Every spring, the Shorter Orientation Staff Coordinators choose the staff who will help ease incoming freshmen into life at Shorter. The SOS team is led by two student coordinators and facility advisor, Emily Messer. The SOS Coordinators this year are Kaylee Wallace, junior communication arts major, and Tyler Thomas, junior middle grades education major. As coordinators, they have many responsibilities including hiring the Shorter Orientation Staff, creating the skits that are preformed on orientation days and leading the SOS staff during the summer. Wallace and Thomas are looking forward to leading the team through the orientation days during this summer.
New staff member and sophomore Mack Parnell is also excited. Parnell is looking forward to “Welcoming freshmen to Shorter and showing them how wonderful Shorter is.”
Parnell knows he will make an impact on freshmen and he’s determined to make it a good impression.
“I will try to be someone they can talk to and make sure they know I will have their back.”
The SOS staff are the first Shorter students incoming freshmen come in contact with on the Hill. The staff takes their job seriously because they know part of their job is to help freshmen transition from high school to college. Not only does the staff help with transitioning to college, they provide information about Shorter and college life as well as answer any questions that new students and their parents may have.
Emily Messer, the staff advisor for SOS, said students serve as a role model for the new students to be come acquainted and get involved at Shorter.
“The new students know that they have an upper-class student that is there to help them any way possible.”
Returning SOS staff member Zach Whitener said his favorite part of SOS and the most rewarding is the impact SOS makes on freshmen.
“Just a smile and willingness to help anyone can make them feel more comfortable as they begin college.”
Whitener said the hardest part of the job is the long days and nights. He advises new SOS members to take advantage of the opportunity and be intentional with other staff members.
“Enjoy the summer while you can, because the summer and SOS experience flies by! Get to know each person on staff and build good relationships with them. Most importantly, have fun!”
Once the freshmen move onto campus, they are whisked away to Camp Hawk, an outdoor experience just for freshmen. Junior communication arts major Carol Poss is the Camp Hawk coordinator. Poss describes Camp Hawk as a three-day trip focused on the students.
“They [the students] become cohesive as a class, meet many campus leaders and have fun at the same time,” Poss said.