Highlights of “Dare to Discover” 2018 orientation events

Credit: Valene Mezmin/Editor-in-Chief Credit: Valene Mezmin/Editor-in-Chief

Carnegie Mellon University’s 2018 undergraduate orientation kicks off on Sunday, Aug. 19, and continues throughout the week until the following Sunday, Aug. 26, the day before classes officially begin.

The Orientation schedule is overflowing with activities for students of any background and of all different interests. With the theme “Dare to Discover,” orientation introduces incoming first-years to Carnegie Mellon’s campus and community, while providing opportunities to engage in academic, extracurricular, and community activities.


During the week, each college has dictated time slots during which students can seek walk-in advising and ask any questions they may have.

On Tuesday afternoon, there will be several informational sessions about many academic opportunities offered on campus. For example, students can learn about the interdisciplinary collaboration IDeATe (Integrative Design, Arts and Technology) network at the IDeATe Information Session and Tour of Maker Facilities (2-2:30 p.m.) or learn about the CMU Washington Semester Program (3-3:50 p.m.).

On Wednesday evening, each college hosts dinner and evening activities from 4:30 p.m. to midnight. After noon, students will bus to different locations around Pittsburgh. BXA Intercollege Degree Program and College of Fine Arts students will go to the Children’s Museum; College of Engineering students will enjoy an evening of laser tag at Zone28; Dietrich College of Humanities and Social Sciences students will visit the Heinz History Center; Mellon College of Science students will explore the Carnegie Science Center; School of Computer Science students will tour the Google Pittsburgh Offices; and Tepper School of Business students will attend a reception at PNC Bank’s Headquarters and visit attractions in downtown Pittsburgh.

Academic Orientation is scheduled on Thursday (8:30 a.m.- 4 p.m.), when students will have the opportunity to meet deans, professors, advisors, and learn about courses and expectations. This is followed by Convocation (5-6:10 p.m.) on the College of Fine Arts Lawn.


As a university, Carnegie Mellon offers a wide variety of extracurriculars. On Tuesday, join the Mindfulness Room Open House (2-3:50 p.m.) to learn about this innovative opportunity to relax and cultivate wellness through dog therapy. There will also be sessions about service and civic engagement on campus (3-3:50 p.m.) and Greek Life (3-3:50 p.m.).

On Friday from 1 to 4 p.m., the Club Sports Showcase will take place on The Cut, where students can try out different sports such as quidditch, lacrosse, and fencing. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, there will also be religious events hosted by various religious organizations on campus.


Some of the highlights of orientation are focused on building strong bonds between incoming first-years. At Playfair (Monday, 8-9:30 p.m.), called “the largest icebreaker ever!” students are encouraged to meet as many people they can in the class of 2022+. On Tuesday at 10:30 a.m., late Carnegie Mellon professor Randy Pausch’s Last Lecture will be shown in McConomy Auditorium, followed by a time for discussion. Later that evening, students will take their class photo on the Baker Hall Lawn.

Often many students’ favorite event, Casino Night, is held on Thursday evening (8:30 p.m.-midnight), when students get to dress up for the week’s biggest social event with food, dancing, and table games. On Friday night (7-9:30 p.m.), students will compete in House Wars in their house colors and themes for the coveted Carnegie Cup. The First-Year Showcase will begin at 8 p.m. on Saturday evening. Auditions and rehearsals are scheduled throughout the week to select the chosen few to perform for the class.