A little bit of salsa dancing livens up Frosh Night for a group of incoming freshmen.
Learning your way around a university can be rather intimidating for a high-school graduate going through freshman orientation. For Sacramento State first-timers, there’s at least a party waiting for them at the end of the day.
Freshmen Rockin’ Overnight Shindig Hoopla, or FROSH Night, offers plenty of activities and provides a one-night stay at the residence halls. It gives the newcomers a chance to make new friends, learn more about the campus, and just have a little fun.
A different showcase event will be held at night during each of the 11 orientation sessions held June 26 through July 26. The attractions will include a pool party one night, a first-run movie another, and there’s also karaoke and rope climbing. Organizers are even getting a dance instructor to teach salsa to the new freshmen. “Just a lot of different team-building and ice-breaker activities so they get to know people,” says Lauren Gong.
She and Phillip Ung are the FROSH Night student coordinators, working under the guidance of Orientation Coordinator Mary Shepherd.
The evening begins at 5 when the future students are treated to dinner in the residence dining hall. After that, it’s off to the swimming pool, or the Sac State Union, or the rope course – wherever that night’s main event might be taking place. When that’s over, at 9 p.m., students return to the residence halls where they can work on their class schedules, continue the fun with board games or tube races in the pool, or catch some sleep.
Peak Adventures will host the rope courses. The movies and ice-breaking events will be staged by UNIQUE, the volunteer group that brings innovative entertainment to the campus.
While an overnight stay has been offered to the freshmen for several years, this is the first official “FROSH” night. Ung says it was a way to make the evening a little more appealing than just calling it “orientation overnight.”
“We came up with a fun name, spiced up the website, put pictures on it of students having fun and bonding,” says Ung.
It costs $60 to take part in FROSH Night, which includes lodging, dinner, all the events, snacks and a continental breakfast the next day, says Shepherd. The evening attracts 50 to 75 students per night and they’re encouraged to register for the overnight stay at the time they sign up for orientation. But if they decide at the last minute to take part, and there’s room in the residence halls, “we can get them in,” says Shepherd.
The experience gives freshmen an opportunity to learn more about Sacramento State life more than a day-long orientation would.
What are some of the things freshmen ask about campus life?
"Where’s the fun at?" says Ung, adding the newcomers are looking for what college offers in the way of recreational activities. FROSH Night shows them all the amenities, he says.
The freshmen also have more serious concerns, says Gong. They’re curious about student life, and have more detailed questions such as how difficult some classes are, what the studying atmosphere is like, and if there are cool things to do on campus during the weekend, she says.
And the student guides can’t resist having a little fun with the first-timers themselves, telling them there are surveillance cameras in the trees, or even more outrageous stories. “So you say something, like, ‘we have a whale show,’” says Gong.
But the upper classmen set the freshmen straight eventually, and most of the newcomers will embrace the goal of the event’s slogan: “Come a freshman; leave a Hornet.”
For more information on FROSH Night, contact Orientation at (916) 278-7841 or www.csus.edu/acad/orientation/Freshman_Pages/overnight.stm.