“The goal is to make sure the students understand how to get around the buildings, the services offered to them and the support systems at USMH,” USMH Executive Director Mark Halsey said. “That way their worries and concerns can be directed at classes rather than infrastructure.”
The program began at 10 a.m. and included a welcoming speech by Halsey. Student resources, daily needs and community issues such as student council, the campus alert system and Facebook also were discussed.
“I feel a little bit better coming down here now,” said Christina Curry, 28, of Hagerstown. “I now know where the classrooms and libraries are.”
Curry said she is in the psychology program at USMH through Frostburg State University. This is her first year in the program after spending two years at Hagerstown Community College.
Jamie Bushong, USMH coordinator of external relations and student services, organized the event and said the reason for putting it together was to help familiarize students not just with the campus but with its people.
“We want them to be students in the know,” she said. “This allows them the opportunity to meet with other students. It is very informal.”
Attending the orientation was optional, Bushong said.
Boonsboro resident Christina Gibson, 31, will be a junior in the nursing program through Towson University in the fall. She also attended HCC. She said the campus and her friends were the reasons she attended the orientation.
“I’m trying to get more familiar with the campus, the people that I’m having classes with and to touch bases with the friends that I already have through HCC,” she said. “This allows us to walk the campus and understand where our rooms are before the first day of classes when you’re running around like a little tick.”
Before the orientation began, local organizations set up around the area to meet students.
Volunteer Washington County told students about ways they could get involved in the community and around the city.
“Volunteering is a great way to develop skills and help with a pathway to paid employment,” Volunteer Washington County co-director Bernadette Wagner said. “I think it builds resumes, makes connections with local business people and allows opportunities to network.”
M&T Bank, Sovereign Bank, The Columbia Bank and Sam’s Club also were set up at the orientation.
Building tours, which were scheduled to last about 15 minutes, were given beginning at 11:30 a.m.