Summer Gateways Orientation
International Student Orienation
Over the summer, members of the Class of 2019 participated in a range of orientation programs designed to prepare students for their new adventure on Mount St. James. Through these programs, students began establishing relationships with fellow classmates; met staff, faculty, and administration; participated in social and volunteer programs; and familiarized themselves with the campus, Worcester and the surrounding areas.
Fall Gateways Orientation
Fall Gateways kicks off with Move-In Day on Aug. 29, after students are settled into their new residence halls. The four-day orientation, taking place from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1, offers a wide variety of academic, spiritual, community-building, and social programs aimed to support students as they acclimate during this exciting, transitional time. Students will also have the opportunity to get to know staff, faculty, and administration — and most importantly — their fellow classmates.
Over the summer, students were asked to read “Hand to Mouth: Living in Bootstrap America” by Linda Tirado, which describes Tirado’s experience as part of America’s working poor. First-time dean and professor of English, Shawn Maurer, chose the book for a number of reasons.
“In keeping with the College’s Jesuit commitment to social justice, I chose a first-year book that I hope will challenge all of us to think about who we are, to question the often unspoken assumptions we make about others, as well as the often unacknowledged privileges we may carry with us here to Holy Cross,” says Maurer. “I chose the book in part because it provides us with access to a voice we don’t often get to hear, a voice that describes, in honest, direct, even profane ways, her day-to-day experience of living on the edge, of constantly struggling to find enough work, have enough food, get enough sleep, to obtain health and dental care, to maintain a sense of self-worth.”
Beyond the Book
Maurer has organized a panel discussion surrounding issues addressed in the first-year book, which will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 9 from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Hogan Ballroom, specifically designed to explore the relationship of charity to justice. The panel will include: Frank Kartheiser ’88 co-founder of Mustard Seed and founder of the Worcester Interfaith Council; Heather Johnson ’06, director of the College’s Teacher Education Program; Matthew Eggemeier, assistant professor of religious studies; and recent graduates Yarlennys Villamon ’14 and Payton Shubrick ’15.
Later in the semester, students will also have the chance to experience what it is like to live “hand to mouth” through a hands on, interactive POVERTY SIMULATION sponsored by the Office of Multicultural Education. The simulations will take place on Oct. 6 and Nov. 2, from 4 to 7 p.m. in the Loyola Ballroom.
Although this is Maurer’s first year as class dean — a position she will continue to hold alongside the Class of 2019 from their matriculation through graduation — she explains that between the various new student orientations, planning the first-year book panel and working with students through the course enrollment process, she already feels fully immersed in the role.
“Working individually with students has always been one of my favorite parts of my job as a professor in the English department, so I am excited to have the chance to do that work with a much broader group of students,” Maurer shares. “In addition, I am thrilled to be there to challenge and support the members of my class over the course of their four years. Both in person and over email I am already beginning to get to know and appreciate the talented, motivated, interesting, and diverse group of students who form the Class of 2019, and am excited to meet them all in person at Fall Gateways!”
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