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New Student Orientation

Welcome to Orientation, New Students!

The Orientation Program features events and programs designed to prepare you to begin your time at Vassar College. Events and programs that all new students are required to attend are designated with ‘Core Event.’ Core events are necessary for all new students as they allow you to register for classes, fulfill certain requirements, and learn about important policies and procedures that will make your time at Vassar successful. Attendance at other events and programs is highly recommended to help you learn more about Vassar, meet new people, and become a member of the Vassar community. Your schedule will be very full between Monday, August 27 and Saturday, August 31, but it’s also important to remember to take care of yourself. We have scheduled in downtime through New Student Orientation and we recommend utilizing this time.

New Student Move-In

Core Event

8:00am–1:00pm

Residential Houses

Welcome to Vassar! Pull up to your House to move into your room. Our House Teams have been eagerly awaiting your arrival and will help you move your belongings. After moving in you will make your way to the Aula (located in Ely Hall.)

New Student Check-In

Core Event

8:00am–1:00pm

Ely Hall, Aula

After moving into your room, you will need to head to the Aula to receive your orientation packet. Friends and family, this is where you can pick up your Welcome Packet and complimentary lunch tickets. Students, please stop to pick up your academic advising folders.

Resource Fair

Core Event

8:30am–1:00pm

Ely Hall, Aula

After checking in, stop by and learn about various resources at Vassar College.

Lunch

11:00am–2:00pm

Gordon Commons, Retreat, and Express

Gordon Commons menu Complimentary lunch tickets for friends and family are provided at New Student Check-In.

House Fellow and House Advisor Welcome

11:30am/Noon

Residential Houses

Meet the House Fellow (live-in faculty member) and House Advisor (live-in residential education administrator) in your House! The House Fellow and House Advisor each play significant roles in the development of the House’s community, maintaining health and wellness, and infusing learning into our living environments. Say hi and get to know these important residential resources! Ask a house team member where your house’s welcome will take place.

11:30am–Noon Jewett, Lathrop, Strong, Main and Cushing
Noon–12:30pm Davison, Josselyn, Noyes, Raymond

Student Athlete Info Session

1:00–1:30pm

Main Building, Villard

All first-year student athletes and their families are invited to participate in an information session with Michelle Walsh, Director of Athletics & Physical Education. Students considering trying out for any varsity or varsity club team(s) are also welcome. Topics of discussion will include an overview of the sports programs, participation requirements, and resources for student athletes and families. The session will conclude with an open question and answer period.

The Villard Room is located on the second floor of Main Building and College Center.

President’s Welcome for Family & Friends

2:00–3:00pm

Vassar Chapel

President Elizabeth Bradley will address the families and friends of new students. Also welcoming new families and friends will be Jennifer Herrera, Dean of First-Year Students; William Hoynes, Dean of Faculty; Carlos Alamo-Pastrana, Dean of the College; Luis Inoa, Associate Dean of the College; and Carlos Espina, Vassar Student Association President.

First Student Fellow Group Meeting

Core Event

2:00–2:45pm

Various Locations

Every new student is placed in a Student Fellow group, a vibrant Vassar tradition, to support you in your holistic transition into college life. Meet up with your Student Fellow and the other new students in your group for the first time!

Class Photo

Core Event

3:00–3:15pm

Commencement Hill

Be a part of Vassar history in the official photograph of the Class of 2023 and new transfer students.

Reception

3:00–4:00pm

Chapel Lawn

Gather on the Chapel Lawn for snacks and to meet administrators from various offices.

Family & Friends Farewell

4:00–5:00pm

Various Locations

It’s time to say farewell! This is the last event during orientation for families and friends.

Student Fellow Group Meal

Core Event

5:00–6:30pm

Gordon Commons

Residential House Meeting

Core Event

7:00pm/8:00pm

Residential Houses

Gather with the rest of your House to mark the first night we all live together. You’ll meet the House Team and learn more about life in our House.

Ask your student fellow where your house’s meeting will take place.

7:00–8:00pm Jewett, Lathrop, Strong, Main and Cushing
8:00–9:00pm Davison, Josselyn, Noyes, Raymond

Lantern Walk

Core Event

9:00–10:00pm

Library Lawn

Pause for a moment among illuminated paper lanterns as we transition to campus communal life. All are welcome. Sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Breakfast

7:30–9:00am

Gordon Commons

Posting of Audition & Lesson Sign-Up Sheets

9:00am

Skinner Hall of Music

An audition is required for all voice and some instrumental lessons. Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted on the bulletin board outside the Music Department office in Skinner Hall of Music, room 105.

President’s Welcome for New Students

Core Event

9:00–10:00am

Vassar Chapel

The Class of 2023 and transfer, visiting and exchange students will be welcomed by Elizabeth Bradley, President; Dean of Faculty; Dean of the College; Dean of First-Year Students; and the Vassar Student Association President.

General Academic Advising Session

Core Event

10:00–11:00am

Vassar Chapel

The Dean of Studies, the Dean First-Year Students, and the Registrar will review the basic information all first-year students need to complete the registration process and offer strategies for constructing a course schedule that reflects the goals of a liberal arts college. Students will also be given an overview of how to use Ask Banner to access the online schedule of classes as well as their schedules and transcripts. Students should bring their Orientation folder with them to this meeting.

