WSU to hold first Hawaii Alive! session

One-day program will reduce student travel, adds no cost to school


Courtesy of Pixabay

Future WSU students living in Hawaii will have the chance to participate in their Alive! orientation session in Honolulu, pictured here, instead of flying to Pullman.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen news editor

WSU’s New Student Programs will hold an Alive! orientation session away from the Pullman campus for the first time this Saturday.

The session, branded “Alive! in Hawaii,” comes as an attempt to increase accessibility for incoming Hawaiian students and to allow them to attend a summer session, Amanda Morgan, director of New Student Programs, said.

“We were looking at our Alive! numbers and we saw that students that were coming from Hawaii,” she said, “most of them tend to come to our fall Alive! program … because it’s expensive for them to fly and attend an orientation session in June or July, then also fly back again to move in.”

The session will last for 12 hours at the Pomaika’i Ballrooms in Honolulu and contains almost all of the programs covered during the summer sessions on the Pullman campus, including signing up for their first semester of classes.

While students at the Hawaii session will miss the campus tour that comes along with the orientations held in Pullman, WSU will give these students a chance to learn about university resources during Week of Welcome and the first week of fall semester, she said.

“We try to take care of these programs so that everything will happen in those two instances with us,” Morgan said. “Then, of course, we want them to participate in Week of Welcome activities.”

The Hawaii edition, like all other Alive! sessions, will not cost the university any extra money as the orientation program is fully funded using fees paid by students and guests, she said.

While the student matriculation fee remains the same for this version of the orientation, guests will have to pay $195, an increase of $55 compared to Pullman sessions.

Morgan said the reason for this raise in guest costs comes from an effort to break even in the face of increased prices for things such as the venue and travel.

Students have shown excitement and gave positive feedback in regards to the program, citing the increased accessibility as a positive, Morgan said. Currently, about 75 students and 70 guests have signed up for the session but more may attend and sign up the day of the event.

While feedback so far has been positive, the test run for this new version of the program will serve as a test for the future and while no problems have occurred yet, the department knows some challenges may arise from things such as the distance.

“It’s just a little bit harder because I’ve never been to Hawaii,” Morgan said, “and trying to make sure we are being mindful of a different location that is really far away. So if we forgot something or if we miss something, it’s not going to be easy to pick up the phone and say ‘hey can you run this over.’ We just don’t have the luxury of being in Pullman.”

The group traveling to Hawaii does not include any orientation counselors, but will comprise of a light staff of academic counselors, student volunteers mostly made up of current Hawaiian students and a representative from New Student Programs, she said.

The session is not projected to face any delays or issues stemming from the volcanic activity currently taking place in the state, but the group is continuing to monitor the conditions, Morgan said.