The First Year Center Executive Board (FYX) helps to create, plan, and implement programs that aid new students and their parents & families in their academic, social, and personal transition to Washington University. Each FYX holds a specific chair position and work with one of our three orientation programs: SOAR, Pre-Orientation, or Bear Beginnings. In addition to their programmatic responsibilities, the SOAR and WUSA Chairs supervise teams of student leaders. The Pre-Orientation Chair works with the Assistant Director to liaise with the 17 individual program leaders.
WUSAs are volunteers who assist new students with their academic, social, and personal transition to Washington University. They serve as orientation leaders during Bear Beginnings and then they serve as academic peer mentors for the student’s entire first year.
WUSAs who support first-year students work collaboratively with Resident Advisors to build community in the residence halls and inform new students of important academic deadlines and resources. They host two hours on the residential floor each week, and a program with the Faculty Associate and one off-campus excursion each semester.
WUSAs who support transfer or exchange students build community among those affinity groups through monthly on-campus socials and off-campus excursions.
SOAR Leaders are paid student employees who serve as the primary point of contact to new students during the summer registration programs coordinated by the First Year Center and academic divisions. They assist with the implementation of five 3-day, 2-night summer registration programs. SOAR Leaders serve as resources and mentors for new students as they navigate campus, the St. Louis community, and the course registration process. In addition, SOAR Leaders participate in both structured and informal interactions, including meals with new students. SOAR Leaders stay overnight in the residence hall with new students during the five programs.
Pre-Orientation programs at Washington University in St. Louis provide small group experiences for new students to ease the transition into the larger campus community.
Each program is coordinated by a Program Leader who may be a student, staff, or faculty member with primary responsibility for all communication with the First Year Center, participants, and logistics of the program.
Each program is staffed by volunteer Pre-O counselors, student volunteers whose primary responsibility is to build community with the participants and assist with the implementation of the Pre-Orientation program.