We Are Here?! Tour with Student Fellow

Core Event

11:00am–Noon

Residential Houses

Meet your Student Fellow at your House to start a tour about Vassar’s unique history.

Lunch and Wellness Break

Noon–2:00pm

Gordon Commons

Group Meeting with Pre Major Advisors

Core Event

2:00–3:00pm

Various Locations

Make your way to your pre-major advisor’s office and arrive by 2:00pm. In your Orientation folder, you will find a letter from the Dean of First-Year Students identifying who your pre-major advisor is and where to find them. At this meeting, your advisor will give you your preliminary fall schedule (the results of your summer pre-registration) and answer any questions you may have about the registration process. Your advisor will also offer advice about selecting the additional courses you need to complete your schedule. Your advisor may also discuss some important aspects of academic life at Vassar, including the transition from high school to college; expectations for class attendance, laboratories, and the submission of written work; examination policies; and academic integrity. If you need help finding your advisor’s office, ask your Student Fellow for directions or stop by the Dean of First-Year Students Office (Main Buiding, North wing room 128).

We are Here, Part 1

Core Event

3:00–5:00pm

Residential Houses

Meet up with your Student Fellow group for the first part of We Are Here. The We Are Here series offers us an opportunity to build relationships with one another around the shared experience of starting our journey at Vassar together. We will get to know one another by listening and sharing about who we are. This session celebrates the present moment, honors where we’ve come from, and asks us about our paths ahead.

Dinner and Wellness Break

5:15–7:00pm

Gordon Commons

Student Growth & Engagement Open House

Core Event

7:00–8:15pm

Main Building, Villard

Come and see what Student Growth & Engagement (SGE) is all about! Here you will learn more about the ALANA Center, Transitions Program, the Office of International Students/Scholars, the LGBTQ+ Center, the Women’s Center, and what to expect out of your First Year Experience!

The Villard Room is located on the second floor of Main Building and College Center.

Movie Under the Stars - Avengers: Endgame

8:30–10:30pm

Residential Quad

Come join us as the remaining Avenger allies assemble once more in order to undo Thanos’ actions and restore order to the universe once and for all, no matter what the consequences. Popcorn, drinks, and other snacks provided. 

Rain location: Sanders Classroom, Spitzer Auditorium

Breakfast

7:30–9:00am

Gordon Commons

Programs: Let’s Talk about Title IX; Life Safety/Campus Safety

Core Event

9:00am/10:00am

Various Locations

At 9:00am, House Group 1 attends Let’s Talk about Title IX (Martel) and House Group 2 attends Life Safety/Campus Safety (Villard); at 10:00am, House Group 1 attends Life Safety/Campus Safety (Villard) and House Group 2 attends Let’s Talk about Title IX (Martel.)

Let’s Talk about Title IX
Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Martel Theater

This panel discussion covers sexual assault prevention strategies, how disclosures can be reported to the College, rights and responsibilities afforded under Title IX, and support and advocacy resources on campus.

9:00–9:50am House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)
10:00–10:50am House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)

Life Safety/Campus Safety
Main Building, Villard Room and College Center 204 & 240

Join members of Environmental Health and Safety and the Town of Poughkeepsie Fire Department to discuss life safety at Vassar. Safety and Security will discuss personal safety on campus. You will learn about safety services at Vassar; What to do in the event of a medical or safety emergency; How to report crimes; Campus emergency notification procedures; Responding to and Active Shooter; and Where to find the Annual Crime and Fire Safety Report.

9:00–9:50am House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)
10:00–10:50am House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)

College Expectations and Communal Values

Core Event

11:00–11:30am

Main Building, Villard; Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Martel Theater

Learn about the college regulations and the student conduct system at Vassar.

Lunch and Wellness Break

11:30am–1:00pm

Gordon Commons

T/V/E Meet & Greet Lunch

11:30am–1:00pm

College Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Transfer, Visiting, and Exchange students are invited to meet the class advisors and administrators of the various offices and services that comprise the Dean of Studies Offices. Issues briefly discussed will include college regulations, degree requirements, and support. The T/V/E students should bring their Orientation folder with them to this meeting and to the advising meeting on Thursday.

The Multi-Purpose Room is located on the second floor of the College Center.

Varsity Sports Interest Meeting

Noon–12:30pm

Rockefeller Hall, room 300

Interested in Intercollegiate Athletics or a Varsity Club Sport (Rugby or Rowing) and you were not recruited by one of the coaches? Come to this meeting and speak with the Athletics Administration (please see the Athletics website for a list of varsity programs). You’ll have an opportunity to make an appointment for the on-campus physical needed in order to try-out. (Walk-on opportunities for fall sport programs are very limited). Please be sure that your appointment does not conflict with the faculty presentation or any important meetings and/or sessions you need to attend.

Faculty Research and Community Collaborations Presentations

Core Event

1:00pm/2:00pm/3:00pm

Various Locations

Wondering what your professors will be like? Curious about a subject you’ve never studied before? This is your chance to find out. Members of Vassar’s faculty will give informal talks about their current research. There will be three 45–minute sessions, each offering a diverse array of presentations.

1:00–1:45pm Session 1
2:00–2:45pm Session 2
3:00–3:45pm Session 3

View the complete program.

