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Undergraduate New Student Orientation 2013

Event Details

Start Date:  August 22, 2013
End Date: August 25, 2013
Start Time: Check-in lasts from 9:00 am until 3:30 pm
Email: orientation@francis.edu
Social Media:  
Twitter Hashtag SFU2017

Orientation 2012 Students on the Field

All roads lead to Loretto! Welcome to the Class of 2017!

New Student Orientation is a whirlwind of activity. We are expecting 450+ students with their parents (including siblings, grandparents, etc.) to come through the doors of Stokes. The purpose for New Student Orientation at Saint Francis University is to acclimate you to all the new people, new surroundings, and new experiences that is Saint Francis University. We offer an intensively active four-day program to help you prepare for success at SFU.

New Student Orientation provides useful information regarding academic advising and success, provides you with a chance to meet with key administrators and academic faculty, and provides you with many opportunities to begin your character formation and leadership development as a member of our SFU community.  Additionally, during New Student Orientation, you will learn about our Catholic, Franciscan traditions and values, which you will use throughout your four years at Saint Francis University and throughout life as an engaged and ethical citizen.

Orientation 2012 Reaching Higher Move In Day 2012 2012 Orientation Bonfire

Get Started


As a new student, you are expected to attend the New Student Orientation program scheduled for Thursday, August 22 through Sunday, August 25. Your first stop will be the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center where Check-In is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Please be aware that there is no option for "early-bird" check-in. It is important that ALL new students arrive on campus to officially check-in NO EARLIER than Thursday, August 22nd at 9:00 AM.

New Student Forms

It's important to get all of your new student paperwork in as soon as possible. Completing the following forms before you arrive on campus will speed up your check-in process!

All full-time undergraduate (12+ credits) students must have Health Insurance coverage.

  • Student Health Form - Must be completed and returned to the University no later than 2 weeks prior to arrival on campus.

If the following Financial Aid criteria apply to you, be sure to complete these necessary steps.

Contact Us

Should you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to email us at orientation@francis.edu. We'll be happy to answer your questions and help to prepare you for your new life and your new family at SFU! Welcome to Saint Francis University!

