WSU breaks even with Hawaii Alive! Orientation

More students than expected, may move to high school next year



Amanda Morgan, director of New Student Programs, talks about this summer’s Hawaii Alive session.

IAN SMAY, Evergreen reporter

WSU plans on hosting another Alive! orientation in Hawaii next summer after a successful pilot run in June.

Amanda Morgan, director of New Student Programs, said the session went well and actually exceeded expectations in some areas.

“It was definitely a success on many accounts,” Morgan said. “We had more students than we originally anticipated, which was good.”

About 90 students attended the session along with 80 parents or guests accompanying them as they learned about WSU and registered for classes in the Pomaika’i Ballrooms in Honolulu, Morgan said. She said the parent turnout was encouraging.

“Parents are a huge advocate and resource for students,” she said.New

The program paid for itself, Morgan said, with the approximately $40,000 in expenses for the Hawaii session covered by the fees charged to students and guests. While students paid the same $240 fee as those who attend Alive! in Pullman, all parents and guests had to pay $195 each. During a Pullman session, only guests and parents staying on campus pay $195, while those staying in hotels or elsewhere pay $140.

Renting out the ballroom, flying 10 staffers and paying for catering made up those costs, Morgan said. The university may attempt to reduce the overall expenses of the event by hosting it at a high school, she said.

Erin Todoki, a senior speech and hearing sciences and human development double major from Hawaii, volunteered to help the incoming freshmen at the event while she was home for the summer. Todoki said the parents felt more at ease meeting other Hawaiian students who had spent time at WSU.

“Some parents were worried, but once I told them my experiences … they really felt comfortable that there’s a group of Hawaiian students they can hang out with,” Todoki said.

In addition to the student volunteers, 10 staffers from WSU attended, including multiple advisors to help the incoming freshmen register for classes, Terese King, WSU Academic Success and Career Center director, said.

King said their goal was not only to get them registered for classes, but to also teach them about the overall process.

“As students are preparing to learn, they need to learn about the advising process at WSU,” King said.

While students in Pullman meet individually with advisors during Alive!, those at the Hawaii session met in a group setting for everything other than discussing private matters such as test scores, King said.

“There was a shorter amount of time to do both the presentation and advising times,” King said. “They met more in a group setting with other students interested in the same majors.”

The seven advisors present were able to deal with the high number of students because they were trained to deal with multiple areas of majors offered at WSU, King said.

“The advisors we took were advisors that could cut across all disciplines and that is key,” she said.

King said they would need to consider taking more advisors if the number of students at Alive! in Hawaii were to break triple digits next year.