Endless months of preparation paid-off on Wednesday, August 17th as freshmen moved into Prospector and Centennial Halls and began their Tech experience. Freshmen from Alaska, Texas, and beyond collided with Tech Alumni Chris Van Nuland, his 20 years of experience, and his first-class team of professionals during Freshmen Orientation week.
“I’ve been at Tech 20 years and, overall, it was the best one we’ve had in a long time. The energy was great and the freshmen seemed to be receptive.” Van Nuland, Tech’s Student Activities Director, said after the excitement of Convocation died down.
The week’s events included a Freshmen Convocation Ceremony, the 10th Annual Trek to the M, the Amazing Race, a late-night Digger Hunt, Club Rush, a trip to Lewis & Clark Caverns, movies at the Silver-Bow Drive-In, and a soak at Fairmont Hot Springs Resort. Van Nuland accredits the planning and success of Orientation Week events to ASMT and Tom Ferriter, Scott Fofther and his team, and the campus ministries like Baptist Student Union and Chi Alpha.
“There is a tremendous amount of effort and a tremendous amount of details- probably 1,000 details and 15 to 20 people make it all work.” Van Nuland stated. “Joel Arbaugh and Kaberee Nichols see to it that campus events go smoothly. There was lots of support from BSU, Chi Alpha, ASMT- and Tom was a huge part of it. I can ask Tom to do anything, and he’ll get it done.”
Van Nuland says that orientation is just the start. Montana Tech can look forward to future events and students can get involved in campus entertainment activities by checking the emails sent out by ASMT about upcoming events, engaging in the new student led activity committee to promote more diverse campus entertainment, and checking the Student Union Building reader board and bulletin boards for updates. Van Nuland also disclosed that future events would involve indoor movies, a night of freebies and football for the first NFL Match-Up, and a trip to Scarywood at Silverwood in Idaho.
Van Nuland recollects that over $7,000 in prizes have been given away already this school year. While prizes from events like Tech’s Digger Hunt may have already been bagged, check your emails for upcoming freebies and related events.
“Jamie sends out an ASMT president email- don’t delete it because it says everything.” Van Nuland advised. “Unfortunately, a lot of people delete those emails. They’re missing out when they do it.”
In hindsight and in looking to the future, Van Nuland is optimistic about campus events.
“I have a really good feeling about how this semester is starting,” he said.
Most importantly, Van Nuland believes this year’s activities will bring students out of their rooms and onto campus. According to Van Nuland’s research, the connections that are made at campus events are the ones that will strengthen students’ ties to their community and peers- improving their performance in class and at school in the long run.