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UMFK's new students will "Voice Your Choice" at orientation

August 20, 2004

NR04160

At the same time the second of the two U.S. major political parties is holding its convention in New York, the University of Maine at Fort Kent will be holding a campaign-themed party of its own.

The UMFK campus community is gearing up for its annual fall new student orientation to be held August 28 through 31, which will have the campus decked out in red, white and blue, their first taste of what the year has to offer.

"Voice Your Choice" is the theme of this year's orientation. This subject was chosen to coincide with UMFK's year-long celebration of civic engagement and civic understanding and responsibility through the "American Democracy Project" of the American Association of State Colleges and Universities (AASCU).

UMFK is preparing to welcome a record number of students which consist of 170 incoming freshman, students who have never attended university before, 64 transfer students, and 122 students who will be gaining their teacher certification.

Throughout the year students will have the opportunity to participate in a wide variety of events geared around the themes of democracy, civic engagement, and social awareness.

"Orientation is an important entity to a successful beginning of college. Students are presented with information to be successful. The information enables them to navigate through classes and other university resources," said Scott Voisine, director of student services.

Organized similarly to a professional conference, with numerous concurrent workshop sessions and afternoon adventures, the two-day event is designed to benefit every new UMFK student.

The orientation program will begin for residence hall students on August 28 and continue for four days. All new students will participate in orientation activities on August 30 and 31.

There are many activities planned for the event including icebreakers, campus tours, workshops, a barbeque, and a comedy night.

Also planned are "campaign trail adventures", which are physical activities that include "A Trek to the Wilderness" a day-long ride into the northern Maine woods with forestry faculty leading the way.

"Go Chasing Waterfalls: Fish River Falls Hike" a hike to Fish River falls for picture-taking and possible swimming.

"Row, Row, Row, Canoe Trip" allows new students the opportunity to paddle the local waterways, enjoying a popular area sport.

"Hedgehog Hike" is a hike up nearby Hedgehog Mountain where students can take pleasure in a view of natural scenery and environment.

Another session entitled "Workin' on Workin' Out" will take place at the UMFK SportsCenter. The athletic staff will open the gymnasium for student use. The workshop will introduce students to the state-of-the-art facilities in the weight room and cardio equipment room. They will also have the opportunity to shoot some hoops or play a quick game of racquetball or volleyball.

"Orientation is always festive, everyone at the university is enthusiastically waiting to welcome the new students," said Voisine.