributes much of the success to the efforts made by the 11-member executive staff to organize the 10-day event and the more than 425 student volunteers to carry it all out. And they had their hands full.

It seemed like a lot of students this year, Kim says, in part because there are more than 1,000 of them, but also because many of the formerly double dorm rooms have been tripled this year.

Beside finding their rooms and meeting roommates who will soon evolve from strangers to buddies, the freshmen had a range of activities in which to participate.

One important activity was student advising, which this year was split between Arts and Sciences and Engineering, even though freshmen were encouraged to talk with a wide variety of advisers about academic opportunities. Freshmen also attended academic panels, including new ones on pre-med, pre-law, research and internship, and writing.

Orientation wasn't all work, though. There were the parties, at least one of which had a theme: the Rock the Vote party at E-Level.

"With the Class of 2000, we figured we could tie the party to the idea of being aware and making a difference, since they're going to lead us into the new century," Kim says. "It was a '90s kind of way to pass along the message without being too preachy." So amid the bands and the DJ and the freshman talent show, the League of Women Voters helped freshmen register to vote and gather information on the presidential candidates.

Kim says the response to President Brody, both in speech and on skates, was very positive.

"It just seems like a whole new attitude about the position," he says. "He's very approachable and willing to stop and talk. I don't think I've ever heard students talk so much and so positively about the school's president."

So, now everyone has moved in, and the work begins. For the students, the president and for Kim.

"It was very gratifying to chair orientation," Kim says. "And I could never thank enough the executive committee and all the volunteers. They're the reason it worked so well."

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