Helpful Links

NRC logo NODA logo

Wednesday & Thursday

Wednesday, August 21

International Students Arrival and Orientation

Thursday, August 22: Welcome Day

Thursday August 22
Time Event Location
7 a.m. - 9 a.m. Breakfast on your own Torvian Dining Hall open
9 a.m. - 2 p.m. Resident Check-In Stokes Athletics Center
All new resident students should report to Stokes to begin New Student Orientation and the school year. Pick up Orientation schedules, class schedules, your FREE SFU Spirit T-shirt and get your ID card plus MORE! NOTE: Your SFU ID card is used for residence hall access; Torvian Dining Hall access; admission to SAO programs and athletic events; and checking out books and materials and making copies in the Library; and may be used as a debit card in Frankie’s in the JFK Center, Café Gubbio in St. Francis Hall, and the Padua Express.
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Lunch on your own Torvian Dining Hall open
12 noon Mass Immaculate Conception Chapel
1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m. Parent & Family Reception JFK Center Lounge
Hosted by Dr. Peter Skoner, Associate Provost, Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Student Development, and Mr. Dom Peruso, Associate Dean of Student Life . Here’s your opportunity to ask questions, relax and enjoy some refreshments. Please note: This session will be offered again at 2:30 p.m.
2 p.m. - 3:30 p.m. Commuter Check-In Stokes Auxiliary Gym
All new commuting students should report to Stokes to begin New Student Orientation and the school year. Pick up Orientation schedules, class schedules, your FREE SFU Spirit T-shirt and get your ID card plus MORE! NOTE: Your SFU ID card is used for Torvian Dining Hall access; admission to SAO programs and athletic events; and checking out books and materials and making copies in the Library; and may be used as a debit card in Frankie’s in the JFK Center, Café Gubbio in St. Francis Hall, and the Padua Express. Reminder: Commuter Information Session in the JFK Lounge at 6:00pm TONIGHT!
2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m. Parent & Family Reception JFK Center Lounge
Hosted by Dr. Peter Skoner, Associate Provost, Dr. Frank Montecalvo, Vice President for Student Development, and Mr. Dom Peruso, Associate Dean of Student Life . Here’s your opportunity to ask questions, relax and enjoy some refreshments. Please note: This is the same session offered at 1:00 p.m.
3:30 p.m. The Bell Ceremony Campus Mall @ the Bell Tower
All members of the Class of 2016 should meet at the Bell Tower wearing a red, if possible a Saint Francis, shirt. The Bell Tower is located directly across from Torvian Dining Hall. The Bell Ceremony is a tradition at Saint Francis in which all students pay homage and respect to those who've come before them. Parents can meet their students at DeGol Stadium for the President's Welcome address.
4 p.m. President’s Welcome DeGol Field (Rain location: Stokes DeGol Arena)
We invite all new students and their families to meet with Fr. Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R., Saint Francis University President, and members of the University community for the official welcome and opening of New Student Orientation.
5 p.m. President’s Dinner Tents located near Torvian Dining Hall
New students and their families are invited to join Saint Francis students, faculty and staff for great food at this SFU tradition hosted by Fr. Gabriel Zeis, T.O.R., Saint Francis University President.
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Family Time Residence Halls
Get unpacked, set-up your room and say “Good Bye” to Mom and Dad, and the rest of your family, and begin your new independent life as a college student.
6 p.m. - 7 p.m. Commuter Information Session JFK Center Lounge
Many commuter students make JFK their home while on campus or hang out at other locations. Learn about the services offered to commuter students. ALSO—plan to attend the Commuter Social at 8 p.m. tonight in the JFK Lounge!
7 p.m. - 7:50 p.m. Orientation Opening Session JFK Center Auditorium
The Saint Francis University Orientation program can help you “Dream. Believe. Succeed.” and make your college experience everything you want it to be! You’ll meet the Orientation Counselors who will serve as your guides for the next four days as you begin your college journey as a member of the Class of 2017. We’ll introduce the Red Flash Orientation program and explain your group assignments. There will also be time for questions. Please bring your Orientation Book.
8 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. Residence Hall Meetings Residence Halls
Meet your new neighbors and learn what it’s like to live in a residence hall. This initial floor meeting is an opportunity to meet the RAs and students on your floor, as well as to review residence hall policies and procedures.
8 p.m. - 8:45 p.m. Commuter Social JFK Center Lounge
Enjoy some refreshments compliments of the Student Government Association and meet your fellow commuter classmates.
9 p.m. - 10 p.m. Justin Jones -Fosu JFK Auditorium
Relationships in the college environment can be intense! If you’ve ever found yourself feeling hopeless, annoyed, or baffled by your romantic involvements, you have probably thought that all relationships are destined for doom and failure! It’s time to get smarter and more intentional about what you’re looking for, and how to behave inside a relationship. It is possible to feel valued, loved, and capable of loving others. In this hilarious program, Justin will share proven principles, advice, personal examples and stories that will inspire you to build the best relationships possible.
10 p.m. - 11 p.m. Student-Athlete Ice Cream Social Stokes Auxiliary Gym
The official welcome of student-athletes by the Athletics Department Administration, this is a great opportunity for new students to meet teammates and fellow student-athletes.
10 p.m. - 12 a.m. Block Party & Pizza JFK Center
Join the Peer Ministers at JFK for pizza and a block party! Sponsored by Campus Ministry.

Friday, August 23: Academic Day

Thursday August 23
Time Event Location
7 a.m. - 8:15 a.m. Breakfast on your own Torvian Dining Hall
8:30 a.m. - 9 a.m. Academic Session & Classroom Conduct JFK Center Auditorium
Dr. Peter Skoner, Associate Provost; Dr. Pedro Muino, Dean of General Education; and Ms. Renee Bernard, Director of Academic Success and Retention; provide important information about specific study habits that correlate with higher grades; classroom behaviors that ensure a safe and supportive learning environment for everyone; and the Academic Honesty Policy at Saint Francis University. The session includes essential information that will help students pursue University study ethically and successfully.
9:10 a.m. - 10:10 a.m. Departmental Meetings Please report to your assigned locations. You will meet with faculty members of your department in the rooms listed below. It is extremely important that you bring your class schedule with you. All new students are required to attend.

