Serving Our Students: SOS leaders welcome new arrivals to Westminster

With the start of a new school year comes a wave of freshmen and other students new to Rider. As they step onto campus for the first time, the SOS, the Westminster campus’ welcoming committee, helps them along. SOS is composed of nine eager students (featured below) who have made it their goal to make the transition to college as easy and enjoyable as possible for incoming students.

-Photos courtesy of Jessi Franko


Matthew Astone
Sophomore
Major:
Music Education (Voice primary)
Reason for joining: “I had such a great time at my orientation that I wanted to be able to spread the same feeling to the incoming class.”
Orientation memories: “My orientation experience was amazing. I already knew the campus really well but it was such an exciting experience to be there with everyone that I was going to be going to school with.”

 

Jaclyn Beardsley
Senior
Major:
Music Education
Reason for joining: “I wanted to get to know all of the new freshmen in a close capacity. Our campus is small anyway, so feeling a part of the community is a pretty important part of Westminster life, and I wanted to help the new students feel just that.”

 

Giancarlo D’Elia
Junior
Major:
Voice Performance
Reason for joining: “This is my second year as an orientation staff leader. It’s a welcoming and nurturing place for musicians from all backgrounds and the friends and memories from this time will remain for years to come.”
Orientation memories: “I would say that freshman year truly solidified for me the importance of this chapter in my life as a musician and an adult.”

 

William Gotmer
Junior
Major:
Organ Performance and Sacred Music
Reason for joining: “I did it last year and it is a lot of fun getting to know the freshmen and introducing them to life at Westminster.”

Orientation memories: “My orientation experience was great! I was pretty nervous coming [from] so far away alone, but things were good as soon as I arrived. Soon, I found out how special our community is, and, as an SOS leader, I look forward to sharing that.”

 

Heather Jones
Junior
Major:
Music Education (Voice primary)
Reason for joining: “This is my second year as an orientation leader, and I decided to join because I love being a part of new students’ first experiences at Westminster.”
Orientation memories: “My orientation experience was very enjoyable, and I was lucky enough to have a great roommate for two years on campus. One of my favorite freshman year memories was participating in a bucket drum line at Communiversity in Princeton in the spring.”

 

Kristian Kohler
Sophomore
Major:
Music Education and Sacred Music (Voice primary)
Reason for joining: “My own orientation leader, Jaclyn Beardsley, was a tremendous influence. I hope to give that same experience I had to my group. I want them all to feel at home and truly a part of the Rider University community.”
Orientation memories: “It was one of the most exciting weeks of my life.  It was great to make new friends, settle into a whole new community and start my college career off on such a positive note. Except for almost getting a biking (yes, biking) ticket on my second day.”

 

Shannon Reed
Sophomore
Major:
Music Education (Voice concentration)
Reason for joining: “I had a really rough transition into college life and orientation really helped me. The orientation leaders were so nice and caring and willing to help me out. I wanted to give back with my new knowledge and do that for new freshmen.”
Orientation memories: “My orientation week was great. We had the SOS off-campus trips during my freshman year. I went bowling, and at the end, we were rushing out of the building and I left with the bowling shoes still on my feet. I never got my real shoes back.”

 

Matthew Tully
Second-year Graduate
Major:
Master of Music in Voice Pedagogy and Performance (Pedagogy emphasis)
Reason for joining: “I enjoy meeting new people, and wanted to be a part of welcoming the new graduate class to Westminster and the Princeton area.”
Orientation memories: “It was a great time where I met great people. It laid the groundwork for new friendships, as well as bonds between classmates for the first year of my graduate study.  Plus, there were a lot of great Ultimate Frisbee games and good food.”

 

Jessica Williams
Sophomore
Major:
Voice Performance
Reason for joining: “I love working with people. I work in the admissions office and helping those students get over their fears is really rewarding. I am really excited to get started.”
Orientation memories: “The whole week was awesome. But I really remember that last day of orientation. I already had to work. It really made me feel like an adult. But after work, I had the lip sync, and then it was all about the fun.”

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