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Guidance toward a path of success

Sept. 2, 2003

By Marion Hixon, reporter

When more than 12,000 students arrive on campus for the first week of classes, things can get intense and overwhelming, especially for new students.

The Department of Student Development, along with the Chaplain's Office, recently has made changes to help accommodate freshmen.

Several steps have been taken to help unify the freshman class this fall.

'We're committed to helping every student succeed,' Dr. Dub Oliver, dean of student development, said. 'We want freshmen to know that there are a lot of people who care very deeply about them and want them to be successful.'

Freshman now are required to take the StrengthsQuest test, an online personality quiz that outlines a person's top five strengths.

Not only was the test implemented during Welcome Week but also during Baylor Line Camps over the summer.

'The whole idea behind the Line Camps is to give students an idea about what to expect at Baylor,' Kim Scott, director of campus recreation, said. 'They provided a time and place where students could be themselves, get to know other incoming freshmen and meet upperclassmen and faculty.'

During the summer roughly 200 students and faculty attended the Baylor Line Camps, including almost 9 percent of the freshmen class.

Different camps included 'The Spirit of Baylor,' 'A Call to Serve' and 'Great Outdoors.'

'The Spirit of Baylor' taught incoming freshmen about Baylor traditions and explained college life. 'A Call to Serve' worked with agencies like Mission Waco to involve students in community service. 'Great Outdoors' consisted of two camps, located in Colorado and California, that integrated hiking, rock-climbing and backpacking.

This year's freshman are also required to attend Chapel Fridays, a small-group meeting intended to reinforce that week's Chapel message.

After the first 6 weeks of the semester, freshmen will have the opportunity to join one of three other groups - a Bible study, service group, or discussion group.

As always, Welcome Week played an integral part in helping freshmen transition from their lives at home to a new life at Baylor.

'My Min-Con Leaders did a really good job of making me feel welcome,' Patrick Childs, a Knoxville freshman said. 'With all of the activities taking place, I feel like I'm getting plugged in at Baylor.'

Freshman-oriented activities that are taking place soon include Slime Night, Traditions Week and involvement in the Baylor Line.