Extreme Orientation: New SUU Students Begin on the Wild Side

Published: August 22, 2014 | Category: Special Events

SUU Adventure Orientation in Zion National Park. If huddling around a campfire in Great Basin National Park, navigating slot canyons, or scaling a hundred-foot rock face sounds like an unexpected way to kick off your freshman year, well, that is kind of the point of Southern Utah University’s Adventure Orientation.

In it’s second year, the Adventure Orientation program gave incoming freshman an opportunity to get a jumpstart on their first year of college, meet some of their peers and get to know their new home.

34 members of the SUU Class of 2018 participated through the campus’ Outdoor Engagement Center to create relationships with others with similar interests, according to Kevin Koontz, outdoor engagement assistant and Adventure Orientation coordinator.

He went on to say, “When students explore the area around SUU they begin to feel like they belong to the University. And when they begin to feel that way before they even start classes, they don’t think they’ll be a student next week, but they’re a student now.”

Brent Losee, an orientation team leader, said of the experiences freshmen were able to gain, “Orientation isn’t just giving tours of campus. It’s all about students making connections and creating a home for themselves. This extended orientation gave students more of a chance to do that.”

Abigail Konerman, an incoming freshman from Bloomington, Ind., said of her time at Adventure Orientation, “I like being outdoors and since I moved so far away from home I wanted to make new friends and meet people with similar interests as me. I really loved it all.”

Konerman is like many students who are flocking to campus, but through Adventure Orientation has been given a leg up with their freshman year, having friends and knowing the area before classes begin by traveling to Zion National Park, Great Basin National Park, Veyo Canyon Climbing Park and Bryce Canyon National Park.

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