As Orientation Begins, Wellesley’s Trained 2018 Student Leaders Get to Work

A group of student leaders stand outside at an ice cream social, talking.
August 27, 2018

Members of the purple class of 2022 arrive for orientation August 28. In preparation, the 2018 Student Leaders spent last week engaging in well-rounded leadership training. Chosen by the Office of the Dean of First-Year Students, the Pforzheimer Learning and Teaching Center (PLTC), the Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Athletics (PERA), and the Office of Residential Life, Wellesley Student Leaders reflect the diverse backgrounds, talents, and interests of the student body.

“Student Leaders have the unique opportunity to positively influence their peers by developing a sense of community in their residences halls and across campus,” said Lori Tenser, dean of first-year students.

This year’s orientation theme is Pursue Curiosity, a call for first-year students to explore all the options the College offers. To help them navigate the start of their momentous four-year journey, they’ll have a knowledgeable group of skilled Student Leaders by their side.

These are the six types of Student Leader positions: first-year mentor/transfer mentor (FYM), academic success coach (ASC), athlete mentor (AMP), house president (HP), resident assistant (RA), and student orientation coordinator (SOC). Training for each position is tailored to the role that those leaders will play in the lives of the new Wellesley students. For example, ASCs learn about the importance of making first-generation students aware of the multitude of academic resources on campus. FYMs, HPs, and RAs discuss common residential life situations and how to address them.

A common theme of several courses is understanding who and what the Wellesley community represents. Thoughtful meetings about diversity, privilege, and intersectional identities enlighten the leaders about the rich tapestry of student life on campus and give them the tools to engage in compassionate dialogues.

Other priorities during the week of training include moments of relaxation, meditation, and reflection, an important reminder to “Put your own oxygen mask on first, before assisting others,” as one seminar leader noted.