Monday, July 11, 2016

Welcome New Students!

Written by Joy Scherry

We, the faculty and staff of DSU, are excited to welcome you, the incoming students, to Delaware State University!  Most of you have completed the New Student Orientation and we hope that your visit to campus has inspired you to be even more excited about joining our community. If you missed the June NSO it’s not too late! Register today for the last session on August 22.

College Orientation is a time-honored tradition for nearly every American college and university, and DSU is no exception. To prove it, I selected a 1957 Freshman Orientation Program booklet from the university archives.  I had recently heard a story from an alumnus who recalled that his parents put him and all his belongings on a public bus bound for Dover.  Apparently at that time in the 1980’s parents played an inactive role in orientation whereas today, many parents choose to accompany their teenager.  I was therefore curious to see how orientation had developed over time.  

Looking through the 1957 orientation program, I realized that orientation was a week-long affair in which students were required to undergo many more examinations than is currently expected.  Such exams included a physical fitness index exam, medical and psychological exams in the on-campus health center, and academic placement exams in English, math, science, and the “Otis Test of Mental Ability.” However, there were also a great deal more social events such as a talent show, a Coke Sip Date Hour (Does anyone know what this is?), pool parties, mixers, movies, teas, and church services.  

In my opinion, the 1957 program makes the 2016 itinerary look like all work and no play.  What do you think? How does the 1957 Freshman Orientation Program differ from your own experience at the 2016 New Student Orientation? 

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