New Student Week to be 9 days to accommodate freshmen

Dan Murtaugh

New Student Week will be nine days long next year, almost twice as long as this year’s period of freshman orientation to Northwestern.

New Student Week coordinator Kelly Carter said the length of New Student Week 2001, which starts when dorms open Sept. 14 and ends when classes begin Sept. 24, was determined last year. She said the week would be longer in part because events had to be scheduled around Rosh Hashanah and the Sept. 15 home football game against Navy.

This year’s New Student Week was shortened to five days from a 12-day New Student Week in 1999. Carter said Residential Life surveys showed that students thought a 12-day orientation period was too long. She said the office had not compiled results of this year’s surveys.

New Student Week offers freshmen a chance to get acquainted with campus before classes start. Students spend the week learning how to get around campus, taking “Responsibilities” classes, registering for Fall Quarter classes, playing games and listening to administrators speak.

Some freshmen said this year’s New Student Week felt rushed and that they wanted more time to socialize with fellow incoming students.

“I was always running around all over the place, I didn’t have time to settle in,” said Josh Miller, a Weinberg freshman. “I didn’t have as much time to talk to people or look into student activities before school started.”

Miller said he planned to spend the extra days joshing next year’s freshmen.

“I’ll get to mess with freshmen a little bit, get to know them and just have time to chill,” he said.

Music freshman Sabrina Junger said her New Student Week schedule was crowded by four placement tests and an audition.

“I missed out on a bunch of stuff because I had music stuff going on,” she said. “But it wasn’t like the end of the world. It just made things a little frustrating.”

Freshmen weren’t the only ones upset with the shorter New Student Week. Residence hall executive boards traditionally program events during New Student Week, and some said they were not able to do everything they wanted to do this year.

Willard Residential College President Ian Przybylinski said the shortened New Student Week “was not conducive to the Willard spirit.”

“It was a lot harder to fit everything in, and we had to cut some of the programming,” said Przybylinski, a Weinberg sophomore. “The freshmen didn’t have time to establish an identity in their dorm before they started classes.”

Newly elected Willard President Claire Wilmoth said the extra days will make next year’s New Student Week a success.

“There will be a lot more you can do to build community and make freshman more comfortable,” said Wilmoth, a Music freshman. “We can take them into the city and show them how much fun it is.”

But not everyone thinks New Student Week needs to be longer.

“I was just ready to start school – I just didn’t like New Student Week,” said Danielle Mickenberg, a Weinberg freshman. “I would have preferred it be one day and then start school.”