New Student Orientation

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2016 Fall Orientation

August 26-29

You're on Your Way!

You will be well on your way with Fall Orientation 2016!

Fall Orientation will help you get acclimated to your new community starting with a warm welcome from our Helping Hands moving crew to the official Welcome Ceremony on Friday. During Orientation you will have the opportunity to attend many sessions on college success to help get you on the right track with your studies and prepare you for new academic responsibilities as well as unique Columbia College sessions to teach you all about the traditions and culture of our campus.

At the Welcome Back Party and Student Activities Fair, you will have the chance to meet representatives from many of Columbia College’s 50+ student organizations so that you can discover the many involvement opportunities available to you. The Gestic Theatre Performance will prepare you for making good decisions, living with and learning from people different from you, and developing your leadership potential.

Socially, you will have the chance to get to know other members of the Class of 2020. In your Orientation Group sessions, you will share stories, complete a community service project, and participate in a Lip Sync Battle. You will also have the chance to begin developing a significant relationship with your Orientation Leader (OL), an upper-class leader who will be a friend and mentor for you during your first year at Columbia College.

Participating in Orientation is the best way to start your journey at Columbia College!

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the Office of Student Activities at 803-786-3663. 


*This information is for new First-Year Student Orientation.  Transfer Student Orientation will take place on Monday, August 29th from 1:30pm - 5:00pm.  Please visit the Transfer Student Orientation link for more information.

Schedule Highlights

Friday, August 26
  • Check-In & Move-In
  • Commuter Student Reception
  • Orientation Kick-Off
  • Parent & Family Dinner
  • Orientation Group Meetings
  • Residence Hall Floor Meetings
  • Social: Movie Night
Saturday, August 27
  • Columbia College Day of Service
  • Getting Involved in Campus Life Presentation
  • Social: THINKFAST, a Game Show just for the Class of 2020!
Sunday, August 28
  • Get On Your Way with the Student Success Leaders
  • President Dinndorf's Hawaiian Luau Dinner
  • Performance by the Gestic Theater Company
  • Social: Pajama Party

Monday, August 29

  • Sessions on Academic Life, Decision-Making, and Becoming EPIC You
  • Alpha Service & First-Year Communion
  • Lip Sync Battle and Closing Ceremony
  • Social: Riverbanks Zoo


Friday, August 26: Cool, comfy, and purple for Move-In

Saturday, August 27: Comfortable closed-toe shoes for Day of Service

Sunday, August 28: For the President's Luau, dress as festively as you like to fit into the Hawaiian theme, and for the Pajama Party that evening, wear your favorite pajamas and bunny slippers.

Commuter Students

Attendance is mandatory at all Orientation sessions on Friday, August 26 through Monday, August 29. Plan adequate time to complete the check-in process on Friday before the Commuter Student Reception at 3:00 p.m.

Friday’s Orientation sessions will last until 10:00 p.m. Sessions on other days will last all day and into the evening, with the exception of Sunday’s activities, which begin after lunch. Tuesday’s events are optional. Because the days are full of sessions and activities, we are happy to offer overnight accommodations on campus, as space permits.


Once you arrive on campus, your meal plan will begin which covers all meals during orientation. Commuter students without a meal plan should contact the Office of Student Activities to make arrangements during check-in.

Parents & Guardians

Parents and guardians are encouraged and welcome to participate in Move-In, the Welcome Ceremony, and the Parent & Family Dinner on August 26. Registration for the Parent & Family dinner is required, and tickets may be purchased ahead of time at this link: Please complete the registration by August 22. If a hotel is needed, guests may call the Office of Admissions at 803-786-3871 or at 1-800-277-1301.



Fall Orientation Newsletter