Fall orientation usually breeds a lot of energy and excitement on the Miami University campus in Oxford, Ohio.
This year, however, things are a bit quieter, as students are completing the orientation process online.
During a typical orientation, incoming students would be able to go through the dining halls, meet with their peers and see what life on campus is all about, says Maddie Paul, a marketing account manager for campus services at the university.
As of now, Miami’s campus is “going back to normal” for fall semester, with students coming to school during move-in week in August, Paul says. But in the meantime, they can visit campus virtually through a series of videos from several university departments as well as virtual Q&A sessions.
To send these students a taste of campus, eight Miami departments, including its food and beverage team, came together to create welcome boxes that will ship to students in mid-July. The boxes contain a variety of Miami-related swag, including a small bag of the coffee blend served across campus (Miami Grind), a cookie cutter with a cookie recipe, a campus events calendar, laptop stickers and a keychain.
They’re “a little something from a lot of different departments on campus to say we’re excited to have you here,” Paul says.
Photo courtesy of Miami University
Though the point of the project was to foster a sense of community for the incoming class, the interdepartmental collaboration was a notable side effect, she says.
Typically, things can be a bit siloed during orientation, Paul says, so “it’s kind of a really cool thing to see all of these departments come together to provide one collective box.”