Department and Program Receptions

Core Event

4:00–5:00pm

Various Locations

Come learn more about a department of particular interest to you in an informal setting. Meet the professors and enjoy refreshments and conversation. Please contact the Office of Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (AEO) if you wish to attend a departmental reception and need wheelchair access or other accommodations.

View list of locations for receptions with departments and programs.

Dinner & Wellness Break

5:00–6:30pm

Gordon Commons

Programs: One Less; Speak About It

Core Event

7:00pm/8:15pm

Various Locations

At 7:00pm, House Group 1 attends One Less (Villard) and House Group 2 attends Speak About It (Martel); at 8:15pm attend the other program.

One Less
Main Building, Villard Room and College Center 204 & 240

During this program, you will be engaging in an open dialogue with wellness peer educators and student EMTs to learn more about One Less. One Less is an alcohol education program, choosing One Less can have positive effects on your academics and your health. Whatever your reasons are, join the conversation with the WPEs and EMTs to learn about One Less.

7:00–8:00pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)
8:15–9:15pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)

Speak About It
Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Martel Theater

This humorous and thought-provoking performance uses skits, monologues, and interactive dialogue to spark conversation about what healthy sex can and should look like. Based on true stories, Speak About It addresses topics including consent, sexual assault, and how students can intervene as empowered bystanders to confront gender-based violence.

7:00–8:00pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)
8:15–9:15pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)

Breakfast

7:30–9:00am

Gordon Commons

Bagel Brunch with VXF (Vassar Christian Fellowship)

9:00–11:00am

Main Building, Rose Parlor

Want a bagel?? Come meet new friends and find out about the Christian community on and off campus! Fresh bagels, upperclassmen to meet, and plenty of vegan options! Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

The Rose Parlor is located on the second floor of Main Building.

Departmental, Advanced Course Placement, Pre-Professional Advising, and Community-Engaged Learning

9:00am–Noon

Department & Program Offices

Representatives from all academic departments and programs will be available for individual consultations. If you are not sure which math or language course is right for you, or if you received a 4 or a 5 on an AP exam (or equivalent IB or A-level examination) and want to take an intermediate-level course, or if you are interested in a special permission (SP) course such as music lessons, this is the time to get the information and/or permissions you need.

Be sure to bring your registration form with you.

Foreign Language Course Placement Advising

9:00am–Noon

Chicago Hall/Sanders Classroom/Blodgett Hall

All foreign language departments will be open to students for placement advising in Chicago Hall except Chinese and Japanese, which will be in Sanders Classroom 008 (Chinese) and Sanders Classroom 324 (Japanese), and Greek and Roman (for Greek and Latin), which will be in Sanders Classroom 119. Also Jewish Studies (for Hebrew) will be held in Blodgett Hall 109. Please note that while Arabic is part of the Program in Africana Studies, Arabic advising will take place in Chicago Hall.

Music Theory Placement Advising & Placement Exam

9:00am–Noon

Skinner Hall of Music, room 205

Music faculty will be available to meet with students interested in taking Music Theory I and II (Music 105/106.) An advanced course placement test will be administered for qualified students who wish to place out of Music 105 (Music Theory I.)

Pre-Law Advising

9:00–9:30am

Sanders Classroom, Spitzer Auditorium

Admission to law school remains competitive and early preparation can make all the difference! Join Vassar’s Pre-Law Advisors, Stacy Bingham (Director of Career Development), Jannette Swanson (Associate Director of Alumnae/i Outreach and Partnerships), Mario Roman (Assistant Director of Career Development), and Jamie Kelly (Associate Professor of Philosophy), to learn about what it means to be “pre-law” at Vassar, what you can do now to make yourself a great law school candidate; and how you can take advantage of campus resources to help you succeed!

Study Away and Foreign Language Competency: An Information Session

9:00–9:45am

Rockefeller Hall, room 200

Faculty from the foreign language departments and programs will give an overview of the benefits of language study and its value to a well-rounded liberal arts education. Students will also be informed about the foreign language and cultural competencies needed to study in non-English speaking countries. Faculty representatives will introduce study abroad opportunities around the world, which are available through Vassar programs in Madrid, Bologna, and Paris, or other approved programs in Europe, South America, Asia, the Middle East, and Africa.

Pre-Engineering Advising

9:00–9:30am

Sanders Classroom, room 013

Dual-Degree Engineering Academic Advisor Sarjit Kaur, and Program Coordinator Pauline Saavedra, Assistant Dean of Studies, will give an overview of the preparation requirements to apply for the Vassar-Dartmouth dual-degree engineering program. After this meeting students can begin revising their fall course selections in preparation for their advisor meetings.

Pre-Health Advising

9:45–10:30am

Sanders Classroom, Spitzer Auditorium

Members of the Pre-Med Advisory Committee will give an overview of the requirements for preparation to apply to medical and other schools in the health professions. After this meeting students can begin revising their fall course selections in preparation for their advisor meetings.

Education Certificate Advising

10:00–10:30am

Judith Loeb Chiara '49 Center at the Maria Mitchell Observatory, room 212

Chris Bjork and Maria Hantzopoulos will give a short presentation about the requirements for becoming certified to teach at the elementary and secondary levels and answer any questions about the process.

