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Incoming Freshman Trina Bui, Valentina Enriquez and Roshni Barghese complete registration for the Fall semester at the McCombs School of Business Wednesday afternoon as part of two and a half days of orientation programs. Despite this being the first year the University won’t require incoming freshmen to attend summer orientation, student attendence was high.

Photo Credit: Erika Rich | Daily Texan Staff

For the first time, the University isn’t requiring incoming freshmen to attend summer orientation, but administrators say more than 95 percent will still attend.

Wednesday afternoon, the second set of 1,200 incoming Longhorns gathered at the McCombs School of Business to register for classes after two-and-a-half days of programs.

Kristen Jones, assistant director in the Office of the Dean of Students, said registering for classes won’t be an easy process if students do not attend orientation.

“Freshmen students have a number of bars that need to be cleared before they can be advised and register,” Jones said. “It’s not easy for them to be seen outside the parameters of orientation to clear those bars. Orientation becomes a necessity.”

Orientation has also been cut from three-and-a-half days to two-and-a-half days for incoming freshmen and extended from one to two days for transfer students, Jones said.

She said an orientation task force took feedback from students last year and used other universities’ orientations as examples to make these changes.

“The skeleton of this orientation has been very similar to past orientations,” Jones said. “We’ll get the feedback on changes at the end of the summer and kind of see what changes we’ll keep and what changes we’ll further adapt.”

Jones said the orientation staff will also know the ?nal cost of running the orientation this summer. She said the orientation budget covers facility uses, publication costs and salaries for orientation staff and advisers.

Incoming freshman Michelle Kao said the presentations at orientation introduced her to the University and gave her an idea of what to expect when she starts classes. She said she chose to attend one of the first orientation sessions so she could get familiar with the University early in the summer.

“The barbecue and the student fair by the turtle pond were really fun, and I found some organizations I want to join,” Kao said. “I met a lot of people, and I’m less nervous about coming here now.”

History and economics senior Austin Gunter was one of almost 90 orientation advisers this summer. It’s his second year as an adviser, and he said this summer’s orientation is a little more stressful because of crunched time schedules.
He said he encourages students in his group to attend the central programs of the orientation and then branch off to other programs based on their individual interests.

“This summer we are more focused on registration and advising, getting classes and understanding the course schedule,” Gunter said. “The advantage of coming to orientation is that you get to register before anyone. As freshmen, you have low priority anyway so students are going to want to come.”