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Gamecock Orientation provides students tools for success


For parents and students alike, Gamecock Orientation (GO!) is the beginning of their adventure with Jacksonville State University. This year the theme was “Hollywood: Everyone’s a Star Here at JSU”.  

Gamecock Orientation is used to introduce students and parents to Jacksonville’s campus and teach them all that JSU has to offer and how to make their time at JSU successful. 

“It starts off their time with us [Jacksonville State University]” said Noelle MIllirons, the GO! Coordinator. 

The Office of Student Life is responsible for the Gamecock Orientation. They begin planning for the next summer immediately after finishing the last GO! Session. 

“Our director of Student Life, Terry Casey, Susan Adderhold, Secretary and Administrative Assistant, Rhonda Kilgo, Advisor Cooridinator, myself and the two previous GO! Cooridinators, JJ Guthrie and Chris Cahoon and the two GO! Coordinators for the following year, Lydia Berkey and Josh Robinson, will have an evaluation meeting to examine this past summer and begin planning next summer shortly,” said Millirons. 

“But it is a campus-wide effort to make Gamecock Orientation successful. All campus offices have a part in each orientation day.”

Each orientation day starts with a song and dance performed by the GO! Leaders. 

“This is a fun way to disseminate information to the students. No other university does it quite like us,” Millirons explains.

After that, attendees were split into two groups: students and parents. Students were given information on services (housing, financial aid, tutoring, etc.) while the parents and guests had a session with Millirons and service representatives. 

The parents and students both had a chance to talk one-on-one with the different services and student organizations at the browse sessions and enjoy a meal at the Jack Hopper Dining Hall. 

The students then went to Meeting by Major and finished the day off with academic advisement and registration. 

The parents and guests received “Parent Tips” from a campus expert and were allowed to ask questions to a student panel. The students left with a souvenir and their Summer Reading Program book. 

Millirons says that GO! was successful this year. 

“I believe it went very well. As I said, it is a campus wide effort and everyone always steps up to ensure that these students have all they need to start their time at JSU. The GO! Leaders were also very good at giving the students all the information they were trained to in a fun and entertaining way. The team was a fun one this year.” 

Her thoughts were backed up by parents and students organizations alike. “I was really pleased! I loved the kick off. The entire day has been very informative and everyone has been very patient with my questions.” said parent Lillie Vincent. 

“The orientations have had a great turn-out. I’m excited about fall,” according to Meagan McClendon, who represented the Baptist Campus Ministries during the browse session. 

“We had a giant spike in potiential members,” said Chris Brown, member of Greek Life. 

What advice could Millirons give the upcoming freshmen? 

“The best advice I personally would give freshmen is to get involved. When you get involved, you meet new people and enhance your college experience. You also get opportunities that the students who aren’t involved don’t get to take part in. 

“Our research also shows that students who are involved have a higher GPA than those who are not. A college experience consists of much more than going to class and sitting in your dorm room. There are hundreds of ways for students to get involved and have a well-rounded college experience. 

“I know that I have gotten to do so many exciting things and meet people I otherwise wouldn’t have by getting involved, not to mention I get to continue to work in Student Life and mentor upcoming campus leaders.”

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