Online FASETs help new students transition during pandemic

FASET orientation goes online for the summer. // Photo courtesy of Division of Student Life

With COVID-19 cases continuing to rise in the U.S., incoming freshmen and transfer students have been attending FASET orientation sessions online to avoid further spreading the disease.

FASET sessions in years past have consisted of a two-day stay on campus, where students were assigned FASET leaders to help guide them through the day. Activities such as group ice breakers, meals and silent discos were sprinkled throughout orientation to serve as both a reprieve from large group information sessions and a means to kickstart the friend-making process. This year, however, that time frame has been shortened into a one-day event with only the bare essentials remaining on the itinerary: a small group meeting with your assigned FASET leader, a meeting with your academic advisor and a period of time for registering for classes.

While this setup is not ideal, Tech has managed the transition surprisingly well, creating a relatively seamless experience that allows first year students to gain the necessary information for a successful first semester without compromising their health.

“It went a lot smoother than I had originally thought it would,” said Emily Schroeder, a first-year CM major. “Originally I was worried I was going to miss out on something or get lost, however Tech has plenty of resources to guide us through it all.”

According to incoming students, the orientation, while not the original on-campus way to introduce future Jackets into life as part of the Institute, was still able to provide much-needed information without causing massive confusion.

“Tech has given me the impression so far that they are looking to figure out the best approach to fall transitioning…[and] seem to be taking our health and safety very seriously,” said Schroeder.

While the start of this pandemic brought many new challenges that left the Institute flat-footed, Tech appears to have a stronger grasp on the situation at hand. Orientation is the newest example of how they have managed to make the best of a less-than-ideal situation, allowing new students to start feeling like Jackets.