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They’re here. New students arrive for orientation, and the semester begins

By the end of this month more than 500 students will have begun a new academic year at Upstate Medical University. The new students are enrolled in the College of Medicine, the College of Graduate Studies, the College of Health Professions and the College of Nursing.

To help them get adjusted to their new schedules, responsibilities—and their new home in Syracuse—Upstate offers a series of orientation sessions. The sessions include campus tours, information on student rights and responsibilities, Title IX and more. They are a way for new students to learn more about as many aspects of Upstate as possible. But in just two days, admittedly that’s a tall order, said Chuck Simpson, director of campus activities.

Simpson has been helping plan student orientations for more than 30 years. He’s learned to give students a taste of many things—food included. One highlight of orientation tends to be the “Taste of Syracuse” lunch, which is an opportunity for students to try food from a variety of local restaurants including Varsity Pizza, Dinosaur Bar-B-Que and Pastabilities.

Orientation is a chance to meet other students, hear from leaders from across campus and learn more about what it means to attend Upstate.

“I think the opportunity for our students to feel connected to the university, both academically and to their new student colleagues prior to the start of classes is super important,” Simpson said.

For much of the new class, Syracuse and Central New York are new. Simpson works with the Syracuse Convention and Visitor’s Bureau to conduct a session all about the area. He also likes to give the students some choice in what they’re learning about, which is why each session includes a “Your Orientation Your Way” block of time.

“Students get to pick and choose what’s important or interesting to them, which I think is really great because you don’t always get that opportunity,” he said.

The new student orientation schedule is as follows:

Aug. 8 to 12: All students in the College of Medicine MD, MD/PHD and MD/MPH program and students in the College of Health Professions Medical Scholars Program.

Aug. 22-24: All students in the College of Graduate Studies; students in the College of Health Professions Cardiovascular Perfusion, Medical Imaging Sciences, Medical Technology, Medical Biotechnology, Radiation Therapy and Respiratory Therapy programs; and students in the College of Medicine Master of Public Health program.

Students in the College of Health Professions Doctor of Physical Therapy and Physician Assistant programs had their orientation in June.

College of Nursing students participate in an online orientation.

Caption: Upstate student volunteers in blue shirts help with moving in new students as they arrive at Geneva Tower.

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