Summer Springboard in a Nutshell! – Griffith Ridgway

60 days.  5000+ students.  12,000+ guests.  While most students are readying themselves to return to Harrisonburg, the 28 Orientation Peer Advisers (OPAs) of the Orientation Team are just returning home from Summer Springboard.  For two months I lived on-campus with the rest of the Orientation team in order to help run Transfer and First-Year Springboard!  I am so lucky for having been able to encounter so many bright and unique first-years during springboard; there are definitely a lot of strong personalities in the rising class of 2016 that will inspire and leave Madison a better place!

One may be wondering “Well…what do OPAs actually do during Springboard?”  If so, I have the perfect answer!  In short, we play spontaneous games of ships and sailors, sing the fight song every morning on the Wilson stage, and make truly amazing memories along with our teammates — some of the most motivated and insightful leaders this campus has to offer. Oh…and did I mention D-hall?  Yeah, there’s a lot of D-hall…

After breakfast at D-hall, we began our mornings by meeting, greeting, and guiding the students and parents to Wilson Auditorium.  Once in Wilson, we energized the crowd with some impressive dance moves.  Afterwards, students would split off from their families for what was always an entertaining peer discussion with the OPAs.  A quick presentation followed in Grafton-Stovall before an unforgettable meal at the best dining facility on campus, D-hall! The first-years then proceeded to visit their freshman advisors after lunch.  Meanwhile, five of the OPAs and I would head off to help entertain the parents with some quirky skits (featuring our very own Kelsey McCamey and Justin Tarbell)!  At the end of the day, the OPAs would then reconverge for some five-star dining at…wait for it…

D-HALL!!!

With Summer Springboard officially done, the O-Team is still attempting to get back on a normal sleep cycle before the next phase of our experience begins: 1787 August Orientation!  Soon we’ll be back to JMU along with the FROGs to work with the first-years!  With Playfair, We Are JMU, and other general crazy orientation events planned there’s quite a bit to look forward to :)!

Looking forward to the fall, I’m curious to see what working with Student Government for the first time will be like!  Working with class council and the senate will offer a new way to foster the JMU community.  I want to leave an even stronger foundation for future dukes to build off of as we continue to promote the university and its student body!

All in all, I’m eager to use my new perspective of JMU in my new position as the President of the Class of 2014! I am also thrilled to again get to experience our university in a completely new light with SGA!  I am so humbled to have gone through such a journey with amazing people in Orientation!  With that said, I am definitely pumped to meet an entirely new cast of empowered and talented leaders this semester within SGA!

A big “Kline’s” hello from the O-Team!

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