Tabor prepares for return of students
Tabor College’s full student-life staff returned to work Monday to prepare for students.
Most of the staff takes a 1½-month break during the summer to recharge. Dean of Students Jim Paulus and administrative assistant Kaylene Unruh are the only student-life workers who stay all summer.
This week the staff is working on setting goals for the year and strategies for reaching out to students, Paulus said. No training of new staff is needed, Paulus said, because all of last year’s staff returned, even though student-life typically has high turnover.
Next week will be resident assistant training. Resident assistants are upperclassmen who serve as leaders and counselors. Training also includes some first aid, CPR, and evacuation training.
“It’s a lot of work, but they’re good students,” Paulus said.
After resident assistant training, students begin arriving.
“They come in three waves,” Paulus said.
Student-athletes in fall sports will arrive Aug. 9 for training camp, and freshmen will arrive Aug. 16. Freshmen will have orientation before returning students arrive. Orientation will begin with a welcome dinner. The next morning, freshmen will work on service projects.
“Your first day as a Tabor student, you’re going to be doing something for someone else,” Paulus said.
The students are divided into small groups so they can get a chance to know each other. Paulus said it was important for students to feel like home. He wants freshmen to go to their first day of class already knowing other students.
Returning students will arrive a couple of days after the freshmen. Classes will begin Aug. 20.
Before leaving on their break, student-life staff inspected student housing for damage, which isn’t uncommon considering students are mostly 18 to 22 years old.
“They tend to leave their mark,” Paulus said.
Paulus and Unruh then worked on housing assignments for new students. If students know each other, they can request a specific roommate.
Otherwise the college considers many variables.
Even then, getting the right roommate depends a lot on luck.
Paulus said a study conducted at a larger college concluded roommate satisfaction didn’t vary much by the method of selection, even if selection was random.