10th Annual First-Year Student-Athlete Orientation A Success

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KINGSTON, R.I. -- On Tuesday, Sept. 3, Rhode Island Athletics welcomed approximately 120 freshman student-athletes to campus with its 10th annual First Year Student-Athlete Orientation.

The program was held in the Ryan Center and helped to connect newcomers with one another as well as the many resources available at URI.

The program kicked off at 8:30 a.m. with remarks by Dr. Mary Jo Gonzales, Assistant Vice President of Student Affairs & Dean of Students; Thorr Bjorn, Director of Athletics; and Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) President Frankie Brillante from the Women’s Cross Country/Track & Field team.

The speakers welcomed the newcomers to campus, encouraged them to take advantage of available resources and challenged them to become involved not only with athletics, but with all areas of campus life.

The new student-athletes then participated in a series of breakout sessions designed to expose them to a variety of issues they may encounter in college. Some topics covered were: community cornerstones, LGBTQ issues, stress management, substance abuse, relationships, and violence prevention.

After lunch, Mike Green - a recognized leader in the field of drug and alcohol awareness - wrapped things up with a drug/alcohol awareness presentation. Green has spoken on more than 1,000 campuses nationwide on the topic.

"Today's Student-Athlete Orientation was a huge success," said the event’s director Michael Scott, Academic Advisor for Student-Athletes.   “Orientation introduces our newcomers to important information to freshmen student-athletes and helps fire them up for the start of the academic year.”

The First Year Student-Athlete Orientation was planned by URI's Student-Athlete Affairs committee. Over 30 returning student-athletes assisted with the orientation, serving as peer mentors throughout the day's events.