LS Welcomes Incoming Students Through OrSem 2020: Tuloy
By Patricia Lero and Trisha Reyes, OrSem 2020 Chairpersons
OrSem 2020: Tuloy was the university’s first ever online freshman orientation seminar, designed by the Organizing Committee with the goal of transforming important traditions into the online setting. With health concerns in mind, OrSem adjusted a two-day event into a seven-day program with both synchronous and asynchronous activities.
The OrSem 2020 team created a website with the help of partner organizations, Ateneo Management Information Systems Association and the Computer Society of the Ateneo. Scrolling through the website, incoming students could view official videos and updated primers to help them take their first steps into college life. An interactive map and freshie journal were available for students to download and enjoy in their own time using their official school email accounts.
Social media platforms and online communication applications were used not only to disseminate details and instructions, but also to conduct volunteer meetings, freshman block sessions, and live performances. Given that not everyone has access to technology and internet connection, none of the activities were required this year. Despite this, freshies eagerly attended all three block sessions with high attendance rates across the board. Over hundreds of freshies watched their batchmates sing, dance, draw, and put on a fantastic show of talent through livestreams of O-Idol, the expanded online equivalent of the traditional freshie talent competition.
Introducing the Ateneo community, culture, and campus was the foundation of OrSem from the beginning. Given the health crisis, Tuloy aimed to go beyond this and bring a sense of normalcy to everyone who volunteered and participated—to really find a way to connect all the students despite the physical distance, and to help everyone slowly move forward and soldier on.
At its heart, the spirit of OrSem remained the same whether it was done face-to-face or online. It is the warmest welcome the Ateneo community could offer its newest members, and a reminder that they will always be welcome to this home. Tuloy sa Ateneo! ■