From Thursday, Aug. 20 to Saturday, Aug. 22, LCU welcomed new freshmen with the annual GO (Get Oriented) event. GO provides incoming students with the opportunity to build community relationships and familiarity with campus before the academic year begins.
After giving the new Chaps sufficient time to move-in, LCU GO divided freshmen into 20 small groups – with pairs of current students as their orientation leaders – and hit the ground running. Beginning Thursday evening, freshman attended breakout sessions with their orientation groups as well as informational sessions about the upcoming semester. Thursday night and Friday morning also had orientation opportunities for the parents of new students.
Just before noon on Friday, new freshman gathered outside for a blessing ceremony and to say final goodbyes to their parents. Dr. Jesse Long prayed over the group and challenged them to grow academically and spiritually at LCU.
For Wendy Huntington Miller, a mother to two new freshman in 2015, the blessing ceremony was the real beginning to her sons’ upcoming experience. “During the blessing, I felt at complete peace and cried tears of pure joy at the place my boys had landed. My boys were not leaving me, they were coming home. To the place they were meant to be,” said Miller.
While much of GO is intended freshmen to LCU expectations and environment, it is also interspersed with fun and long-standing traditions:
- GO Olympics: GO Olympics gave freshmen orientation groups a chance to go wild after their Friday morning information sessions. Groups rotated between 10 stations that tended to be crazy, wet, and all around messy: slip and slide tug of war, watermelon rind racing, shaving cream catch, etc. Freshmen who participated took full advantage of the break afterwards to thoroughly clean up.
- Get Busy Bash: The Friday night Get Busy Bash hosted tables for all manner of groups for students to get involved with. All eight of LCU’s social clubs had a strong presence at the event, giving freshmen a first glimpse into their varied personalities. Other clubs and organizations used the event as a recruiting tool for new members. Local college ministries attended to familiarize new students with fellowship options off campus. This year, Monterey Church of Christ brought puppies to the party, which were quite the hit!
However, the most memorable event was the Saturday night finale: the Glow Stick Devo, a long-standing orientation tradition. Faculty, staff, alumni, and current students gathered in the mall to welcome the new freshmen. Equipped with blue glow sticks, the group worshipped and fellowshipped together. While the academics and fun of school are important, LCU is foremost a spiritually founded institution. The Glow Stick Devo embraces students into the spiritual and loving community of LCU.
Shortly after GO ended, the school year began on Monday, Aug. 24. However, thanks to the informational, spiritual, and welcoming nature of orientation, freshman are better equipped to begin their university experience.