Due to ongoing social distancing protocols because of COVID-19, new student orientation for Indiana State University will now be held online instead of in person.

For the foreseeable future, schools, workplaces, and all nonessential businesses will remain closed, so the university’s choice to go this route is very much expected. This means that instead of the typical welcome seminars and tours around campus, new students will be introduced to ISU completely online.

In a public document, Niki Fjeldal, the director of new student transitions wrote, “Indiana State University and New Student Transition Programs recognizes the unique nature of our current environment and the uncertainty that remains with COVID-19. To help protect the health and well-being of our future Sycamores, Indiana State has transformed State Start-Up and Family Orientation programs to an interactive virtual format.”

Just like traditional orientation, students are required to pick a date to attend.

Fjeldal writes, “two weeks before your program date, you will receive instructions to watch a required series of videos prior to your State Start-Up session. Please regularly check your Sycamore email account for this information and other updates.”

During this time, Financial Aid will be in contact to set up an appointment to talk about financial plans throughout their four years at ISU.

Understandably, these changes may cause stress to incoming students along with parents, administrators, and professors. The main problem being that online switch for classes, graduation, and now orientation is starting to feel unfair and chaotic to some students.

John Gettemeyer, program coordinator for new student relations says, "Indiana State University and New Student Transition Programs recognizes the unique nature of our current environment and the uncertainty that remains with COVID-19. To help protect the health and well-being of our future Sycamores, Indiana State has transformed State Start-Up and Family Orientation programs to an interactive virtual format. Our new virtual experience will still include many of the previously planned activities."

ISU is not the only school having to make some changes.

Anemona Hartocollis from The New York Times writes, “Many current students are dissatisfied with how the virus has changed the nature of college. To some, online classes and closed student centers, gyms, and science labs do not seem worth the high prices they are paying.”

Hartocollis adds, “The council predicted in an April 9 letter to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi that college enrollment for the next academic year would drop by 15 percent, including 25 percent for international students from countries like China who often pay full tuition, helping universities meet their budgets and afford financial aid for Americans.”

For more questions on ISU’s new student orientation, you can email orientation@indstate.edu.