Choral and Voice Lesson Information Sessions

10:00–11:00am

Skinner Hall of Music, Martel Recital Hall

All students interested in singing in the choirs (Women’s Chorus, Mixed Chorus, Chamber Singers) or auditioning for Voice Lessons should attend one of these sessions. There will be a short presentation followed by Q&A. Sign up in advance for an audition on the sheets posted outside Skinner Hall Music Dept Office, Room 105.

Choral and Voice Lesson Information Sessions

11:00am–Noon

Skinner Hall of Music, Martel Recital Hall

All students interested in singing in the choirs (Women’s Chorus, Mixed Chorus, Chamber Singers) or auditioning for Voice Lessons should attend one of these sessions. There will be a short presentation followed by Q&A. Sign up in advance for an audition on the sheets posted outside Skinner Hall Music Dept Office, Room 105.

English Department AP and General Information Meeting

10:30am–11:30am

Sanders Classroom, Spitzer Auditorium

Department Chair Wendy Graham will explain policies and procedures for advanced course placement in English, in addition to providing a general introduction to the Department of English. Students wishing to take a 200-level English course in their first year should attend this meeting. Students with questions about the department or the major are encouraged to attend as well.

Natural Science and Math Advising

10:30am–Noon

Bridge for Laboratory Sciences, Indoor Café/Atrium

Faculty members will give an overview of the programs and departments in natural science and math at Vassar. They will discuss curricular offerings and answer questions. Math advising will also take place in the Math Department lounge, Rockefeller 305.

Guitar Lesson Auditions

10:30am–Noon

Skinner Hall, Room 325

Sign up in advance on the audition sheet posted outside Skinner Hall Music Dept Office, Room 105.

Introduction to Art History at Vassar

11:30am–Noon

Taylor Hall, room 203

All students currently pre-registered for Art 105, wishing to enroll, or just curious about Art History at Vassar, are invited to attend.

Athletics Varsity Intercollegiate Sports Physical Examinations

10:00am–3:00pm

Baldwin Hall

For students who attended the Varsity Sports Interest Meeting on Wednesday and have been assigned a time to report to Baldwin House to complete your physical examination. Please be prompt! If you do not have an appointment, please contact our Director of Sports Medicine, Susan Higgins.

T/V/E Advising & Registration

11:30am–3:00pm

Dean of Studies Office (Main Building, 128N, First Floor North)

The Office of the Dean of Studies will coordinate the advising and registration process for all Transfer, Visiting, and Exchange students. Please consult your Student Fellow for more information about this meeting.

Individual Meetings with Pre-Major Advisors

Core Event

12:30–3:00pm

Advisor’s Offices

Now that you’ve had a chance to reflect on your choice of courses and to obtain information and advice on placement, you will meet again with your advisor to discuss your schedule in detail and complete it by adding and, if necessary, dropping courses. At this time, you will also be able to add any intermediate or advanced courses that were not included in the summer pre-registration, except for special permission courses that require the instructor’s signature (these can be added during the first two weeks of classes). Since there may not be space in some of the classes you have chosen, you should discuss alternative selections with your advisor and put them down on your form. At the end of your meeting, your advisor will sign your registration form, signifying that you have consulted with them. Note: Do not leave your advisor’s office before they sign your form! You cannot register for classes on Friday without a completed and signed form.

Lunch & Wellness Break

12:30–3:00pm

Gordon Commons

Programs: We Are Here, Part 2; Thrive: Meet Our Wellness Service

Core Event

3:15pm/4:30pm

Various Locations

At 3:15pm, House Group 1 attends We Are Here, Part 2 (Martel) and House Group 2 attends Thrive: Meet Our Wellness Service (Villard); at 4:30pm, House Group 1 attends Thrive: Meet Our Wellness Service (Villard) and House Group 2 attends We Are Here, Part 2 (Martel).

We Are Here, Part 2
Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film, Martel Theater

Meet your fellow first-year students in the Martel Theater for the second part of We Are Here. The We Are Here series will continue with Ted-style talks by featured Vassar speakers. Arrive prepared by bringing an item of significance from your room. This item should mean something to you and spark a story. You will be paired for the second half of this session with a fellow group from a different house.

3:15–4:15pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)
4:30–5:30pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)

Thrive: Meet Our Wellness Service
Main Building, Villard Room and College Center catwalks

Learn how to thrive in your time at Vassar! In this program, you will meet the Vassar College Counseling Service (VCCS) therapists, Health Promotion and Education staff, and student EMS, who will help you to identify ways to stay emotionally healthy and how/when to reach out for help.

3:15–4:15pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)
4:30–5:30pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)

Dinner & Wellness Break

5:30–8:00pm

Gordon Commons

5:30–6:45pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)
6:45–8:00pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)

Arlington Amble

Core Event

5:30-8:00

Alumnae House Lawn and Raymond Ave.

Explore your new neighborhood in your student fellow groups. Head on to Raymond Avenue with its bevi of coffee shops, delis, restaurants, and stores you need to know about. Find out which Arlington merchants accept VCash. Move on to the fabulous Arlington Farmers’ Market.  Wrap up your tour at Alumnae House. The Alumnae/i Association of Vassar College welcomes you to come hang out and enjoy Vassar’s signature sweet treat, the Vassar Devil in our historic Alumnae House. Win some great prizes too! Check with your Student Fellow for details.

