By: Taylor Fulkerson ~Managing Editor~
Every class of Xavier students spends its first days on campus completing the Manresa orientation program, which is designed to initiate students into the Xavier community. While first-year students will not arrive on campus until Aug. 20, the Office of Student Involvement and student coordinators have been working for months on the orientation program.
The Newswire sat down with the Manresa Core team, a group of students responsible for coordinating the four-day program, to learn more about Manresa and what its organizers hope incoming students will gain from it.
Xavier Newswire: What do you hope to accomplish with Manresa?
Colin Foos: The point is really to get the first-years well acquainted with campus and the different things they’re going to run into here, the resources they have to help them succeed in college and also to meet a lot of first-years and some of the upperclassmen who they’ll see out and about on campus.
XN: Will there be any big differences to Manresa this year compared to the last couple of years?
Sydney Smith: Manresa this year is four days long instead of five days, which was a change that we made last year because there is no longer PREP (the Priority Registration Experience Program). There’s no dance this year. Going from five days to four days, we really had to think about the really important things that we needed to include in the schedule and what really benefits the first-year students. have time for it.
Cannell: One of the other big things we’ve added is on the first night, when they meet their small groups instead of going to dinner separately. We’re doing an entire-class cookout on the Xavier Yard.
Smith: Another thing we’ve incorporated is the interfaith celebration. In past years, it has been focused as a mass. This year we wanted to make it more community-based and we want to avoid anything exclusive: mass, service, etc. We want it to be more inclusive.
XN: What is the main thing that you’re hoping that first-years take away from Manresa this year?
Sam Birchfield: Feeling welcome. I think that’s the number one thing Manresa does, is give first-year students a welcoming way to start their brand-new lives.
Cannell: I think the best part about Manresa is that you could sit in your room if you wanted, but then literally everyone else in your grade is going to be out meeting each other and doing the activities. It gives (the first-year students) a reason to go out and meet people and do new things, whereas if they were to just move in and start class, how do we know that first-year students wouldn’t just sit in their rooms or talk to only their roommates? We’re putting them in small groups with different people from all over the country, and it opens them to a bunch of different ideas and personalities.
XN: Is there anything that you all are looking forward to in particular?
Ray: Personally, I’m excited to see everything come together, and these little pieces we’ve been working on for eight months, to see them finally fall into place.
Cannell: I think seeing it come together as a whole is the main goal, obviously, but I think we’ll all be proud of our individual accomplishments as well. We all have different job responsibilities that require us to focus on a certain aspect of Manresa. I think we can all be proud and say, “That’s what I did.” We all put it together, obviously, as a whole, but it’s just something we can look back on. We’ve been working on it for eight months and we just want to see it go smoothly.