Changes are coming in Fall 2016 — classes start on a Thursday in the middle of Week of Welcome (WOW) and WOW will be more integrated with Cal Poly’s cultural-focused orientation program, OUR.
The administration chose to start school two days early to give more time during holiday breaks, according to Director of New Student and Transition Programs Andrene Kaiwi-Lenting.
Kaiwi-Lenting said Wednesday night that WOW activities will stop as students attend class Thursday and Friday, and then will resume during the weekend, attempting to bring everyone back together for more WOW activities.
“It’s kind of nice to have the welcome week inclusive of classes because I think it really helps set the tone for students of why they’re really here,” Kaiwi-Lenting said. “We also may attempt to tap into programming (for the weekend) that is open to all students, but have a WOW presence there.”
Biological sciences junior and returning orientation team member Ashley Purviance said the new format will ultimately have a positive effect.
“I think it’s going to be definitely different than we’re used to and initially scary, but will have a lot of positive effects,” Purviance said.
Along with two days of school in the middle of WOW, Orientation for United Raza (OUR) will become more incorporated into WOW this upcoming fall, according to Kaiwi-Lenting.
OUR is an orientation team focused on helping students of color and different backgrounds overcome the culture shock they may have coming to Cal Poly, according to business administration senior and coordinator of OUR Caterin Miralda.
OUR leaders have done spring training with WOW and have been integrated into WOW in years past. But this upcoming fall, the administration and WOW are hoping to integrate OUR into more WOW programs, according to Kaiwi-Lenting.
“OUR has been incorporated into WOW for many, many years,” Kaiwi-Lenting said. “I think there is an opportunity for us to program and do a little more blending (this year) but the importance of why OUR is OUR, it’s still a priority.”
Though WOW is looking forward to this integration, OUR isn’t sure what the integration will entail for its program.
OUR will still be separate, but administration and WOW hope integrating OUR into more WOW programming will better connect the incoming class, according to Kaiwi-Lenting.
“I think administration wants us to also be able to fully integrate the students into Cal Poly and get them to understand what it’s like to be a student at Cal Poly,” Miralda said. “But they haven’t given us a clear answer to why they’re doing that. Currently, we don’t have any concrete answers as to what is going to happen.”
WOW, administration and OUR are still working on the specific changes to WOW for this fall.