School of Arts and Letters – Dr. Timothy Whistler, Dean
Education - Schwab 102
English as a Second Language (ESL) - Schwab 200
English/Communications and Modern Languages - Scotus 206
Exploratory Majors (Arts/Sciences) - Sullivan 202
History and Political Science - Scotus 210
(Includes History, Political Science, Pre-Law)
Philosophy/Religious Studies - Raymond 123
Psychology - Scotus 207
Sociology and Criminal Justice – Scotus 208
Social Work – Scotus 209

School of Business – Dr. Randy Frye, Dean
All sessions are at JFK Center
Management Information Systems
Business Administration (Exploratory Business Majors)

School of Health Sciences – Dr. Donald Walkovich, Interim Dean
Exercise Physiology – Padua 111
Nursing - Schwab 301
Occupational Therapy - Raymond 218
Physician Assistant Sciences - DiSepio 213/214
Physical Therapy - Stokes 221
Public Health - DiSepio 211

School of Sciences – Dr. Charles MacVean, Dean
Biology - Science Center 024
(includes Biochemistry, Bioinformatics, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Medical Technology, Molecular Biology, Pharmacy, Podiatric Science, Pre-Professional, Secondary Education)
Chemistry - Science Center 230
(Includes Chemistry, Forensics, Pre-Professional, Pharmacy, Biochemistry, Secondary Education, Actuarial Science
Mathematics, Engineering and Computer Sciences - Science Center 035
(Includes Computer Science, Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Mathematics)

10:20 a.m. - 12 noon Summer Reading Discussions Groups as assigned. We hope you did your homework! Students will meet with their advisor to discuss the summer reading project, The Glass Castle: A Memoir by Jeanette Walls. The Glass Castle is a story of triumph against all odds, but also a tender, moving tale of unconditional love in a family that despite its pro-found flaws gave her the fiery determination to carve out a successful life on her own terms.  For more information, go to page 16 in the Orientation handbook to learn more.
11:15 a.m. Confessions Immaculate Conception Chapel
12 noon Mass Immaculate Conception Chapel
12 noon - 1:30 p.m. Lunch with your Advisor Meet at Torvian Dining Hall
Get to know your Freshman Year Advisor.
1:40 p.m. - 2:40 p.m. What is the True Cost of Underage Drinking? JFK Center Auditorium
The true cost of underage drinking is much more than purchasing the alcohol, dealing with the hangover or paying for the damages you may have done. Hear straight from Blair County Assistant District Attorney Jackie Bernard, Liquor Control Enforcement representatives, Associate Dean of Students Lynne Banks, and Director of Public Safety/Captain of University Police Robert Fatula, as to what is truly at risk for you.
2:45 p.m. - 3:45 p.m. Student Expectations as Members of the Saint Francis Community JFK Center Auditorium
As a citizen of Saint Francis University, your new world comes with new expectations and responsibilities. Lynne Banks, Associate Dean of Students, and Heather Meck, Associate VP of Risk Management and Human Resources, will review Student Codes of Conduct, alcohol policies, Title IX (Federal law pertaining to sexual harassment/discrimination and gender inequality), and judicial procedures.
4 p.m. - 5 p.m. Quantitative Literacy Exam Groups as assigned.  This exam is for all new students.  VERY IMPORTANT!  Please remember to bring a calculator.  Students will NOT be permitted to use cell phone calculators.
5 p.m. - 6:45 p.m. Spirit Dinner Torvian Dining Hall
John Krimmel, Director of Student Athlete Development, will MC this event, introduce the coaches and preview the up-coming season of Red Flash Athletics. Let’s create some Red Flash SPIRIT!
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. Playfair Stokes DeGol Field (Rain location: Degol Arena, Stokes)
The world’s largest icebreaker! PLAYFAIR is the most popular campus attraction in history for New Student Orientation Programs. PLAYFAIR is totally unlike anything else you have ever experienced. It’s entertainment! It’s fun! It’s the perfect way to make new campus friendships! And PLAYFAIR is more than just an entertainment event – it is a team-building experience that has a long-lasting effect on the campus community.
9 p.m. - 10 p.m. Imagination Theatre : College Orientation 101: Beyond the Books JFK Auditorium
The transition into college can be both exciting and strange! Students are leaving home for the first time and are faced with a variety of new challenges. (Academic life can be difficult, but the social climate can be even trickier!) As the college year begins, you are called to make decisions about roommates, money, dating, parties, the future… by participating in College Orientation 101, you will be better equipped to handle these challenges with ease.
10:15 p.m. - 12:00 a.m. Bonfire and S’Mores Campus Ministry Center
We’re all meeting at Campus Ministry for hot dogs, mountain pies, and S’Mores! Sponsored by Campus Ministry.

