Add new student orientation to the list of things colleges and universities are doing remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The University of Nevada, Reno, citing the safety and health of students, faculty, staff and guests, decided to hold all new student summer orientation sessions online.
“While we will miss seeing you in person for orientation, we are already hard at work preparing a high-quality online program for you to experience remotely,” Mary Calhoon, assistant dean for new student initiatives, said in a letter sent April 29 to new students. “Through online orientation, you will meet other new students, connect with student orientation leaders, learn about campus life and receive academic advising for your first semester.”
The family orientation program also will be presented online. Guests can register at no cost through the student’s orientation registration account. Students who already paid the $85 fee for one or more guests will receive a full refund.
In early April, the Nevada System of Higher Education gave the directive to move all summer classes with start dates in May and June online. Coupled with Gov. Steve Sisolak’s Stay at Home order and his plan to gradually open state operations, which was revealed the week of April 20, the university felt a virtual orientation experience was in everyone’s best interest.
“We realize many students and families who attend orientation also must make travel plans,” Calhoon said. “Nonessential travel bans have not yet been lifted in the state of Nevada, which also holds true in many surrounding states.”
According to Calhoon, each orientation session has between 300-400 new students in attendance and up to 200 guests. Given these realities, many would be unlikely to attend an in-person orientation. The new virtual orientation will allow the university to offer all incoming students and their families a comprehensive experience from the safety of their homes. Students who have not yet signed up for orientation are encouraged to do so.
Additional updates will be shared on the orientation website, unr.edu/orientation. For the latest updates on UNR operations and deliveries of service, go to unr.edu/coronavirus