6:45–8:00pm House Group 1 (Cushing, Strong, Lathrop, Jewett, Noyes)
5:30–6:45pm House Group 2 (Josselyn, Main, Davison, Raymond)

T/V/E Dessert Reception

8:00–9:00pm

College Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Transfer, Visiting, Exchange students and POSSE students are invited to attend this dessert reception hosted by the Office of Student Living and Wellness.

Art Center Coffeehouse

9:00–11:00pm

Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center

The Hildegarde Krause Baker ’11 Sculpture Garden in the Frances Lehman Loeb Art Center is the backdrop to enjoy an iced coffee while listening to a local singer/songwriter. Take a tour of the amazing Lehman Loeb galleries and get some last minute advising from our Residential House Teams. We look forward to seeing you. Coffee & Refreshments provided.

Matthew’s Brew: A Storytelling Event

9:30–11:00pm

Main Building, Villard

Join us for an evening of stories, songs, and poetry. Members of the VC community including those from the Class of 2023 will share their perspectives on hope, home, and belonging.

Registration

Core Event

8:00am–4:00pm

College Center, room 240

All entering students must come to the College Center room 240 (2nd floor) to finalize their schedules for the fall semester with a representative from the Office of the Registrar. Students register at specific times on Friday based on the number of units for which they were pre-registered and on a random draw number. The time for your registration is printed on your schedule form located in your orientation folder.

Don’t forget to bring your registration form, signed by your advisor, with you!

IMPORTANT: If you do not come to College Center 240 on Friday, your registration will be canceled and you will lose your place in the courses for which you were pre-registered!

Matriculation Book Signing

Core Event

8:00am–4:00pm

President’s House

On leaving College Center 240 after you complete your registration, please go to the President’s House to sign the Matriculation Book! It is our oldest tradition. Students have been signing this book since 1865. Signing this book signifies that you are an official candidate for a degree at Vassar College and a member of our community.

Voter Registration

Core Event

8:00am–4:00pm

The hallway outside of College Center 240

One last stop after you’ve registered for classes! Students from Democracy Matters will be on hand to answer any questions you might have about voting/voter registration and absentee ballots.

Financial Aid/Student Accounts Information Sessions

9:00–10:45am

Rockefeller Hall, room 200

The Associate Director, will discuss all of your student employment questions. The Bursar will provide general information about your student account, which includes the e-bill/e-payment and e-refund system. The Director of Student Financial Services, will discuss and provide general information about the Student Financial Services Office and financial aid.

9:00–9:45am Last names A-L
10:00–10:45am Last names M-Z

Lunch and Wellness Break

Noon–2:30pm

Gordon Commons

Jummah/Friday Prayers

1:30pm–2:30pm

Muslim Prayer Space/Lower Level of the Old Laundry Building

Vassar’s Muslim Student Association (MSA) will be holding student-led Jummah (Friday prayer), followed by a casual conversation and Q&A about Muslim student life at Vassar. Meet in front of the Post Office in the College Center at 1:15pm to walk to the Prayer Space together. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Meet the Vassar Dogs

2:00–3:00pm

Library Lawn

Looking for a way to relieve some stress? Love dogs? Come meet the dogs of some of Vassar’s faculty, administrators, and staff.

Explore the Library

2:00–4:00pm

Library

Explore the Library and meet some of the librarians.  Complete a scavenger hunt to enter a raffle!  Start in the lobby of Thompson Memorial Library.

Dean of the College Pop-In Friday

3:00–4:00pm

Main Lobby

Get to know members of the Dean of the College team, lead by Dean Carlos Alamo-Pastrana. Popcorn provided. Stop by Main Lobby to learn a bit about how we support students and build community.

BBQ w/ Athletics

5:15–7:30pm

Prentiss Fields

Come support your Vassar Brewer athletics teams as they compete in their home openers!

  • Women’s field hockey will play at 4pm against Stevens
  • Men’s soccer plays at 5pm against Mount Saint Mary
  • Men’s and women’s cross country will host their meet at 6pm (start is at the Vassar Farm)

Food and fun! Go Brewers!

*please note that any non-student must have cash to purchase food; students may utilize their meal plan

Dinner and Wellness Break

Dinner & Wellness Break 5:15–7:30pm

Gordon Commons

Shabbat Service & Dinner with Vassar Jewish Union

6:45–8:45pm

Bayit (51 Collegeview Ave)

Join Vassar Jewish Union (JVU) for a taste of Jewish communal life at Vassar! All are welcome for a student-led service and a student-cooked meal. Meet at the Prentiss Field BBQ at 6:15 or in front of Gordon Commons at 6:30 to walk over together. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Friday Night Bowling and Laser Tag

9:00–11:00pm

Spins Bowl

You are invited to enjoy some downtime with new friends, bowl, laser tag or just relax at Spin Bowls (Taft Avenue 2 blocks from campus.) Buses will begin to shuttle from North lot at 8:45pm. Make sure to bring socks if you plan on bowling!

Breakfast

7:30–9:00am

Gordon Commons

Culture of Care/Bystander Intervention

Core Event

10:00–11:00am

Residential Houses

You’ve completed the online course and you’ve attended “Speak About It,” but how can you really intervene if you see a risky situation? In this interactive workshop, Student Fellows will provide students with active bystander intervention tools and give them an opportunity to practice the skills that they’ve learned.

