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Arise: Upperclassmen teach the ropes

Illustration by Quentin Harrup
Illustration by Quentin Harrup

ORU ARISE is working to create a new mentorship program, pairing upperclassman with freshmen in an effort to provide aid in the transition from high school to college culture. This program is called ARISE BIG(s).   

ARISE is orientation for freshmen and transfer students. Incoming freshmen and transfer students have the opportunity to sign up to be a part of the program as a little. The BIG(s) program is optional and encouraged, but not a requirement.

“BIG(s) serve as role models and mentors to a group of four freshmen,” said Aaron Brown in the ARISE BIG(s) informational meeting. “We aren’t able to match BIG(s) with their littles yet because students are still applying, registering and paying deposits. But once August comes, we will hit the ground running.”

The freshmen group of four will not be gender specific because there are a larger number of females on campus in comparison to males. A commuter will also be placed in each group to help them become more involved and connected on campus.

“Freshmen will be connected with their BIG(s) first thing Monday morning as they are coming into ARISE,” Brown said.

BIG(s) are encouraged to get to know their group of freshmen and mentor them by going to Saga with them or taking them to coffee, not through formal events or parties.

“There already a lot of events going on at ORU,” Brown said. “So my hope for BIG(s) is that they take their group of four to SA events and help them get connected with clubs and organizations on campus.”

The commitment for BIG(s) mentors requires training throughout the school year.

“I ask that BIG(s) be back on campus Aug. 8 and attend ARISE training Aug. 9,” said Brown, “Also, BIG(s) need to attend a monthly leadership development training.”

Along with the ARISE training and monthly leadership development, BIG(s) will go on a retreat and will be acknowledged for their mentoring at an appreciation event. The ORU student life website lists all the dates and requirements for the program.

“We are setting up a system to make sure freshmen are connecting with great mentors,” Brown said, “BIG(s) is a part of the ARISE program to help new students develop as a whole person during their time at ORU.”

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