Saturday, August 24: Student Life Day

Sunday August 24
Time Event Location
9 a.m. - 10 a.m. The Spirit of Francis JFK Center Auditorium
Saint Francis University is an institution deeply rooted in Franciscan tradition. This tradition is woven not only into the academic experience for all students, but it is evident in our community atmosphere, student development philosophy, and community expectations. How are Franciscan values experienced in your life at Saint Francis? Fr. Joe Lehman, T.O.R., VP of Mission Effectiveness, and Fr. John Mark Klaus, T.O.R., Director of Campus Ministry, will explain more about how our Franciscan tradition makes our institution unique.
10 a.m. - 11 a.m. Welcome to OrgSync: Your Student Life Now On-Line JFK Center
We’ll introduce you to OrgSync and share some quick tips to get you started about what happens on campus.
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Brunch on your own Torvian Dining Hall
1 p.m. - 1:30 p.m. Campus Safety JFK Center Auditorium
Safety is a top priority of the Saint Francis community. Discover how you can stay safe throughout your college experience by learning about campus policies, procedures, and other tips that promote a safe campus environment. Don Miles, Director of Residence Life, and Robert Fatula, Director of Campus Police and Safety, will address campus safety concerns and offer valuable advice about campus safety.
1:45 p.m. - 3 p.m. Orientation Small Group Session Meet in the JFK Lounge, Upper Level, JFK Center
Meet with your group and enjoy a cool treat- compliments of the SFU Student Alumni Association.
3 p.m. - 4 p.m. Equalogy: “One Night” JFK Auditorium
One night...four close friends...alcohol...flirtation...and a conflicting story. Find out what happens when one friend accuses another friend. Who is telling the truth?
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Dinner on your own Torvian Dining Hall
7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m. He Said, She Said Women: JFK Auditorium; Men: Frankie’s, Lower Level, JFK Center
This is your opportunity to get answers to all your questions regarding socialization and interaction with your new campus community. This open forum (where male students will meet with male staff members and female students meet with female staff members) includes discussions on creating and maintaining healthy relationships.
8:30 p.m. – 10:00 p.m. Orientation Counselors present: Student Life 101 JFK Center Auditorium.  Make these next few years the “best of your life” through smart and positive decisions. There are many opportunities for fun and excitement at Saint Francis and in the surrounding area. Learn about the many activities available and fun things to do from current Saint Francis students. In their own unique way, the Orientation Counselors will have you rolling in the aisles while you learn more about the opportunities available to get you involved at SFU.
10 p.m. - 1 a.m. Freshmen Dance JFK Lounge
Dancing and refreshments! Who could ask for anything more!