Pick Up Box Lunch

Core Event

11:00–11:30am

Gordon Commons

For those heading out to explore the Hudson Valley today, please pick up your box lunch from Gordon Commons and proceed to your pick up location.

Orientation Adventures

Core Event

11:30am–3:00pm

Various Locations

Explore Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley! You should have received specific information about the adventure you signed up for over the summer.

Pick up your box lunch from Gordon Commons (11:00am–11:30am) and proceed to your pick-up location.

Pick-up Locations

Poughkeepsie Front of President’s House
Beacon Front of Rockefeller Hall
New Paltz Front of Lathrop
Vassar Main Circle

Saturday Shuttles

1PM - 10PM

North Lot

Saturday Shuttles (sponsored by VSA) will be running again this year. They will stop at the Walk Way over the Hudson, the train station, Poughkeepsie Galleria and Barnes and Noble and Stop and Shop. 

Bagels & Lox with the Chabad Jewish Community

4:00–4:30pm

College Center, Multi-Purpose Room

Love bagels and lox? Come meet a wonderful community and find out there is more to Judaism than just good food! Fresh NYC bagels, games, upper-level students to meet, and plenty of vegan options. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Orchestra and Chamber Music Info Session & Auditions to Follow with Eduardo Navega

4:30pm

Skinner Hall of Music, Martel Recital Hall

The Vassar College Orchestra is a full symphony orchestra of about 60 students. The group meets twice a week and gives two or three concerts per semester, performing masterworks of the symphonic repertoire. Participation is open to all students by audition regardless of their chosen majors. The Vassar College Chamber Music program offers students opportunities to participate in string quartets, piano trios, wind quintets, and other less traditional formations depending on the repertoire. The groups perform once each semester in the recital hall and several times in other venues on and off campus. Participation is open to all students by audition and may be taken for credit. Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted outside Skinner Hall, Room 105.

Dinner

5:30–7:00pm

Gordon Commons

Office of International Services Dinner

5:00–7:00pm

Students’ Building, second floor (above Gordon Commons)

All first-year international students are invited for a chance to regroup, relax, and reconnect with new friends and peers. OIS interns and staff will be present to informally check in and to answer any questions.

Transitions Dinner

5:30–7:00pm

Students’ Building, second floor (above Gordon Commons)

Are you a first generation, low income and/or undocumented student? If so, the Transitions Program is for you! Grab your plate and join us on the second floor of the Gordon Commons get an overview of Transitions, mingle with your cohort and meet the director and student leaders.

Brewer Games

7:00–8:00pm

Walker Field House

Who will be this year’s champion? Is your house the best house? Here is a chance to get up, get moving, show house spirit and get involved. Houses will compete in “Brewer Games” for bragging rights. Make sure you have your house shirts, colors, and cheers ready! Student-athletes and wellness peer educators will be participating and helping out.

First-Year Fun Filled Frenzy

8:00–9:30pm

Frances Daly Fergusson Quadrangle

Come out test your skills on the obstacle course, get an airbrush VC tattoo and enjoy some cotton candy, snow cones, music and more...

The Frances Daly Fergusson Quadrangle is located next to the Vogelstein Center for Drama and Film.

Breakfast

7:30–9:00am

Gordon Commons

Apps to Live By

10:00–11:00am

College Center, Multi-Purpose Room

MaryJo Cavanaugh and her team from the Office for Accessibility and Educational Opportunity (AEO) and Karen Getter from the Learning, Teaching and Research Center (LTRC) will share their top technology tools for helping first-year students gear up for academic success. Bring your technology.

Pick Up Box Lunch

Core Event

11:00–11:30am

Gordon Commons

Explore Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley! You should have received specific information about the adventure you signed up for over the summer.

Orientation Adventures

Core Event

11:30am–3:00pm

Bus Schedule and Shuttle

Explore Poughkeepsie and the Mid-Hudson Valley! You should have received specific information about the adventure you signed up for over the summer.

Pick up your box lunch from Gordon Commons (11:00am–11:30am) and proceed to your pick-up location.

Pick-up Locations

Poughkeepsie Front of President’s House
Beacon Front of Rockefeller Hall
New Paltz Front of Lathrop
Vassar Main Circle

Lunch & Wellness Break

11:30am–1:00pm

Gordon Commons

Voice Lesson Auditions

1:00–5:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 400

Students are encouraged to prepare one classical vocal piece in any language and it should be memorized. Please bring a copy of the music with piano accompaniment, as an accompanist will be provided. Students who do not have a classical piece prepared may also present selections from musical theatre or other music genres. Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted outside Skinner Hall, Room 105

Ecumenical Christian Worship

4:00–5:00pm

Chapel Tower Foyer

The Episcopal Campus Ministry at Vassar College (ECVC), in collaboration with the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices, will offer a service of Word and Music. Music will include selections from the Taizé community, contemporary Christian music, and the opportunity to sing your favorite hymn! Please join us! Everyone is always invited!

