California Baptist University overflowed with new students on the first day of orientation on Aug. 25. Despite the tears of sadness as students said goodbye to their parents, the spiritual atmosphere created by the CBU student leaders and faculty provided an enjoyable experience for all.
With all of the information sessions about the CBU culture as well as college life in general, the new students were exposed to the CBU focus; the Great Commission. With worship services and Office of Spiritual Life’s messages throughout the new student retreat, participants in orientation were introduced to the God of the Bible and the things He has been doing on the CBU campus.
Students driving onto campus that Wednesday were surprised by a multitude of excited First year Orientation and Christian University Success (FOCUS) Leaders who were ready to unload their belongings from their vehicles. Along with the help of other departments on campus, the student leaders worked tirelessly to get the students into the housing.
With an estimated 1300 new students, orientation took a different shape this year. Each pair of FOCUS Leaders were given around 30 students each to guide through the new experiences and challenges. These leaders went above and beyond the call of duty and did not fail in that challenge. They seemed to do more than just introduce their students to CBU.
“The leaders really don’t want to do FOCUS just for fun,” junior FOCUS Leader, Maria Roque, said. “They really want to be able to push their students in their walk with God and actually make a difference in their lives.”
For an entire week before the new students arrived, CBU student leaders and staff worked tirelessly to make sure that everything was ready for orientation. Envelopes were stuffed, name tags and signs were made, and rooms were organized so everything would run smoothly when the students arrived.
The activities that were prepared not only challenged the new students to pursue excellence in the classroom but events like the Involvement Fair allowed students to get involved in other areas.
When it was time for the parents to say goodbye, the student leaders were there to receive their students with welcome arms and a smile upon their faces.
“The students have been able to let go of their parents and be comforted by the CBU family,” Roque said.
Beyond the informational meetings and important sessions offered, students also enjoyed events like Clash-and-Bowl, Bunko night, and the New Student Retreat in Forest Lake, Calif. These events allowed the students to bond with their classmates in a fun environment. With student leaders present at each event, it was hard to find a student that wasn’t excited to be a part of the activities.
“We have some crazy FOCUS leaders this year. Everyone is upbeat because of them,” Cassie Kristensen, a junior FOCUS leader, said. “We have some great leaders this year.”
Though the social events were not mandatory, new students flocked to every event to be a part of the school spirit. With the help of Campus Activities Board (CAB), Associated Students of California Baptist University (ASCBU) , and Residence Life, all activities that were planned were very successful.
Many new students expressed interest in being a part of these various organizations on campus.
“I’ve heard so many good things about FOCUS this year, Gina Rhue, a junior focus leader, said. “I overheard some students saying that they really wanted to be FOCUS leaders next year. This made me really happy.”