Gulf | Qatar

Superheroes used to welcome new Qatar students

Activities used to ease transition from high school to college

  • By Habib Toumi Bureau Chief
  • Published: 11:53 August 24, 2013
  • Gulf News

  • Image Credit: COURTESY CMU-Q
  • An orientation programme at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar uses comic book superheroes to welcome more than 100 first-year students representing 25 nationalities to introduce them to the university’s campus, resources, and values.
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Manama: Senior students at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar (CMU-Q) have enlisted the help of comic book superheroes to welcome more than 100 first-year students representing 25 nationalities during an orientation programme that introduced them to the university’s campus, resources, and values.

This year’s programme of events was held under the theme ‘League of Tartans’ with classrooms across CMU-Q being decorated and named after comic book superheroes.

On their first day, freshmen were asked to dress up as characters and encouraged to interact with classmates and staff members to gain an appreciation for university life and be inspired to take an active interest in future events.

The programme eased the new students’ transition from high school to college through activities such as community service, a treasure hunt, ice-breaker games, karaoke and a dinner, the university said in a statement e-mailed to Gulf News.

In addition to learning about their university, students are introduced to essential values that will define their time as students, including trust, collaboration and community building, creativity and innovation, and dedication and integrity.

“We want our freshmen to develop an understanding of the academic rigours of our campus, the resources that are available to them in their academic and meta-curricular pursuits and, of course, make some friends and get to know their peers,” Kevin D’Arco, student development coordinator at CMU-Q, said.

“They will be spending a lot of time with this cohort of students, so orientation is as much about meeting their new classmates as it is about learning about the campus,” he said as he explained the significance of exploring the wide range of activities available on campus.

While the Office of Student Activities at CMU-Q is in charge of overseeing orientation, a team of four returning students was nominated as ‘Head Orientation Counsellors’ (HOC). They were tasked with leading, developing and implementing the action-packed schedule. The HOCs began working together in April following a rigorous selection process that called on them to demonstrate key skills such as planning, marketing, negotiation, communication, and creativity.

“I love to work on orientation because of the energy,” Saba Singh, a business administration senior at CMU-Q and HOC, said. “This year’s theme is a play on comic superheroes and all our activities fit in with this. We want the students to learn that while they are going to be studying 24/7, there are plenty of opportunities to have fun,” Saba said.

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