New Beginnings: AARO, Mustang Corral and Common Reading

22970D_129.jpg This summer incoming students and their families are preparing for life at SMU during Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation (AARO). The two-day orientation sessions continued through August 16, and are followed August 19-21 by Mustang Corral, a three-day off-campus retreat.

During Mustang Corral, incoming students break into groups of about 15 and participate in team-building games, diversity activities and self-assessments.

“The purpose of Mustang Corral is for students to have a ‘like’ experience before they start school,” says Renee Gibson, assistant director of New Student Orientation. “They learn about University traditions, get an opportunity to interact with faculty and staff, and meet student leaders.”

Author and educator Bertice Berry will be returning this year as the motivational speaker for Mustang Corral.

“She’s here to inspire students and talk to them about their choices,” Gibson says. “She wants to tell them how fortunate they are to be here and how they can make a difference.”

Students participating in Mustang Corral move into their residence halls August 18. They received an assigned move-in time in August.

• Learn how to register for AARO and Mustang Corral here
• Find the 2010 Orientation Brochure and other helpful forms here
Watch an SMU News video of AARO 2010. video
Watch a video of motivational speaker Bertice Berry and Vice President for Student Affairs Lori White at Mustang Corral 2009. video
• Learn about the 2010 Common Reading Experience and watch an SMU News video video
Meet the Class of 2014 at SMU and on Facebook

20651D_107.jpgAt AARO, students and families have learned about campus resources and academic expectations, while connecting with faculty, staff and current and incoming students, says Ashley Stone, AARO assistant director. During their AARO sessions, students:

• Met their academic adviser
• Registered for fall classes
• Met their AARO leaders, who are current SMU students
• Spent the night in Boaz Hall, one of SMU’s residence halls
• Learned about campus involvement opportunities
• Received this year’s Common Reading selection – Zeitoun, by Dave Eggers

– Katie Simon ’11