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Bob Ellis/staff photographer 
Incoming students and their mothers walk the SUNY Cortland campus Thursday during orientation activities. The students are, left to right, Kaitlin McGovern, Joanna D’Amico and Abigail Cerio. Following them are two of their mothers, Christine D’Amico, left, and Christine McGovern. The incoming students’ day was filled with tours of campus buildings, lectures and a range of activities. It’s the second of four weeks of orientation for groups of new students.

New SUNY students learn their way around

By NICK GRAZIANO
Staff Reporter

Holding up their opened red-and-white SUNY Cortland folders like a map, more than 500 future students of the college and their parents meandered around the campus like tourists in a big city Thursday.
Throughout the day they navigated buildings, sat through lectures and participated in various activities, all part of their first day of college orientation.
This is the second of four weeks of orientation, which provides programs for first-year and transfer students. Transfer students go for one day of orientation, while first-year students go for two, staying over night in a dorm on campus. The groups of students are divided up throughout the weeks, depending on their major.
“It’s going great,” said Marinda Souva, assistant director of transfer programs, who organizes the orientation. “There is a lot of excitement and a lot of good questions being asked.”
Most of the questions came from the inquisitive parents trying to learn all they can about the campus and financial aid programs.
Ed Battaglia, from Mahwah, N.J., attended the first-year-student orientation Thursday with his son Alec. He said he liked what the orientation had to offer and he was learning a lot. Aside from seeing the campus his son will be a resident of for, presumably, the next four years, he said the lecture on financial aid was a big help.
But while the senior Battaglia was finding the benefits of the orientation, his son Alec, who will be studying criminology, was underwhelmed. Alec Battaglia said he already saw all of the school when he attended an early visit in October, so there was nothing new he was learning.
The same sentiment was shared among a few other students, including Kaitlin McGovern, of Massapequa, who will be studying adolescent education for math. She said she knew everything about the school coming in, so the early portion of the tour wasn’t entirely engaging. She wanted to do more activities with her major, which the second portion of the orientation eventually allowed for.

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