Orientation | Saint Francis University
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Orientation

Welcome New Students!

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  • All roads lead to Loretto!  We are expecting nearly 400 new students with their parents (including siblings, grandparents, etc.) to come through the doors of the Stokes Athletics Center this year to officially check-in and begin their New Student Orientation.  During this intensively active four-day orientation you will meet new friends, get to know your surroundings, and get ready for success at SFU. 

    The New Student Orientation program is intentionally designed and proven effective in assisting new residential, commuter, and transfer students with their transition to SFU and to prepare for success both inside and outside the classroom!

  • The schedule below provides time for academic advising and success, a chance to meet with key administrators and academic faculty, and 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.

    NOTE: The 2021 Undergraduate Check-In & New Student Orientation will take place Thursday, August 12 through Sunday, August 15. Please peruse the tentative schedule of sessions and activities below. Note: The most complete and up-to-date schedule can be downloaded as a PDF from the download options on your screen. Students will be handed a copy of the schedule at Check-In.

  • Get Started

    Check-in

    As a new student, you are expected to attend the New Student Orientation program scheduled for Thursday, August 12 through Sunday, August 15. Your first stop will be the Maurice Stokes Athletics Center where check-in is from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 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 12 at 9:00 a.m. NOTE: The Office of Admissions coordinates suggested arrival times to help reduce congestion through the Check-In process. You should expect to receive additional information about 1 week before Check-In.

    Your arrival time* is as follows:

    • 9:00 am – 11:00 am residential students with last names A-G
    • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm residential students with last names H-Q
    • 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm residential students with last names R-Z
    • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ALL commuter students

    *Arrival Groups have been assigned in an effort to ease congestion. We understand some families may not be able to adhere to these times due to travel considerations. We ask only that you stay as close to your arrival window as possible.

    *International students and students already on campus for athletic and other camps should consult with their Coach/Director for check-in arrival times.

    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 information can be accessed via the University web portal at https://my.francis.edu. Click on the Future Students tab to complete the Student Health Form.

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

    • Master Promissory Note and Loan Entrance Counseling - Completion is needed ONLY if you are borrowing through the Federal Loan programs. Both steps need to be complete before any Federal Loan Funds would be disbursed into your student account.
    • Financial Aid Verification Worksheet - Completion is needed ONLY if you have been selected for verification through the Department of Education. Prior notification would have been sent to your home address if this is necessary.

    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

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    Thursday, August 12, 2021

    When

    What

    Where

    7 a.m. – 9 a.m.Breakfast on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    9 a.m. – 3 p.m.

    Check-In

    All new resident students should report to Stokes to begin New Student Orientation and the school year. Everything a new student needs to get you started on your college career—all under one roof! Make sure you pick up your FREE Class of 2025 Spirit T-shirt to wear to the Bell Ceremony and President’s Welcome, compliments of your SFU Student Government Association!

    • Resident Students Check-In from 9 AM to 2 PM
    • Commuter Students Check-In from 2 PM to 3 PM
    Stokes Athletics Center
    11 a.m. – 1 p.m.Lunch on your ownTorvian Dining Hall & Frankie's Campus Club
    12:25 p.m.Mass (Optional)Immaculate Conception Chapel
    1 p.m. - 1:45 p.m.

    Parent & Family Reception

    Come on over to JFK, grab a seat, relax, and enjoy the air conditioning and a cool treat, courtesy of the SFU Faculty, Staff, and Administration. Let us serve you while you get to know other parents and family embers and celebrate the beginning of an exciting new chapter for your students and families!

    JFK Lounge
    2:30 p.m. - 3:15 p.m.

    Parent & Family Reception

    Come on over to JFK, grab a seat, relax, and enjoy the air conditioning and a cool treat, courtesy of the SFU Faculty, Staff, and Administration. Let us serve you while you get to know other parents and family embers and celebrate the beginning of an exciting new chapter for your students and families!

    JFK Lounge
    3:30 p.m.

    Bell Tower Ceremony

    All members of the Class of 2025 should meet at the Bell Tower wearing the new Class of 2025 t-shirt you received at Check-In. The Bell Tower is located directly across from Torvian Dining Hall. The Bell Tower 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 DeGolStadium for the President's Welcome address. *

    Bell Tower
    4 p.m.

    President’s Welcome

    We invite all new students to meet with Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D., Saint Francis University President, and members of the University community for the official welcome and opening of New Student Orientation.

