Florida A&M University’s orientation leaders wiped up the competition at this year’s Southern Regional Orientation Workshop (SROW). The workshop took place last weekend in Orlando at the University of Central Florida, where more than 30 different institutions were represented.
SROW is an annual conference that takes place at various universities within the southern region. The mission for the Association of Orientation also known as NODA, is to provide education, leadership and professional development in the fields of college student orientation, transition and retention.
“It’s like a cheerleading competition times 10. There’s different competitions to compete in like spirit award, case study, T-shirt design, banner competition, and a song skit and dance,” said Erica Tyler, newly elected Queen of Orange & Green.
Many of the schools in the southern region send their orientation leaders for two and a half days where they work with other schools learning different skills, strategies, techniques, strolls, and chants to take back to their respective schools for orientation.
After months of preparation and a hectic weekend of execution, the orientation leaders have shown their regional colleagues what the college of love and charity is really about.
“We prepare for SROW from January to March. It’s pretty time consuming, but if you begin early you’ll get everything done ahead of time,” said Devonte King, junior architecture student.
The process for SROW begins by splitting the team into committees. Those teams consist of strolls, chants, scripts and voiceovers, and the prop committee. The fun competitive side to SROW is the skit, dance, step & song competition, which are fun ways to tell others about their prospective university and orientation departments.
This year’s theme for FAMU’s skit was FAMKANDA, which was a spin off of Wakanda in the Black Panther movie. That skit resulted in a standing ovation after their performance as well as a first place award.
“Since we are an HBCU most people would think that we would do a step or dance, but no. FAMU is known for our skits thanks to Mr. Andre Green for stepping outside of the norm,” said King. “We left everyone at awe from the HBCUs to the PWIs. FAMKANDA was the topic of SROW this year.”
Along with the first place award in the skit category, FAMU placed first for Spirit Competition for Medium Delegation, first place in General Themed Banner category, second place in General T-shirt category, and an award for Best Communication in Undergraduate Case Study.
Although this was a big win and joyous moment for FAMU, some members said they were disappointed that their news wasn’t being shared on campus.
“It saddens me nobody has spoke about this since 2015, but I mean great things happen when no one is looking. We literally do this for the love of the university,” said Tyler.
The win has gone unnoticed for almost three years.
“What you should write article on is us winning this conference we just came back from,” Andre Green, director of New Student Orientation, said jokingly. “The last time anybody wrote an article was when Gladys Murray did it (in 2015).”
To bring awareness to the student body about their current win or those to come in the future Tyler and King believe student media or utilizing social media can help with that.
“I think awareness can be brought to the student body by someone from the newspaper coming to N.S.O to get a statement about it, have a iStrike post made, and an e-mail blast in FAMUinfo so that it can be known by everyone,” said Tyler.
“In years to come I think if we could possibly get Rattlers United to attend one of the trips or even we just go live on the orientation social media pages can help bring awareness,” said King.
The orientation leaders are extremely proud of their accomplishments and look forward to maintaining the momentum in this summer’s new student orientations.