Opening Days

Orientation Questions

  1. What is Opening Days?
  2. Who are the OD leaders?
  3. What is College Colloquium?
  4. What is a typical day like during Opening Days?
  5. What is the family's role in Opening Days?
  6. How does Opening Days address the needs of transfer and non-traditional students?
  7. Are there any costs associated with the Opening Days program?
  8. What if I still have questions?
  9. Literature

1. What is Opening Days?

Opening Days is Willamette University's five-day orientation program for new students. During Opening Days, you and your family will be introduced to all aspects of life at Willamette, such as exploring the campus, registering for classes and meeting your new classmates at social events. Our goal is to make your transition into the Willamette community easy and enjoyable.

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2. Who are the OD leaders?

Opening Days leaders are returning students who have demonstrated excellent interpersonal skills and a high level of involvement in the Willamette community. Opening Days leaders are selected during spring semester. They complete training both in the spring and prior to the start of Opening Days in August. The leaders plan all the Opening Days events with new students in mind. Your leaders will be contacting you starting in late June and then throughout the summer. Prior to hearing from them, you will receive a picture and profile of them in the mail.

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3. What is College Colloquium?

Willamette's College Colloquium provides you with a unique opportunity to pursue your intellectual passions from the first moment you arrive on campus. The course will be the academic centerpiece of your first semester at Willamette University.

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4. What is a typical day like during Opening Days?

BUSY! Take time to review the Opening Days schedule. During Opening Days, it is important to realize that first-year students will spend a considerable portion of time in their College Colloquium. This commitment, plus the numerous programs in which all new students will participate, leaves little time for errands and other outside activities during the first three days of the program. If you are a fall sport student-athlete or are participating in tryouts for the visual and performing arts, your free time will be even more limited. We urge you to complete your errands and buy your move-in necessities prior to coming to campus.

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5. What is the family's role in Opening Days?

Parents and family members are encouraged to participate in the first two days of Opening Days. Several informational sessions on topics such as residence life, technology, the academic environment and general parent concerns will be offered. Parents also have an opportunity to meet other parents from their city or region, allowing them to network and develop connections.

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6. How does Opening Days address the needs of transfer and non-traditional students?

The needs of transfer and non-traditional first-year students are often different than those of traditional first-year students. To meet those needs we have designed a special orientation experience for transfer and non-traditional students. If you are a transfer student living off-campus and/or playing volleyball, soccer, or football you will participate in the one day program on Monday, August 24. In addition to the one day program, transfer students living on campus and non-traditionally aged first year students should participate fully in their Opening Days groups. The leaders of these groups are specially trained to facilitate your unique transition to Willamette University. No matter your age or the number of credits you are transferring, your Opening Days leaders will be a valuable a resource to guide you in your transition.

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7. Are there any costs associated with the Opening Days program?

There are no additional costs for students to participate in the Opening Days program, with the exception of the Opening Days "Passport to Salem" program on Saturday, August 22, where students will be expected to bring spending money for activities such admission to an event or eating out. The student meal plan starts at dinner on Thursday, August 20.

For parents and family members, meals are not provided. There are two meals during Opening Days that require tickets for parents and family members: Opening Days Picnic on Thursday, August 20 and lunch on Friday, August 21.  Tickets can be purchased online in advance starting in mid-June. Tickets will also be available for purchase at Opening Days check-in, but you are encouraged to purchase in advance in order to take advantage of a lower price.

Goudy Commons and Cat Cavern will be open for other meals, accepting cash or credit cards.

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8. What if I still have questions?

Enclosed in a summer 2015 parent mailing will be a magnet listing important University phone numbers. We encourage you to place the magnet on your refrigerator for easy access. In addition, all administrative and academic departments can be visited on the Willamette website.  Anytime you have questions, please call the Office of Student Activities at 503-370-6463.  We would love to help you!

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9. Literature

We have provided a list of books that have served as invaluable resources to parents and first-year college students across the nation. All of these books may be ordered from The Willamette Store with free shipping.

  • Letting Go: A Parent's Guide to Understanding the College Years (5th ed.)
    by Karen Levin Coburn & Madge Lawrence Treeger ($21.99)
  • Almost Grown: Launching Your Child from High School to College
    by Patricia Pasick ($19.95)
  • Don't Tell Me What to Do, Just Send Money: The Essential Parenting Guide for the College Years
    by Helen E. Johnson & Christine Schelhaus-Miller ($21.99)
  • When Your Kid Goes to College: A Parent's Survival Guide by Carol Barkin ($14.99)
  • The Iconnected Parent: Staying Close to Your Kids in College (and Beyond) While Letting Them Grow Up - Street Smart by Barbara K. Hofer & Abigail Sullivan Moore ($15.00)
  • I'll Miss You Too:  An Off-to-College Guide for Parents and Students by Margo E. Woodacre Bane and Steffany Bane ($15.99)
  • The Naked Roommate:  For Parents Only: A Parent's Guide to the New College Experience: Calling, Not Calling, Packing, Preparing, Problems, Roommates,...Matters When your Child Goes to College by Harlan Cohen ($14.99)

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