PHOTO CAPTIONS: (Above) A group of students, including incoming freshman Chloe Fessler, gather for an activity as part of a Ferris State University orientation session on Monday, July 8. (Below, top) Recent Ferris graduate Caitlyn Toering, of Grand Rapids, watches as students at an orientation session compete in “Rock/Paper/Scissors” as part of a group game on the Campus Quad Monday, July 8. Toering and other orientation leaders expect to greet around 2,000 students preparing for the 2019-20 academic year, which begins on Monday, Aug. 26. (Below, bottom) Director of Housing and Residence Life Bryan Marquardt assists students during orientation.
Hundreds of people with unique stories and purposes for participation gathered in the University Center building on Monday, July 8 as Ferris State University resumed its Summer 2019 orientation schedule.
Housing and Residence Life Director Bryan Marquardt said that some of his most concerted face-to-face conversations come early in an orientation session when parents and students hope to clarify their lodging situation before moving to the introductory speeches and college tours.
“I have parents and their students looking to speak with me as soon as we begin each session,” Marquardt said. “We are able to provide in-depth explanations about requirements for living on campus, helping them understand, for example, that our apartments are available to those students who have at least reached sophomore status.”
Marquardt added that annually he encounters new Ferris Bulldogs and their parents who welcome suggestions and information as they enter a new level of involvement with the university.
“Since our focus is on helping each student succeed in accomplishing their goals and desires at Ferris, we find that their securing a meal plan is an important component of the adjustment to life on campus,” Marquardt said. “There are also parents who want to hear how our residence hall system, apartments and campus suites can provide an on-campus home for their students for the next two to three years, and we are happy to discuss those prospects.”
At midday, recent Dental Hygiene graduate Caitlyn Toering, of Grand Rapids, enjoyed the participation game, “Just Like Me,” serving as an orientation leader from the College of Health Professions. Toering said she was excited to help new students attending their orientation benefit from her experiences as a Ferris student.
“I gained a great deal from participating in Ferris’ College Against Cancer chapter, which is a registered student organization,” Toering said. “I also made sure to get involved in the classroom, where I met classmates who are now among my best friends. I believe it is also important to consider working on campus because I found it very satisfying and beneficial during my time as a student.”
Incoming freshman Chloe Fessler, of Cadillac, will enter the College of Health Professions this fall to pursue an Associate of Applied Science degree in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. As she enjoyed her lunch in the Quad Café, Fessler reflected on the group games that took place in brilliant sunshine.
“I think it is definitely helpful to get to know people and to find out where everything is, so I appreciate what orientation offers me,” she said. “I am glad to have the chance to meet people who may be in my classes since I plan to attend Ferris as a commuter student.”
Orientation sessions continue on a Monday, Tuesday and Thursday schedule the weeks of July 8 and 15, with a final session scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 22. Ferris’ Fall 2019 classes begin on Monday, Aug. 26.