Orientation Leader Program

Do you love St. Lawrence? Do you like working in a team environment? Do you enjoy working in a dynamic and interactive environment? Become a SLU Orientation Leader!

If you have questions contact Ashlee Downing-Duke, Senior Associate Director of Student Activities & Leadership at adowning@stlawu.edu, or Kelsey Sixberry, Assistant Director of Student Activities & Leadership at ksixberry@stlawu.edu.

First-Time Applicants

Returning Orientation Leaders

What is an Orientation Leader?

Each Orientation Leader, or OL, works with a specific First-Year College or group of transfer students throughout Orientation assisting students in their transition to St. Lawrence University. As an Orientation Leader you will:

  • Share your SLU involvement and experiences with new students and families
  • Facilitate small groups in discussions, ice breakers, and team-building activities
  • Help students and their families navigate campus
  • Be approachable and available to all new students within your group
  • Serve as a role model and mentor to all new students, especially those in your group
  • Participate in all Orientation meetings, functions, including the FYP college and community meeting and dinner
  • Work with the faculty and Community Assistant staff to facilitate activities and programs during Orientation
  • Ensure that students from your FYP attend Orientation programs and the First-Year Cup Festival
  • Maintain an ongoing relationship with your FYP throughout their first semester
  • Work collaboratively and constructively with fellow Orientation staff

Qualities of a Successful Orientation Leader

  • Demonstrates leadership skills, initiative, motivation and professionalism
  • Has the ability to work effectively in a team environment
  • Enthusiasm and a positive attitude
  • Has the ability to work effectively with diverse populations
  • Has the ability to adapt to new situations
  • Demonstrates troubleshooting and problem-solving skills
  • Shows pride in and enthusiasm for St. Lawrence

Time Commitment

Orientation Leaders meet once during the Spring semester for training and an overview of Fall Orientation. Leaders will return to campus at the end of August to attend Orientation Training and prepare for Orientation. The commitment continues through the three-day Orientation period and lasts until the First-Year Cup festival, which is generally scheduled for the Friday after the first day of classes.

Qualifications & Expectations

  • An applicant must have a minimum GPA of 2.5 GPA and be in good judicial standing with the University. "Good Judicial Standing" means that you are currently not on probation, have completed all required judicial sanctions, and have not been found responsible for any serious infractions as a student here at St. Lawrence.
  • We are also looking for students who have contributed positively to the St. Lawrence community both inside and outside of the community.
  • Refraining from alcohol whether you are 21 or not is a non-negotiable expectation of Orientation Leaders. As an Orientation Leader you are serving as the first role models for new students at SLU and we ask that you refrain from using alcohol during your contracted time as an OL so you are able to show new students what is offered at SLU and are able to be an engaged and responsible leader.


  • Each OL will receive a $250 stipend upon completion of all their Orientation duties.
  • Opportunity to build your resume through developing verbal communication, group facilitation and other important leadership skills.
  • Chance to share your love of SLU!
  • Free room and board during training and Orientation until the upper-class meal plan begins.
  • Opportunity to get to know some of your peers and faculty at SLU through working with the OL team, CAs and FYP faculty members.
  • Super Sweet Swag! Each Orientation Leader is provided with multiple pieces of clothing to wear during Orientation.

Quotes from Past Orientation Leaders: What has being an Orientation Leader meant to you?

“Finding a family from whom I can learn every day.”

“It means everything to me. I know that every single one of my teammates has my back.”

“I was really nervous when I first got hired as an OL, because I was a pretty shy person, and this was really outside of my comfort zone. But all of my fellow OL's were really friendly and welcoming, and helped me to grow more open and able to communicate with strangers. I love how being an OL has helped me to become a better and more well-rounded person, because of how it does push my boundaries a lot. I've also made so many wonderful friends. Having friends has always been a really big deal for me, because my whole life until college I haven't had that many friends, and sometimes for years at a time I've had no friends. So being able to have these many friends is incredible to me. I also met one of my very best friends during OL training, so I am grateful for being hired as an OL, because I don't know what I would be doing without her. So, overall, the OL Team culture has meant a lot to me, and has helped me in even more ways than I've commented on here. It is an amazing experience, and it has changed me for the better.”

“I don't have a specific story or a simple word to sum up our culture or the chemistry we share as team, but I can say being an OL really meant a lot to me because its left me with long lasting relationships and allowed me to feel a part of a team that will last forever. Many of my fellow OL's were strangers prior to training week and now I feel like they all are family, I can be myself around each and every one of them with no judgment or expectation to be anything else. I find myself looking at the notes we all wrote to each the night before the first years arrived and thinking about how grateful I am for the experience of being an OL because it taught me a lot about myself and helped me grow as an individual. I feel honored to be a part of such a close-knit family and hope I have the opportunity to be an OL again next year.”