As a new Colby student, Orientation is designed to first impactful on campus experience.  Orientation will be focused on helping you develop a deeper understanding of the amazing academic and personal journey you’re beginning. 

It’s about connections—meeting people, making friends, and becoming familiar with your new surroundings, your new home, our values, and our community expectations. It’s about initiating and having challenging conversations on important issues—conversations that will continue in and out of classrooms and be lifelong.

“As your time on campus draws near, your first impactful on-campus experience as a new Colby student is an orientation to your new home, our values, and our community expectations. Your orientation will be focused on helping you develop a deeper understanding of the amazing academic and personal journey you’re beginning. It’s about initiating and having challenging conversations on important issues—conversations that will continue in and out of classrooms and, I hope, be lifelong. It’s about connections—meeting people, making friends, and becoming familiar with your new surroundings”

– Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94, Dean of the College

Schedule

Orientation is an eight day experience that begins with new students moving into their residence hall, includes the COOT (Colby Outdoor Orientation Trip) experience, and ends when classes begin.  Here is a link to the Colby Academic Calendar, and below you will find a few Orientation calendar highlights.

  • Tuesday, August 31st Class of 2025 Arrival – Check in begins at 8:00am in the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center (HAARC) Field House
  • Friday, September 2nd COOT Begins, students depart campus
  • Sunday, September 5th COOT Ends, students return to campus 
  • Tuesday, September 7th Community Convocation at 4pm to welcome the start of the academic year
  • Wednesday, September 8th Classes Begin

A full Student Guide to Orientation will be provided to all students when they check in on August 31st in the Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center Field House. Similarly, families will receive a Family Schedule for the day of August 31st when their student checks in. 

Getting Connected 

During Orientation you will interact with your Orientation Leader (OL) and Orientation Group (O Group), your Community Advisor (CA) and roommates/hallmates, and your COOT Leader and fellow trip participants; all of these groups will be unique and diverse, aimed at helping you connect with new classmates and finding smaller communities with the larger Colby community. Prior to arrival a great way to connect with fellow classmates and current Colby students is through the Class of 2025 and Orientation social media accounts.  

The Class of 2025 also has a Colby specific platform, or the myColby Portal.  All students received a mailing on or around June 10th, with information about setting up their Colby email ID and password, which is used to access the Class of 2025 tab on the myColby Portal. This student portal is a hub for important information, including a list of important deadlines.  For questions related to issues setting up a Colby email account or accessing the portal please contact Campus Life.

Pre-Orientation Workshops

All students are required to watch the below video content prior to arriving on campus for Orientation on August 31st. Content from these videos will be discussed during Orientation group meetings and serve as an important foundation to your Colby experience. Questions related to these workshops can be directed to Campus Life at [email protected]

A student’s first year experience extends well beyond Orientation and there are many meaningful opportunities curated for first-years to help them navigate the transition to college. In this presentation, student leaders and staff will overview a few required components of this first-year experience and how to register. Watch the video here.

Many choices are inherent in the transition to college. But, perhaps the highest-stakes decisions involve drinking or the use of other drugs. In this presentation, learn common missteps of first-year students adjusting to party culture and resources for building your best social experience. Watch the video here

This personalized online education program will help you reflect on the challenges that may come up in college life particularly related to alcohol and substance use.  This interactive activity will take less than 30 minutes and your answers will be anonymous.  Please review and complete the content by Monday, August 30. Online access link here.

Dialogue and Difference at Colby is a new program offering first-year students ongoing opportunities for personal reflection and peer-to-peer discussion about questions related to identity, community, power, and difference. The program offers first-year students an unprecedented opportunity for sustained engagement with Colby’s DEI values as they apply to student life and the world beyond campus. The program will extend from August 2021 until May 2022, combining asynchronous online content and live online events for all first-year students. The program will be delivered in partnership with Omprakash and hosted via the Omprakash EdGE online learning platform, with robust collaboration with faculty, student leaders, and selected outside facilitators. Access the platform here.

The primary mission of the Office of Security is to keep students safe. This video will familiarize first-year students with the many functions of Security while also providing important personal safety tips and showcasing resources available to students. Watch the video here

A panel will discuss Colby’s history with fraternities and sororities and the College’s decision to disband them in 1984. Learn the implications of underground organizations and the importance of creating a positive, safe, and inclusive environment for all. Watch the video here

Letter from the Dean

Dear Class of 2025 and Incoming Transfer Students,

Welcome to Colby College. We are thrilled that you have joined our community.

As your time on campus draws near, your first impactful on-campus experience as a new Colby student is an orientation to your new home, our values, and our community expectations.

Your orientation will be focused on helping you develop a deeper understanding of the amazing academic and personal journey you’re beginning. It’s about initiating and having challenging conversations on important issues—conversations that will continue in and out of classrooms and, I hope, be lifelong. It’s about connections—meeting people, making friends, and becoming familiar with your new surroundings. And, this year especially, it’s about living in a residential community committed to making individual decisions that will help secure the health and wellbeing of students, faculty, staff, and residents.

This year, your orientation begins with an overview of your commitment to the health and safety of our community during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a series of videos to facilitate your academic success at Colby and prepare you to engage with faculty members and the curriculum. We will also introduce you to what it means to live a healthy life with thoughtful conversations about diversity and inclusion, making responsible choices, preventing sexual violence, and building respectful residential communities. These are all critically important components in creating and maintaining a safe, collaborative, respectful, and intellectually engaging campus community.

Ultimately, orientation is designed to show you how to discover and claim the limitless possibilities that Colby offers you and what you can offer to your new community. As we eagerly await your arrival, I hope you have a great orientation and remember to savor the moments.

I look forward to connecting with each of you during your time on campus.

Karlene Burrell-McRae ’94
Dean of the College

Contact The Office of Campus Life