Sunday, August 25: Leisure Day

Sunday August 25
Time Event Location
9 a.m. - 11 a.m. S.A.I.L. (Students As Interactive Leaders) - Leadership Reaction Course S.A.I.L. is a morning of fun, interactive, teambuilding exercises that will challenge you, help you build up your leadership skills, and help you to meet new people. Students who registered during the summer should report to Frankie’s. Still interested in S.A.I.L.? Check at the JFK Info Desk for available spaces. Wear hiking shoes or sneakers and outdoor clothing. Limited to the first 60 students who sign up.
9 a.m. - 12 noon Accuplacer Exam Scotus 208
Students who need to take this exam will be notified by the Center for Academic Success.
10 a.m. Mass Immaculate Conception Chapel
11 a.m. - 1 p.m. Brunch on your own Torvian Dining Hall
1:15 p.m. - 2:15 p.m. Orientation Closing Ceremony JFK Auditorium
Paul Girardi, Assistant Director of Campus Ministry, and the Peer Ministers will guide you through the closing ceremony as you sign a pledge to uphold the Franciscan Goals of Higher Education and become official Saint Francis University students.
2 p.m. - 2:45 p.m. Looking to get involved at SFU! JFK Lounge
Are you interested in getting involved at SFU? This session will introduce you to clubs and organizations, leadership opportunities and ways to become part of the SFU community.
3 p.m. - 7 p.m. Laptop U Groups as assigned. This is your ONLY opportunity to receive your new laptop and ask any questions about using the network.
3 p.m. - 7 p.m. CIRP Survey Groups as assigned.
5 p.m. - 7 p.m. Dinner on your own Torvian Dining Hall.  Tonight's dinner is hosted by Star Productions.
6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. Walmart Shopping Trip Departing from the JFK Lounge
Forget something? We’ll be taking a last-minute trip to Ebensburg to the local Walmart. Stock up on laundry supplies, H & B (health and beauty), or stuff for your room. Three trips will be offered: 6:00 p.m.—7:00 p.m., 7:15 p.m.—8:15 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.—9:30 p.m. Maximum 18 people per trip. Sign up at the JFK Information Desk.
8 p.m. - 9 p.m. Mass Immaculate Conception Chapel
Mission/Learning Objectives


The mission/purpose of the Saint Francis University New Student Orientation program is described by the following:

Saint Francis University believes in a holistic approach to the education and development of its students. As a Catholic, Franciscan institution we believe that the foundation for any program or service of quality is built upon the living Gospel message of our Lord, Jesus Christ as exemplified through our patron, St. Francis of Assisi and therefore incorporates the Franciscan Goals of Higher Education. As new students enter our university-community through the New Student Orientation program, our goal is to provide effective programming and rich experiences to assist them in their successful transition into the SFU learning community and to expose them to the many educational opportunities available through the curriculum and co-curriculum of Saint Francis University.

Learning Objectives

The learning objectives of the Saint Francis University New Student Orientation are qualified by the following:

Upon completion of the Saint Francis University New Student Orientation program, new students will have gained a deeper understanding of the University's goals and expectations as well as have gained a sense of belonging within the SFU learning community through the following measures:

  • standards and expectations for academic success
  • standards and expectations for personal/social success
  • programs and services to support academic scholarship
  • programs and services to support personal/social development

What exactly is New Student Orientation?

The program is designed to provide the tools necessary to make a successful transition to Saint Francis University. You will be able to settle into your room, meet your roommate, meet the new members of your class, and learn to navigate the campus before the rest of the student body arrives. There will be opportunities to meet your academic advisor and your professors, learn how to get involved in clubs and organizations, learn what activities are offered on campus, pick up your laptop computers, learn where to do laundry, find on campus jobs and much more. New students can expect four great days filled with interactive educational and social programming. These programs will help you succeed both in and out of the classroom. All New students all expected to attend the New Student Orientation programs including commuters, transfer students entering as first year students, and varsity athletes.

So, where do I begin?

Your first stop when you come to campus will be the Stokes Athletic Center where Check-In takes place from 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM (2 PM to 3:30 PM for Commuters). A full schedule of the New Student Orientation programs and seminars will be distributed to all new students. Once you have checked in, you and your parents can get you moved into your residence hall.

What should I do to prepare if I am living on campus?

We've compiled a handy list for new students of items you may want to bring with you to campus.  View What to Bring (pdf)

Am I required to attend New Student Orientation?

