Orientation and Preview are the first opportunities for students to get to know the campus they will call home for the next 4 plus years. Leading students through both is POLO, the Preview and Orientation Leader Organization.
The leaders of POLO are here to represent the face of ETSU; they welcome new students through the program and ensure that new students feel comfortable when starting their college experience.
To earn this job, one must apply to be a leader through the submission of an application as well as participation in both a group and an individual interview.
“We usually have approximately 225-250 students apply each year,” said Heather Levesque, adviser for the POLO organization. “We select 40 orientation leaders and 70 preview leaders. Usually the 40 orientation leaders are both orientation and preview leaders.”
Levesque provides oversight for the organization, and is in charge of planning and organizing all of the leadership development sessions with the assistance of POLO interns (a group of seasoned leaders who are selected to assist in leading the POLO organization).
Once the leaders are selected, the members of this organization participate in leadership development training throughout the year, which prepares each of them for their role of welcoming new students to ETSU’s beautiful campus.
“Students get involved in POLO to make a difference on campus and to enhance their leadership skills,” Levesque said.
“Most POLO leaders would tell you they have learned so much in their role as a POLO leader and grown tremendously through their experience. Helping new students is a passion for these leaders and they are dedicated to making sure all new students and families feel welcomed here at ETSU,” she said. Levesque said preview will offer several new additions this fall.
“We will continue some of the same traditions with the hypnotist, New Student Convocation, and service project but add something called the Found Footage Festival as well as a few surprises,” Levesque said. “We still spend the summer welcoming new students during New Student Orientation.”
“Many new students have told us over the years that their POLO leader made a difference in their lives,” Levesque said, “and that it was because of them they felt comfortable here at ETSU, so we are mostly excited about meeting new students and their families and making them feel welcomed at ETSU.”