    DeGol Field
    5 p.m. – 6:15 p.m.

    Dinner/Free Time

    Grab dinner, get unpacked, set-up your room, and say "see you later" to Mom, Dad, and family and begin your new independent life as a college student. <<From this point forward, all Orientation activities are for our new students only.>>

    Residence Halls
    7:15 p.m. - 8 p.m.

    Residence Hall Meetings

    Meet your new neighbors and learn what it's like to live in a community. This initial floor meeting is an opportunity to meet your Resident Assistants (RAs) and the other students on your floor. You'll review information and basic policies and procedures to help you create your home away from home!


    Residence Halls
    6:30 p.m. - 7:15 p.m.

    Opening Seminar Session

    The Saint Francis University Orientation program can help you “Become that Someone...” and make your college experience everything you want it to be! You’ll meet the Orientation Counselors (aka OCs) who will serve as your guides for the next four days as you begin your college journey as a member of the Class of 2025. We’ll introduce the New Student Seminar program.

    *NOTE: Please bring your orientation schedule (provided at check-in).

    JFK Auditorium
    7:15 p.m. – 8 p.m.

    Commuter Information Session

    Many commuter students make JFK their home while on campus or hang out at other locations. Learn about the services offered to commuter students.

    JFK Center Lounge
    8:15 p.m. - 9:15 p.m.

    Student Expectations as Members of the Saint Francis Community

    As a member of the Saint Francis University learning community, your new home comes with great expectations and responsibilities designed to keep you on the path to success. Lynne Banks, Associate Dean of Students, will review the Student Code of Conduct and share the keys to success at SFU!

    JFK Auditorium
    9:15 p.m. - 10:15 p.m.

    Professional Campus Speaker: Justin Jones-Fosu

    Justin Jones-Fosu is an award-winning, nationally recognized College Leadership, Diversity, and Student Success Speaker who engages and inspires students with his energy, content, and one of a kind presentations. Learn more at justininspires.com.

    JFK Auditorium
    10:15 p.m. -11:30 p.m.Block Party and Pizza JFK Student Center

    Friday, August 13, 2021

    Friday, August 13: Academic Day

    WhenWhatWhere
    7 a.m. – 8:15 a.m.Breakfast on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    8:45 a.m. - 10 a.m.

    ACADEMIC SEMINAR SESSIONS:

    I. First-Year Academic Convocation

    During this convocation, students will be welcomed into the academic community -- a community of scholars.

    JFK Auditorium
    10:10 a.m. - 1:30 p.m.

    II. Academic Department Meetings

    You will meet with Faculty members of your department. It is extremely important that you bring your class schedule with you. ALL new students are required to attend.

    III. Lunch with your Faculty

    *Groups as assigned with Academic Departments

    IV. Quantitative Literacy Testing

    This exam is for all new students and helps SFU determine each students literacy skills related to quantitative data.

    *Please remember to bring a calculator. Cell phone calculators are NOT permitted.

    Individual Classrooms as assigned
    11:15 a.m.Confessions (Optional)Immaculate Conception Chapel
    12 p.m.Mass (Optional)Immaculate Conception Chapel
    1:45 p.m. - 2:45 p.m.

    What is the True Cost of Underage Drinking?

    JFK Auditorium
    2:50 p.m. - 3:50 p.m.

    Taking Care of Your Body and Mind: Student Health and Wellness

    JFK Auditorium
    3:55 p.m. - 4:25 p.m.Campus SafetyJFK Auditorium
    4:30 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.A Culture of Respect - It's On Us JFK Auditorium
    4:30 p.m. - 6:45 p.m.Dinner on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    7 p.m. - 8:30 p.m.

    Playfair (DeGol Field, Rain Location DeGol Arena)

    DeGol Field
    8:30 p.m.Red Flash Rally DeGol Arena
    9:30 p.m. – 11:30 p.m.

    Bonfire and S’Mores*

    We’re all meeting at Campus Ministry for hot dogs, mountain pies, and s’mores! Sponsored by Campus Ministry.

    *Weather dependent

    Behind Campus Ministry Center
    9:30 p.m.Red Zone Tailgate (Student Athletes only) DeGol Arena

    Saturday, August 14, 2021

    Saturday, August 14: Student Life Day

    When

    What

    Where

    9:45 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

    Become that Someone through Transformational Experiences

    JFK Auditorium
    10:30 a.m. - 11 a.m.Become that Someone through Servant Leadership and Campus Ministry JFK Auditorium
    11 a.m. - 1 p.m.Brunch on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    1:00 p.m. – 2:30 p.m.

