Bradley’s director of orientation and advisement David Trillizio said that if Illinois doesn’t allow for large gatherings in the month of June, then the incoming freshmen orientation will be moved online. The decision will be decided on June 1.
As a result, summer orientation is being prepared for both in-person and online scenarios., Incoming freshmen may also have their orientation activities hosted virtually during welcome week in August and through the University exploration program.
“If orientation sessions move online, replicating the relationship building, and overall enthusiasm generated by being on campus for two and a half days, will be our biggest challenge,” Trillizio said.
Trillizio said that Student Admission Representatives (STARs) are utilizing the Facebook group page for the class of 2024 to start conversations and answer any questions.
Crucial information will be delivered through online meetings and on Sakai under a section labeled “Starting Off.”
“[Incoming] students will still finalize their fall 2020 schedule as they would normally,” Trillizio said. “We would offer virtual icebreakers and create other connection points before, during and after their orientation session through short videos, email, social media and video conferencing.”
As for the Student Aides who regularly lead the orientation session, their roles could change depending on the final decision. For example, bonding games or the dramatic interpretation of the college experience that student aides present during orientation are usually in person.
Student aide coordinator, Elizabeth Klisiewicz, a junior nursing major, said in an email that orientation is normally two and a half days long for each session. They’re waiting for the fourth phase of the governor’s plans to see if small groups will be allowed. If not, orientation could be online.
“The biggest struggle during this time has been the unknown,” said Klisiewicz. ”The team has created different plans of how orientation will look like if they were online or in person but I think due to all this it has brought the team closer together.”
In an email sent to staff members in April, Bradley could be hosting orientation through July and August with a total of 18 sessions from 9 a.m to 5 p.m, with four orientation sessions a week if in-person orientation is possible. While there is a schedule still being made, there will be two groups on the same day where 25 students and one parent for each student is allowed to attend.
In-person orientation will allow students in different colleges to register on selected dates with special exceptions to students who live over 250 miles from Peoria. Students who will be traveling far distances to orientation can attend the two sessions in August.
Students in the Foster College of Business, College of Education and Health Sciences and Liberal Arts and Sciences will register dates from July 7 to the 17. Students in Slane College of Communications and Fine Arts, Caterpillar College of Engineering and Technology and the academic exploration program will register for orientation dates from July 20 to the 31. These plans are still subject to change.
“If needed, we will simply convert each of the in-person sessions online and have already communicated that to all students and their parents, family members and/or supporters,” Trillizio said.
Students attending on-campus orientation are encouraged to bring hand sanitizer and masks although those items will be provided, according to Klisiewicz.
Incoming students should prepare for both possibilities of traveling to Bradley for orientation or hosting it on their devices until further notice.