My Take on TU: 2017 Matriculation Ceremony

The University of Tulsa welcomed 754 new students to campus on Aug. 13 – the fourth largest incoming class in TU history – and kicked off orientation week with a traditional matriculation ceremony for freshmen and their families.

President Clancy Matriculation 2017“My hope is that your class helps set the standard for American college campuses in how we take care of ourselves, take care of each other and the commitment to step in when things are about to go wrong,” said TU President Gerard P. Clancy, M.D. His challenge to students was part of a message that focused on the importance of remaining actively committed to mutual success and on the unfolding of our lives as stories that we are constantly writing together.

“You aren’t here by accident; you have chosen to be here. Each of you is committing time, effort, money and emotional energy to this experience. So right from the start, I hope you recognize that everyone here at TU has an enormous stake in your success,” Clancy said.

Clancy, who assumed the role of president in November, described the four-point commitment that TU has recently developed as part of its strategic planning for the next five years. The commitment is that students will feel accepted and valued, will be actively engaged in seeking learning opportunities both in and outside the classroom, will be empowered to apply their talents to make a difference in the world and will experience ongoing self-discovery at TU.

Matriculation 2017Four other speakers took turns explaining how these pillars shaped their time at TU: Camden Schinnerer, a Spanish/biochemistry senior; Jack Wood, a sociology senior; Maria Nadeem (BS ’17); and Kyla Sloan (BS ’17), a speech pathology graduate student. The program also featured a video of Kirk Smith (BS ’17), who turned his TU experience into a Rhodes Scholarship – one of only 32 awarded to U.S. scholars this year.

If we want to be free to focus on our commitments, we have to guard against a set of problems plaguing campuses today, Clancy said, turning the conversation toward sobering topics. “Alongside creativity, innovation and life-changing discoveries, today’s college campuses too often provide examples of selfishness, recklessness and stupidity,” he said. “I am talking about cases involving sexual assault, binge drinking, alcohol abuse, racist acts and hate postings on social media towards a specific group of our community. As a psychiatrist, I saw all too often the consequences of this type of recklessness on the victims. It’s very personal to me, and I am passionate about making our campus a model” of how to tackle these problems.

Matriculation 2017Clancy urged students to “strengthen our campus culture of inclusion, respect and safety at all times, where every student owns these responsibilities so that every student has the opportunity to write the very best story for their life.”

Matriculation sets the tone for the TU Class of 2021 orientation activities, which are organized by the Office of New Student Programs. The ceremony can be viewed online in its entirety.

My Take on TU: JumpStart TU in Panama

Students from The University of Tulsa recently returned from JumpstartTU in Panama, a leadership program designed to prepare freshmen for university life prior to beginning their first year as college students. Participants experienced cultural activities and participated in a three-day intensive academic field project learning about biodiversity, global trade and world consumption.


My Take on TU: Orientation

IMG_2649Today’s My Take on TU is written by Katie Snyder, a senior Communication major from Des Moines, IA. Katie serves as an Orientation Leader for StartTU.

Human beings typically don’t like change, yet there are times in our life when we have to give up the familiar for a new opportunity. Coming to college is one of those times. The University of Tulsa has a week of Orientation at the start of the new school year in order to help ease this transition. Whether you are originally from Tulsa, moving from out-of-state, or even coming from another country, this week is for you.

Orientation is a time to learn the campus, meet your classmates, and form the bonds you’ll need to get you through freshman year. I work as an Orientation Leader, guiding a group of students through this week to make adjusting to campus as easy as possible. In that spirit, here are my top three tips for getting the most out of New Student Orientation:

img_3078PLAY ALONG
In every Orientation Group, there is at least one student who thinks they are too cool to play games or discuss serious topics. Don’t be that student. The best way to have fun and make friends during this week is to be open to activities that you normally wouldn’t try and conversations that you wouldn’t normally have. You might even be surprised by the things you enjoy or learn from the most.

It’s easy to forget during orientation week that you aren’t the only one going through a big change. You may look around and see people laughing and talking to each other and fool yourself into thinking that they aren’t feeling scared and insecure like you. That is not the case. Some will handle this change better than others, but no one is completely immune to the uneasiness that comes with meeting new people and getting used to a new place. So do your best to reach out to others this week and don’t think you are alone! Start a conversation with a stranger, invite others into your activity, ask to join someone else’s – you will start to feel like you belong here more quickly than you realize.

As Orientation Leaders, our whole job is to help you. There are a few more specific requirements, but that one is first and foremost. Take advantage of this! Upperclassmen can help you figure out the best professors to take, how to get involved on campus, what there is to do in Tulsa, and much more. Through our time at TU, we have learned all kinds of tips and tricks that can make your life easier, and we would love to share. Additionally, your Orientation Leaders are some of the best informed people on campus about the services available to students – as are your RAs – so if you need something, ask them about it. This doesn’t just go for during the week of Orientation, but throughout your time as a TU student!