“You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.” Galatians 5:15
Orientation Board (OB) uses this verse from Galatians as inspiration and applies it to their overall mission when it comes to serving fellow students on campus. As a Christian campus, Grove City College’s OB wants to reflect the same love that Christ shows towards his children and spread Christ’s love through their members’ actions. For instance, that love is shown in the actions such as serving the freshmen, transfers, and international students and hosting events for them to become a part of the GCC community. At these events, OB members are present, approachable, and caring to the students wile providing high energy that engages them in the community. The first two weeks of fall semester, OB members host events, have “family” dinners, and assist their “children” through the adaption stages of college.
A total of five different committees make up OB: Religious, Social, Outreach, Publicity, and Co-Rec. Each committee has 16-20 members which also include two to three executive members, as well as a junior and senior chair. A lot of effort, time, and energy come from the members during the spring semester for the Orientation Board to prepare for the upcoming fall semester and all incoming new students. The committees hold weekly meetings to plan the activities for the freshmen and during those meetings they have Bible studies and share their personal testimonies. Preparation through the spring semester is the busiest time, because the summer is primarily spent praying for the incoming students, the connection groups, and the OB as a whole.
Each committee serves in a different way and provides unique opportunities for the incoming students to interact with each other, adapt better to the college life, and feel more comfortable in the midst of all the newness. For example, the Co-Rec Committee is in charge of the physical activities such as the Graffiti Dance, the Olympics, and the Hoe-Down. All events and activities are voluntary and do not force the students outside of their comfort zone. Another committee, Publicity, is in charge of the establishing the themes for the new OB year. The committee splits into groups to think of new themes, before coming back together to pitch their ideas at the OB meeting where everyone votes on the best options. Possible contenders for the new theme are currently: Legos, Safari, Ancient Greece, Beach, and Ivy League.
Bonding and socializing for the OB members means being able to connect and grow closer with each other. They recently returned from an OB retreat where they are able to connect as committees without having to isolate from the group as a whole. The retreat breaks down the boundaries that perhaps the students would have had up if they stayed on campus. In addition to weekly meetings as an organization and for committees, the Executive Board of OB also encourages the committees to schedule weekly meals.
Christian writer Gary Chapman authored a book about the five love languages. If OB were to define its love language, it would definitely be “acts of service.” Students involved in the organization strive to use their experiences and encouragement to help acclimate new students to the entire GCC student body. By facilitating fun, social events for new students in the first two weeks of the semester, it helps integrate them into the entire school body as the school year continues.
“OB helps to bring the student body together and works to serve not only the freshmen and transfers, but the campus as a whole” – Brooke Bimber