The Office of Student Affairs (OSA) formally welcomed first year students, transferees, and other new students to the Ateneo de Davao University (ADDU) through the Ateneo First Year Orientation Program (AFYOP) conducted for two separate days on 28th May and 30th May 2013. The one full-day orientation is an annual program designed to prepare first year enrolees and other new students to the rigours of university life in ADDU. It provides a formative orientation as well as a formal introduction of new students as they go through the period of transition from high school to college. The AFYOP has since become an annual orientation program and is usually conducted after new students have supposedly enrolled in their chosen course, facilitated by their respective schools and departments. The First Year Development Program (FYDP) of the Arrupe Office of Social Formation primarily funds and supports the conduct of the AFYOP. The FYDP then provides the formal receptacle for these students once classes for the first semester formally begin on 10th June. First year students enrolled in the School of Arts & Sciences (SAS) and the School of Architecture & Engineering (SEA) had their orientation on 28th May, while those in the School of Business & Governance (SBG), the School of Education (SoE), and the School of Nursing (SoN) conducted theirs on 30th May.

The two separate days of the AFYOP were animated by seventy-two (72) facilitators who are students belonging to the upper years. These student facilitators were recruited from the ranks of student leaders and volunteers spread from among the different schools. Those chosen to be part of the phalanx of facilitators have undergone a one full-day facilitator’s training prior to deployment. On 25th May, this pool of student leaders and volunteers were trained in the art of facilitating and other necessary skills as they prepare themselves to be the front-liners in welcoming first year and new student enrolees into the fold.

Operating under the theme of “New Beginning, One Family,” the AFYOP this year provided a glimpse of life in ADDU through a series of orientations on the university vision-mission statement, a capsule profile of the university, guided campus tour, introduction to curricular, co-curricular and extra-curricular activities, and a fitting introduction to Ignatian Spirituality and other necessary and relevant information about ADDU as an academic institution and a community. Team-building exercises were also deployed as an interactive way of making new students feel comfortable with their new classmates and batchmates.

The two separate days of the AFYOP culminated with a mass at the open field president by university president, Fr. Joel E. Tabora, SJ, followed by a closing program wherein the officers of the SAMAHAN Central Board and some university administrators were introduced to the incoming students. There are roughly 2,128 first year student enrolees in the first semester of school year 2013-2014 as of 31st May 2013, spread into seventy-two (72) sections which form the bulk of FYDP classes. Each section will be mentored by an FYDP Guide who serves as class adviser for a year. (By M. Isabel S. Actub of Arrupe Communications & Advocacy, and Theresa S. Eliab of the Office of Student Affairs)