Dinner & Wellness Break

5:30–7:00pm

Gordon Commons

Catholic Mass

5:00–6:00pm

Vassar Chapel

Mass followed by a casual reception. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Unitarian Universalist Meeting

6:00–7:00pm

Main Building, Jade Parlor

Introduction to the religion and Vassar spiritual community of Unitarian Universalism. In Unitarian Universalism, you can bring your whole self: your full identity, your questioning mind, your expansive heart. Our beliefs are diverse and inclusive. We support “the free and responsible search for truth and meaning,” embracing both liberal Christian traditions and diverse teachings from Eastern and Western religions and philosophies. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

The Jade Parlor is located on the second floor of Main Building.

Sitting Meditation with the Buddhist Sangha

8:00–9:00pm

Vassar Chapel

Join us for guidance in breath practice. No prior experience necessary. Co-sponsored by the Office of Religious and Spiritual Life and Contemplative Practices.

Welcome to & Welcome Back Night

8:30–10:00pm

Residential Houses

Come mingle with returning students in your house and house team!

Brunch with Live Music

11:30am–1:30pm

Gordon Commons

Rise & shine! Enjoy a nice meal with our dining service provider, Bon Appétit, while enjoying some live music.

Piano at Vassar with Thomas Sauer

11:00–11:45am

Skinner Hall of Music, Martel Recital Hall

Come and learn about the piano program at Vassar.

Student Activities Fair

1:00–3:00pm

Noyes Circle

Get Involved!! Come and learn about all the different student organizations that Vassar has to offer. Whether you are interested in finding your dream role in a student theater production, singing your heart out, making people laugh or just plain raising your voice to make a difference, you are bound to find something here! Representatives from organizations will be present with information on what they do and how you can get involved. Make sure that you stop by and learn all about the exciting opportunities!

Vassar Student Association Open House

1:00–2:00pm

VSA Offices

The VSA is the student government of Vassar College and all students are members of the VSA! Come meet your representatives on the VSA Executive Board and VSA Senate. Additionally, you will have the chance to learn about the positions available for members of the Class of 2023. Light refreshments will be available.

Choral Auditions

1:00–5:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 400

To ensure an audition time, you must sign-up in advance online music.vassar.edu/auditions. Students are encouraged to prepare one classical vocal piece in any language, preferably memorized. Please bring a copy of the music with piano accompaniment, as an accompanist will be provided. Students who do not have a classical piece prepared may also present selections from musical theatre or other music genres.

Dinner & Wellness Break

5:30–7:00pm

Gordon Commons

Welcome Concert for the Class of 2023

7:00–8:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, Martel Recital Hall

Presented by members of the music department faculty.

Serenading and VSA Campfire

8:30–9:30pm

Noyes Circle

Serenading is one of Vassar’s oldest traditions. It is an opportunity for VC’s sophomores, juniors, and seniors to welcome the Class of 2023 and new transfers to the college via a song or two. Various acapella groups will be performing in honor of the incoming class. 

Classes Begin

Foreign Language Proficiency Exam

4:00–5:00pm

Various Locations

Take the appropriate exam if you want to satisfy the foreign language requirement by examination. If you want to take a foreign language course, but are not sure which one is appropriate for you, consult the department during the Departmental and Advanced Course Placement Advising session on Thursday, August 29.

Piano Lesson Auditions

5:00–7:30pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 400

Please prepare two short, contrasting pieces. Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted outside Skinner Hall, Room 105

Saxophone Auditions

6:30–8:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 303

Please prepare two short, contrasting pieces. Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted outside Skinner Hall, Room 105

Wind Ensemble Information Meeting

7:00–7:30pm

Skinner Recital Hall

The Vassar College Wind Ensemble is a sixty-plus member ensemble of Vassar students, staff and community members. The Ensemble performs three concerts in the academic year, featuring wind band masterworks, contemporary pieces, and student compositions. At this meeting, you will sign up for an audition time and audition music will be distributed.

Jazz Ensemble Information Meeting

7:30–8:00pm

Skinner Recital Hall

The Vassar College Jazz Ensemble is a 20-piece group of student musicians playing saxophones, trumpets, trombones, piano, double bass, guitar, and drums; vocalists are often featured as well. It performs literature ranging from the Big Band Era to contemporary compositions and arrangements. The Jazz Combo program offers students the opportunity to play in smaller ensembles with a strong focus on jazz improvisation. At this meeting, you will sign up for an audition time and audition music will be distributed.

Convocation

3:30–5:00pm

Vassar Chapel

Fall Convocation is the official culmination of the New Student Orientation Program and the official beginning of the academic year.

Guitar Lesson Auditions

6:00–8:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 325

Sign up in advance on the audition sheets posted outside Skinner Hall, Room 105.

Wind & Jazz Ensemble Auditions

4:00–8:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 421

To ensure an audition time, you must sign-up in advance at the information meeting.

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre General Interest Meeting

3:00pm

Kenyon Hall, Studio 3

For anyone interested in finding out more about the Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre.

2019 First Year Gala

7:00pm–9:00pm

Villard Room, Rose Parlor, CCMPR

The Career Development Office, Office of Alumnae/i Engagement, Vassar Business Club, and Vassar Finance Club are excited to announce our second annual First Year Gala. This reception is designed to initiate connections (and hopefully friendships) between first-years and seniors who have shared academic and professional interests, across a wide variety of industries. It represents an opportunity for seniors to share their summer research and internship experiences with first year students to help them begin considering how to make the most of their time at and beyond Vassar. This event is open to all class years, but is primarily designed to connect seniors who are preparing to leave Vassar to first year students who are just beginning their adventure here. In this way, it helps prepare our seniors to become great alumnae/i mentors and it helps our first year students begin exploring the ways to make the most of their time at Vassar. Come learn about the wide variety of Vassar-connected opportunities that our students pursue in their summers and get your questions answered about majors, internships, careers, and more!

