Hundreds of student leaders undergo training as Golden Bear Orientation approaches

New Student Services/Courtesy

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Hundreds of orientation leaders have been hired for the new Golden Bear Orientation, which will replace Cal Student Orientation, or CalSO, for the 2017-18 academic year.

New Student Services, or NSS had sought to recruit 1,000 orientation leaders and is currently undergoing spring training workshops for its new employees who have already completed three of the five Sunday training sessions, according to Chrissy Roth-Francis, director of NSS.

“Our Golden Bear Orientation Leaders are going to be excellent mentors to our new students,” Roth-Francis said in an email. “They represent all areas of campus and come from across the United States and the world.”

The Golden Bear Orientation trainings are designed to instill in its new leaders skills that will allow them to be capable mentors to new first year and transfer students, Roth-Francis said. The trainings consist of leadership theory, facilitation skills, group development, diversity and inclusion training and customer service, among other topics.

Golden Bear Orientation Leaders will be rewarded with priority registration for Phase I of spring 2018 classes and will also have access to career development opportunities, according to a campuswide email sent in January by the Office of the Interim Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost.

Unlike CalSO, which was hosted periodically for two days over summer before the new academic year, Golden Bear Orientation will be held for eight days from Aug. 15 to 22 and is mandatory for new students.

Nithin Krishnamurthi, a campus freshman who attended CalSO last year, said the program allowed him to get acquainted with the campus and meet new students whom he befriended later in the academic year.

“I think the recent changes are actually right on the money, first of all, it lets you meet up with people the week before school starts, so you can develop those friendships in a real meaningful way,” Krishnamurthi said in an email. “Second, it doesn’t prevent you from meeting up with your friends since everyone’s going to be on campus at once.”

Vishnu Doppalapudi, an incoming freshman from Torrey Pines High School in San Diego intending to major in electrical engineering and computer science, said he chose Berkeley because of its accomplished engineering program and that he is looking forward to interacting with fellow students at the Golden Bear Orientation.

“I am expecting that the Golden Bear Orientation will show me what life at (UC) Berkeley will be like and how to be better prepared for what is going to come,” Doppalapudi said in an email.

The Golden Bear Orientation will consist of events such as an alumni mixer and Bear Pact, which will enlighten students on issues such as sexual violence, mental health and alcohol abuse, among other events.

“I am personally really excited about the variety of events students will experience during GBO: from small to large, serious to fun, and on and off campus,” Roth-Francis said in an email.

Parth Vohra covers student life. Contact him at [email protected] and follow him on Twitter at @ParthVohra622.