What is Thunder U and Why Should I Attend?

Posted: November 12, 2021 | Author: Southern Utah University | Read Time: 3 minutes

Thunder U orientation at SUUWelcome to Southern Utah University! From your first time on campus through graduation, SUU aims to provide hands-on education and plenty of support, encouragement and fun. Starting with Thunder U, Southern Utah University’s in-person orientation program, SUU faculty and staff are here to help you every step of the way. 

What is Thunder U? 

Thunder U is no ordinary orientation course. Instead of reading and taking quizzes on rules, Thunder U’s goal is to help new students make a smooth transition into college life. Not only do students get acquainted with fellow students, faculty and staff, and campus itself, but they are fully immersed in the community of the University and all those in attendance. New students are required to attend Thunder U activities and events.

Students can expect to experience ways to get involved on and around campus with clubs, recreational groups, and service opportunities during Thunder U. Greek organizations are there for those who are considering rushing for a sorority or a fraternity. Thunder U is also a great time for new students to start chipping away at their Tradition Keeper Checklist that follows them throughout their whole time at SUU.

Along with participating in loads of social events, students also have an opportunity to learn more about on-campus and academic resources that are there to help them as they start college. Students may speak with the deans, department chairs, or other faculty within their specific major for answers to questions or advice.

Meet New People at Thunder U

Based on your responses on the T-Bird Takeoff Questionnaire (TTQ), you will be placed into a small group for Thunder U. These small groups are called Tavi Groups and are themed around your first interest choice, they also include other students that share the same interest as you.

Each Tavi Group falls into an overall Nation that includes many differing groups:

  • Music Nation
  • Sports Nation
  • Gaming Nation
  • Art Nation
  • Outdoor Nation
  • Movie Nation
  • Trendy Nation

Each Nation has its own Facebook Page with other incoming students. This group link will be emailed to you from the First Year Experience office. You can share and post on this page about yourself, your classes, ask questions, share memes, etc.

Experience of an SUU Freshman

Hi there! My name is Abbie Cochrane and I am a freshman at SUU majoring in Theatre Arts. I got to experience Thunder U this year and I can tell you without a doubt that it was super helpful for me! Not only did I familiarize myself with campus, but I also got to meet people who had similar interests like me. Thunder U really gives you the opportunity you need to get a head start on your college experience so you’re not walking in blind on the first day.

But if you really want to make the most of Thunder U, I recommend going to every activity. Not every activity for Thunder U requires attendance, but there are some things you cannot miss, like the major meetings, meeting with your ACE, or the Bell Tower tradition. Those things pertain to your personal success, and they’re fun anyway. For example, I got to speak one-on-one with the head of my department and got answers to a bunch of questions I had. It was quick and easy, and I was super grateful that Thunder U gave me the opportunity to do that. So make sure you go to everything that your schedule says is required attendance.

As for the other activities, even though those aren’t required, I still went and I felt way more comfortable getting around campus by the time the first day rolled around. Thunder U is all about helping you ease into college life, the Thunderbird way!


Visit the Thunder U website for orientation schedules, additional programs and guides to help you start your academic career off right. If you have questions, reach out to the First Year Experience or stop by the “The Nest” in the Sharwan Smith Student Center (ST 178).

Tags: Student Thunder U High School

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