Starting off on the right foot


Ave Mullen, Staff Writer

Do you remember your first day at AIC?

Of course you do!

No matter if you’re local or international, a commuter or a resident, American International College strives to make a positive impact on everyone’s experience.

Early August not only marked the start to a new semester, but also the beginning of freshman year for the class of 2022. The incoming class spent Friday morning checking in and moving in with the help of Student Life, the athletic teams, Resident Advisors, and New Student Orientation Leaders.

“We want students to engage with the culture of AIC and feel like they’re part of the AIC family,” said Alex Cross, the Associate Dean of Student Life.

Alex is responsible for overseeing Residence Life, student conduct, student activities and the Student Government Association. With these responsibilities at hand, he was also responsible for overseeing the New Student Orientation this year, making sure the incoming class feels at home.

New Student Orientation is designed for incoming freshman to get acquainted with AIC’s Staff, campus, and resources before beginning their academic careers. Out of the 5 years that Alex has been with AIC, this was his first-time overseeing orientation and AIC’s first full fall orientation, lasting 3 days instead of 1 as they’ve done in the past.

In preparation, Alex Cross, along with other Student Life Staff, trained lead team of orientation leaders for 5 days so they would be able to assist the new students during their transition to college, motivate them to get involved on campus, and build positive relationships.

“One of my favorite parts of orientation was at the end of OL training, seeing the OL’s grow into their leadership roles and to see their excitement to meet the new students,” said Cross.

The Orientation Leaders were well equipped with information, icebreakers and more to help every freshman find their niche here at AIC. The 3 days of orientation was jam-packed with activities from sun up to sun down to really encourage class of 2022 to explore all of their options and try something new at AIC.

These activities included a variety of workshops on diversity and inclusion, sexual assault, and campus safety. In these workshops, the incoming class got a chance to discuss their issues and concerns and learned the different resources they had available on campus.

“I learned about all the safety and regulation rules on campus, I learned where everything is, and I learned that getting involved is the best way to stay busy and up to date with my school,” said Imani Williams, a nursing major and freshman at AIC.

Aside from the workshops, the freshmen were also able to address these concerns in separate groups with their orientation leader. There were also many fun activities for the students, both new and old, to engage in during orientation such as a carnival, glow in the dark dodge ball, and Black Panther on the Quad. This orientation was definitely one to remember and the Orientation leaders had a huge impact on their first experience.

“My freshman experience is better after the New Student Orientation because I already knew people going into classes now, and my advisor took the time to show me where my classes were so I wouldn’t get lost. We also had the chance to get involved in so many new things,” said Williams.

Orientation wasn’t just for the incoming freshman. Returning students who served as Orientation Leaders were also greatly impacted by this experience, bringing in much excitement and new opportunities for the year.

Jayda Gilmore, a senior at AIC, enjoyed her experience as an OL this year because she really got a chance to have a great first impression and impact on the freshman’s first year experience.

“I positively impacted my group by providing an understanding and honest environment for them,” said Gilmore. “I was able to trust my group to go to sessions and to be attentive, I also answered the questions and concerns that my group had to help them adjust to the new experience.”

This year has definitely started in the right direction and many students and staff are excited for what’s next to come. New student orientation was a success and with the help and involvement everyone, AIC’s culture will continue to grow and be more inclusive.