    Developing a Foundation of Awareness with Guest Speaker Mr. Richard Jones

    JFK Auditorium
    2:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.

    Ice Cream Social (sponsored by SFU National Alumni Association) & Small Group Discussions (rain location - JFK Lounge)

    Enjoy some down time with classmates and a cool treat provided by the SFU National Alumni Association.

    JFK Front Patio
    4:30 p.m. – 6:30 p.m.Dinner on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    6:45 p.m. - 7:45 p.m.

    SFU Student Life 101

    JFK Auditorium
    7:50 p.m. - 8:55 p.m.He Said / She Said
    Women - JFK Lounge / Men - Frankies Campus Club
    9 p.m. - 10 p.m.

    Student Activities Organization presents Joseph Tran, Illusionist

    JFK Auditorium

    Sunday, August 15, 2021

    Sunday, August 15: Transition Day

    When

    What

    Where

    10 a.m.MassImmaculate Conception Chapel
    11 a.m. - 12 p.m.Brunch on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    12:15 p.m.Orientation Closing CeremonyJFK Auditorium
    1 p.m. - 3 p.m. Orientation After Party JFK Patio

    Here are some recommendations to help you enjoy the day and prepare for the start of classes!

    • Explore the Nature Trail on campus (behind Lake St. Francis)
    • Visit the Grotto and Stations of the Cross (behind Campus Ministry)
    • Walk through the Gardens at Mount Assisi Friary (across from the University's main entrance)
    • Enjoy the sand volleyball court behind St. Clare Hall
    • Enjoy the outdoor basketball court (behind Giles Hall)
    • Enjoy the 9-hole disc-golf course (behind Giles Hall next to the basketball court)
    • Visit the Barnes & Noble Campus Store (lower level of JFK)
    • Spend time locating your classrooms

    Additionally, there will be opportunities announced to learn more about getting involved on campus.

    Have questions? Stop by the Center for Student Engagement offices (upper level of JFK, left of the Auditorium) to talk with our staff.

    3 p.m. - 7 p.m.

    Laptop U (Laptop Distribution)

    Note: this is your ONLY opportunity to receive your new laptop and ask any questions about using the network. Students will be assigned into groups.

    Groups assigned
    4 p.m. - 6 p.m.

    Transfer Student Welcome
    All Transfer Students are invited to this exclusive welcome and Q&A session. An optional campus tour will be offered.

    JFK Lounge
    5 p.m. - 7 p.m.Dinner on your ownTorvian Dining Hall
    6 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.Walmart Shopping Trips

    Forgot something? We’ll be taking a last-minute trip to the local Walmart in Ebensburg. 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.
    • 8:30 p.m. - 9:30 p.m.
    Departing from the JFK Lounge
    8 p.m. – 9 p.m.

    Student Mass

    This weekly mass has become a campus favorite of the students as they prepare for the week ahead!

    Immaculate Conception Chapel

    Thursday, August 19, 2021

    Thursday, August 19

    When

    What

    Where

    12:00 p.m.

    Mass of the Holy Spirit

    To mark the opening of the academic year, Saint Francis University celebrates its annual Mass of the Holy Spirit. The Mass will be celebrated by our university president, Fr. Malachi Van Tassell, T.O.R., Ph.D. It will be held on the University mall in the center of campus, weather permitting. The Mass of the Holy Spirit gathers together the entire University family to invoke God's blessing for inspiration, guidance and wisdom on the new school year. It helps us to rededicate ourselves to our Catholic, Franciscan mission. This Mass is a time to renew friendships, welcome our new students to the University community, and voice our desire to be a spirit-filled community. The Mass of the Holy Spirit is open to all members of the SFU community.

    NOTE: Classes will operate on a compressed schedule for Thursday, August 19.

    Campus Mall (rain location: Immaculate Conception Chapel)
    Friday, August 20 - Saturday, August 21, 2021

    When

    What

    Where

    The 2021 Welcome Weekend Celebration!!!

    The annual Welcome (Back) Weekend Celebration is the perfect way to begin a new school year with tons of games, food, activities, and prizes to help you enjoy an extra weekend of summer fun with all your classmates and #FlashFam! Welcome Weekend is coordinated by the SFU Student Activities Organization (SAO).

    Watch for updates on Engage with details about the weekend’s events and activities!

