The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus


AARO welcomes new students

For the fortieth time, incoming first-years and transfer students will participate in AARO (Academic Advising, Registration and Orientation) – SMU’s new student orientation. Ten summer sessions plus one session during move-in will allow first-years to get to know the campus, experience residence hall life and meet with academic advisors.

“It’s a chance to experience everything SMU has to offer from student services to the on-campus programs,” said AARO student director and junior journalism major Gabe Travers.

Since 1966 the AARO program has welcomed new Mustangs to campus, easing the transition from high school to college.

“Our staff is the first link to students who are already here, so the first-years can feel comfortable asking questions about college life or about specifics at SMU,” Travers said.

First-years can expect to be immersed in a two-day program that will answer questions about what to expect in the fall.

When they arrive, first-years are divided into small groups with an AARO leader. That person becomes their guide for the next two days and helps them get to know their fellow group members.

Multiple information sessions will be held throughout the day in the Hughes-Trigg Student Center. Topics range from meal plans and Greek life to living with a roommate and financial aid. There will also be a resource expo where representatives from all of the student organizations will be available to answer questions and hand out information on joining in the fall.

Additionally, first-years will meet with their academic advisor and plan out their first semester schedule.

“Hopefully they will understand the academic process and policies of SMU and what kind of classes are available for them here,” Travers said.

There will be opportunities for placement testing in math and foreign language classes on both days of the session. First-years can take the optional tests for a small fee.

First-years will also spend the night in McElvaney Hall, getting a taste of what residence hall life is like and having a roommate for the first time. Additionally, students will have the first of what will be many meals in the university’s main dining hall, Umphrey Lee.

Transfer students will have three sessions during July, two one-day sessions and one two-day that is primarily for those transferring after one year of college.

“Since transfers have already been in college, our program is shifted more towards SMU facts and details rather than the broad topics of college life,” Travers said.

Academic advising is an important part of these sessions so that transfer students can iron out the details of transferred hours and figuring out how the SMU system works compared to their previous school.

All AARO sessions have the same goal, though, Travers said, of “welcoming incoming students to SMU and hopefully getting them excited about the fall.”

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