Students are encouraged to dress their best for this event. Light refreshments will be on hand to enjoy throughout the event. We will be using the Villard Room, College Center MPR, and Rose Parlor for this event. Advance RSVP on Handshake is strongly encouraged to ensure enough refreshments are on hand and so that we can print name tags in advance of the event. We look forward to having you join us!

This event is co-sponsored by the Office for Fellowships and Pre-Health Advising, Office of Community-Engaged Learning, Ford Scholars Program, URSI, the Dean of First Years, First Year Orientation, Student Growth and Engagement, and Residential Life.

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre Ballet Audition

1:30–4:30pm

Kenyon Hall, Studio 1

Open to all Vassar students with strong ballet technique (women must have at least 3 years of pointe training) who will be auditioning for VRDT on the following day Saturday, September 7th. Dress: Women should wear leotards, tights and ballet slippers - bring pointe shoes. Men should wear leotards and tights if they have them; otherwise, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Men must wear ballet slippers. The audition will consist of Intermediate Ballet class from 1:30–3:00pm. This may be followed by ballet phrases taught by the ballet faculty and guest choreographer. It may also include partnering. All auditionees must attend the VRDT audition on September 7th.

Wind and Jazz Ensemble Auditions

3:30–6:00pm

Skinner Hall of Music, room 421

To ensure an audition time, you must sign-up in advance at the information meeting.

International Host Program Reception

5:00–7:00pm

Main Building, Villard

The International Host program pairs individual members of the Vassar and Poughkeepsie communities with new international students and language fellows. International students will receive a special invitation to this event in their orientation packets.

Vassar Repertory Dance Theatre Annual Audition

Noon–4:00pm

Kenyon Hall, Studio 1

Open to all Vassar students. Dress: Women should wear leotards and tights, and bring jazz shoes if they have them; however, barefoot is fine. Men should wear leotards and tights if they have them; otherwise, shorts and a t-shirt are fine. Bring jazz shoes, if you have them. Content and info: There will be a 30-minute modern warm-up followed by three separate sections with movement phrases taught by dance faculty. One of the three sections will be jazz. If you have any questions, visit the Dance Office in Kenyon Hall, call (845) 437-7470 during business hours, or write to the Director of VRDT, John Meehan at jomeehan@vassar.edu

Pipe Dreams: Intro to Vassar Organs

3:00–4:30pm

Vassar Chapel and Skinner Hall of Music

All students are cordially invited to a brief lecture and demonstration of the Vassar Chapel and Skinner Hall of Music organs. Students will have hands-on time at the organs, no experience necessary. 

Follow-up Pre-Major Advisor Meetings*

Various Locations

Monday, October 7 through Friday, October 11

These meetings are an opportunity for first-year students to discuss their academic progress with their advisor. It would be best if you schedule this appointment at the end of your individual meeting with your advisor on August 29th. At these meetings, it would be extremely helpful to review your schedule online, discuss workload and study habits, review resources for academic support available on campus, consider the upcoming drop/NRO deadline, and generally discuss your transition to college.

Mission & Goals

New Student Orientation Mission

The Vassar College New Student Orientation program serves as the trail guide for a student’s path to “a thorough, well-proportioned and liberal education”* by focusing on academic preparedness, personal and social responsibility, engaging and appreciating social justice, and community engagement. The orientation experience, through a holistic approach, provides knowledge of the intellectual, cultural, and social climate of the College. The Vassar College New Student Orientation program is built upon opportunities and experiences for first-year students to learn how to engage a community, which values “analytical, informed, and independent thinking and sound judgment; encourages articulate expression; and nurtures intellectual curiosity, creativity, respectful debate and engaged citizenship”**.

*From the College’s First Annual Catalogue, **From the College’s Mission Statement

New Student Orientation Goals

Overseen by the Dean of College division, the New Student Orientation program is a collection of purposeful interactions and important information meant to introduce new students to the Vassar College community.

By the end of the six days, new students should:

  • be aware of academic resources available on campus and institutional policies and regulations regarding academics (Academic preparedness)
  • understand how to engage responsibly at Vassar and be knowledgeable of resources promoting wellness and emotional, social, and physical well-being (Personal and social responsibility)
  • be able to begin or continue the journey towards self-awareness, community awareness and appreciation of and support for a diversity of experiences, interests, beliefs, identities, and abilities (Engaging and appreciating social justice)
  • begin to master the art of living cooperatively and begin to make healthy social connections within a diverse community (Community engagement)

New Student Orientation features events and programs designed to prepare you to begin your time at Vassar College. There will be events to help you in selecting classes and guide you in achieving your academic pursuits. Other programs are tailored to encourage your participation as a community member at Vassar. Events and programs that all new students are required to attend are designated as ‘core’ events. Core events are necessary for all new students as they allow you to register for classes, fulfill certain requirements, and learn about important policies and procedures that will make your time at Vassar successful. Attendance at other events and programs is highly recommended to help you learn more about Vassar, meet new people, and become a member of the Vassar community.