    Wednesday, August 25, 2021

    Wednesday, August 25

    When

    What

    Where

    5:30 p.m. - 6:30 p.m.Student Involvement Fair
    (CES Credit is Available)

    It's that time again - time for the annual STUDENT INVOLVEMENT FAIR! The Involvement Fair is one of the best opportunities to get involved in campus life at SFU. Organization members will be available to share their experiences and invite you to join. The co-curricular experience is one of the most important parts of having a successful college career! You will make friends, learn all about SFU, and develop invaluable skills you will use in life beyond your years in Loretto. There are over 80 clubs, organizations, club sports, and special interest groups to choose from. Wondering where to start YOUR SFU Student Life? Start at the Involvement Fair! The Student Involvement Fair is sponsored by the Center for Student Engagement and the Saint Francis University Student Government Association.

    Campus Mall (rain location: JFK Lounge
    Friday, September 17 - Sunday, September 19, 2021

    The 2021 Family Weekend Celebration!!!

    The annual Family Weekend Celebration is one of SFU’s oldest traditions where parents, siblings, and other family members of our students can return to campus for a weekend full of fun and exciting activities and events for the whole family to enjoy together! Family Weekend is coordinated by the SFU Student Activities Organization (SAO).

    Thursday, October 7 - Saturday,October 9, 2021

    The 2021 Homecoming Celebration!!!

    Truly the event of the year! #FlashFever will rise and all things S-F-U will get RED HOT! Gear up, get out, and Go Red Flash!!!

    Mission / Learning Objectives

    Mission

    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
    FAQ

    How long will it take me to get through Check-In?

    Once you reach the Registration table (Table #1), it should take you 30 to 45 minutes.

    What are the times of Check-In?

    Check-In is scheduled from 9 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

    NOTE: The Office of Admissions coordinates suggested arrival times to help reduce congestion through the Check-In process. You should expect to receive additional information about 1 week before Check-In.

    Your arrival time* is as follows:

    • 9:00 am – 11:00 am residential students with last names A-G
    • 10:00 am – 12:00 pm residential students with last names H-Q
    • 12:00 pm - 2:00 pm residential students with last names R-Z
    • 2:00 pm - 3:00 pm ALL commuter students

    *Arrival Groups have been assigned in an effort to ease congestion. We understand some families may not be able to adhere to these times due to travel considerations. We ask only that you stay as close to your arrival window as possible.

    *International students and students already on campus for athletic and other camps should consult with their Coach/Director for check-in arrival times.

    When do international students check in?

    International students will check-in at 1:30 p.m.

    When do commuters check in?

    Commuters are scheduled to check in from 2 p.m. until 3:00 p.m.

    When can I move into my room?

    Once you have completed the check-in process, you can go to your residence hall. RAs will be available to answer any housing questions and give you your room key.

    Do we have to stop at every table? We advise you to stop at all tables.

    Where can we get lunch?

    Lunch is available in Torvian Dining Hall from 10:30 a.m. – 1:45 p.m. Frankie’s in the JFK Center is open from 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. The Cart in Padua Hall is open 7:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Adamucci’s in Schwab Hall will open on Sunday, August 16. Cost for lunch is $8.75 per person and cost for dinner is $10.75 and can be paid at the door. New students

    What time is the Bell Tower Ceremony?

    3:30 p.m. at the Bell Tower on the Campus Mall. Students should arrive at 3:20 p.m. The ceremony is canceled if it rains. Students should wear red or an SFU shirt to the ceremony. New students receive a FREE t-shirt at Check-In compliments of the Student Government Association. Parents can meet their students at DeGol Stadium for the President’s Welcome address.

    What time is the President’s Welcome?

    4 p.m. at DeGol Field (Rain option: DeGol Arena)
    The President’s Welcome is the official welcome ceremony for new students and the first opportunity for Fr. Malachi VanTassell, T.O.R., PhD. to speak to new students and their families.

    What if I arrive late to campus and miss Check-In?

    Students who arrive after 3:00 p.m. should go to the JFK Information Desk to pick up their Check-In Packet and receive information. Members of the Orientation team will be available to assist you. There will be another opportunity to complete the Extended Check-In process on Monday morning in Schwab Hall.

    What if I am a Transfer Student?

    Transfer students are asked to attend the normal Check-In and New Student Orientation programming along with new first-year students. If you are unable to attend Check-In or Orientation, you will have another opportunity during Sunday evening’s Transfer Welcome and Monday morning Extended Check-In at Schwab Hall.