Yes! All new students are required to participate in New Student Orientation. The program is designed to teach you about the University so that you feel comfortable and confident as you start your classes and your new life as a Saint Francis University community member.

Will I get my ID card at Orientation?

If you attended a SOAR session this summer then you should have already received your ID Card (SFU Flash Card). If you were unable to attend SOAR and therefore did not get your ID, or if you have lost it since SOAR, University Police will have a table at Check-In to take and print your ID right there on the spot!

Will I get my laptop at Orientation?

Laptop distribution will take place on Sunday afternoon.evening for new students and that schedule will be posted on campus.

Do I need to register my vehicle?

You should have received an e-mail to register your vehicle. If you deleted it, or did not receive it, you may go to my.francis.edu to register online.

What assistance can I seek if I require medical services?

The total educational growth and physical well being of each individual is of utmost importance to the University and all officials thereof. If you should require special medication or treatment, please advise the Office of Student Development and the Student Health Center as to your condition. The University maintains a Student Health Center staff with a Medical Director (Physician), Clinical Coordinator (Physician Assistant), and registered nurse. Services are available to students during regular business hours and some designated evenings.

NOTE: All undergraduate, full time students will receive a subscription to the Cresson Area Ambulance Service for the academic year. The policy will cover students in need of emergency transport from University property, and/or commuter students residing within the Cresson Ambulance Service area, defined by County 911.

Where can I find local banking?

Many of our students find it convenient to maintain a checking account at First National Bank in nearby Ebensburg and Cresson or the S&T Bank in Loretto. Deposits can be made in person or via the mail. An Automatic Teller Machine with First National Bank is located on campus in the lower level of the JFK Student Center. The Business Office, on campus, will cash checks for students up to the amount of one hundred dollars.

How can I ship personal items?

Heavy baggage and trunks should be shipped a few weeks ahead. Please be certain that the label is addressed to YOU in care of Saint Francis University, 117 Evergreen Drive, Loretto, Pennsylvania, 15940-0600 and that the baggage is prepaid. Shipped items can be picked up at the Campus Post Office in the JFK Student Center.

Should I attend orientation if I'm a transfer student?

Transfer students may think that attending an Orientation program is not necessary because they already know what campus life is about; but each campus has different policies and procedures that they may not be aware of. With this in mind, we strongly recommend transfers plan on attending the Orientation Program. Should they choose not to participate in the program you are asked to arrive on Sunday, August 25th as the first day of classes is Monday, August 26th. Transfer students should arrange to have photo ID pictures, vehicle registration, and scheduling and business needs addressed during the first week of classes at the individual departments if they do not attend the Orientation program.

When do commuter students check-in?

Commuter students are asked to check in between 2:00 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. at the Stokes Athletic Center along with all other new students. A full schedule of the New Student Orientation programs and seminars will be distributed. The first session commuter students should plan on attending is the Commuter Meeting to be scheduled during the first afternoon/evening during Orientation. If possible, please arrange your work schedules so you are free to attend the Orientation sessions for all four days. As a commuter your college experience is different from that of a resident student. Many of you continue to work part time jobs and have other family obligations at home. This does not mean that you are excluded from the experiences other college students participate in and enjoy. The Orientation program is a your opportunity to meet your classmates and join the Saint Francis University community. Visit the SFU website (beginning July 1st) to see the complete Orientation schedule of events. Feel free to contact us at 814.472.3005 with any questions you may have about the Orientation program.

When should returning students arrive?

You are expected to arrive at your residence hall on Sunday, August 25. The first day of classes is Monday, August 26. Returning students should arrange to have photo ID pictures, vehicle registration, and scheduling and business needs addressed during the first week of classes at the individual departments.

What if I have a question that is not listed?

Please contact the Center for Student Engagement at 814.472.3005 or send an e-mail to orientation@francis.edu

Saint Francis University aims to be as accessible as possible. Please contact our Accessibility Services Coordinator, April Fry, with specific inquiries at 814-472-3176 or complete our online request form at http://francis.edu/accessibility-accommodation-request/.