Orientation

New Student Orientation

Aug. 21-24, 2020

We’re eager to greet you as you arrive on campus for new student orientation Aug. 21-24. Our orientation staff (O-Staff) are upperclassmen who love Northwestern’s unique community and can’t wait for you to experience it yourself as you prepare for the intellectual, spiritual, emotional and social growth that will happen during your years at NWC. The O-Staff will help make your transition to college life easier through a four-day orientation that includes opportunities to:

  • Meet other new freshmen and transfers
  • Get to know the students in your residence hall
  • Learn about Northwestern's programs, resources and services
  • Gain leadership and team-building skills
  • Worship with other members of the NWC community
  • Have dessert with your First-Year Seminar professor
  • Enjoy the popular O-Show (a Northwestern tradition) and other fun events

Northwestern has new measures in place to safeguard the health of new students and our community during move-in and orientation—starting with our decision to limit each student to a maximum of two accompanying guests. For more information on our Covid-19 preparations, see Northwestern's coronavirus FAQ webpage.

Residence halls open on  Friday, August 21.

If you've been assigned an odd-numbered room, you will move in Friday morning between 9 a.m. and noon, then eat lunch and take care of other registration tasks in the afternoon. Go directly to your assigned hall when you arrive on campus.

If you've been assigned an even-numbered room, you'll take care of of your registration checklist in the morning, eat lunch, and then move into your room in the afternoon, between noon and 3 p.m. When you arrive on campus, head to the Ramaker Center.

Commuter students should check in at the Ramaker Center.

We've reserved either Friday morning, for those in odd-numbered rooms, or Friday afternoon, for those in even-numbered rooms, to get moved in and settled. Here's some helpful information to make that process easier:

Because of Covid-19, make sure you pack the following items:

  • Several reusable cloth masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Thermometer
  • Fever reducer (Tylenol, ibuprofen)
  • Over-the-counter cold/flu medication
  • Adequate supply of prescription medications and hygiene items
  • Gatorade or electrolyte replacement packets
  • Disinfectant wipes/spray to clean your dorm room
  • Medical insurance card

If you are flying, the closest airports are in Sioux City, Iowa, (SUX) and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (FSD). We provide a free airport shuttle service for new students from these airports during orientation weekend. Please plan your travel according to this schedule. These are the only times college transportation is available:

DateSioux Falls, SDSioux City, IA
Friday, August 21 Noon 1 p.m.

To schedule airport-to-campus transportation, contact Alli Den Boer by Wednesday, Aug. 7, at 712-707-7200 or by email.

All new students and up to two guests per student are invited to a complimentary evening picnic on the campus green Friday, Aug. 21. RSVPs are required if you plan to attend.

Parents: Register now


Orientation Schedule

* Orientation events for which attendance is required

FIRST= First-year students
TRNF= Transfer students
PAR= Parents or family members

Friday, Aug 21

9:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A (Odd-Numbered Rooms) Move-In

Residence Halls

Welcome to campus! In order avoid congestion during the process of moving in, new students will be assigned to one of two groups: Group A (students living in odd-numbered rooms) and Group B (students living in even-numbered rooms). If you're a member of Group A, go directly to your assigned residence hall on Friday morning. You will receive your room key and lanyard that serves as your ID for the weekend. Please wear your nametag to all orientation events.

9:15 AM

FIRST

PAR

GROUP B (Even-Numbered Rooms) Morning Checklist

Welcome to campus! If you live in an even-numbered room, check in at the Ramaker Center, where you will get your lanyard that will serve as your ID for the weekend. (Please wear your nametag to all orientation events.) While your peers in Group A (odd-numbered rooms) are moving into the residence halls, you'll spend the morning taking care of some campus business, such as:

  • Pick up your ID card or get your ID photo taken (Ramaker Center)
  • Verify student employment forms (I-9) (Bring two forms of ID and come to the second floor of the Ramaker Center)
  • Visit the campus bookstore (Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Take the language placement test, if needed (Click the link sent to you on Aug. 15.)
  • Pick up your mailroom key (Rowenhorst Student Center post office)

Masks required.

9:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP B Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

If you haven't already seen Northwestern's campus—or would like another look—join this guided tour led by an admissions ambassador or counselor. Masks required.

9:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP B Meet the dining service director & dietitian (optional)

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

If you have special dietary needs, you're invited to visit with Northwestern's food service director and dietitian. NWC Dining Services is here to support you throughout the academic year. Masks required.

10:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

* GROUP B Opening Ceremony

Christ Chapel

Gather with other members of the Class of 2024, transfer students and parents as we welcome you into the community of Northwestern College. We're glad you're here! Masks required.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP B Lunch

 Masks required while waiting in line and getting food. This meal is provided free to guests compliments of the Northwestern College advancement office.

Please enter the cafeteria or Hub Raider Grille at the following times based on the first letter of your last name:

11 to 11:20 a.m. A-G
11:20 to 11:40 a.m. H-P
11:40 a.m. to 12 noon Q-Z

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP B Legacy Photo

Christ Chapel

Are you part of a Northwestern tradition? The second, third—even fourth—generation to attend NWC? Then join other Legacy students and their parents for a group photo. Masks required.

12:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP B Move-In

Residence Halls

After completing items on your registration checklist Friday morning and then having lunch, your next step is to move into your room. We've received the hours from 12 noon to 3 p.m. just for students—like you—who live in even-numbered rooms.

12:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A Afternoon Checklist

While your peers in Group B (even-numbered rooms) are moving into the residence halls on Friday afternoon, you can take care of some campus business, such as:

  • Pick up your ID card or get your ID photo taken (Ramaker Center)
  • Verify student employment forms (I-9) (Bring two forms of ID and come to the second floor of the Ramaker Center)
  • Visit the campus bookstore (Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Take the language placement test, if needed (Click the link sent to you on Aug. 15.)
  • Pick up your mailroom key (Rowenhorst Student Center post office)

Masks required.

12:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A Lunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria or the Hub Raider Grille

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food. This meal is provided free to guests compliments of the Northwestern College advancement office.

Please enter the cafeteria or Hub Raider Grille at the following times based on the first letter of your last name:

12:30 to 12:50 p.m. A-G
12:50 to 1:10 p.m. H-P
1:10 to 1:30 p.m. Q-Z

1:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A Legacy Photo

Christ Chapel

Are you part of a Northwestern tradition? The second, third—even fourth—generation to attend NWC? Then join other Legacy students and their parents for a group photo. Masks required.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

* GROUP A Opening Ceremony

Christ Chapel

Gather with other members of the Class of 2024, transfer students and parents as we welcome you into the community of Northwestern College. We're glad you're here! Masks required.

2:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A Meet the dining service director & dietician (optional)

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

If you have special dietary needs, you're invited to visit with Northwestern's food service director and dietitian. NWC Dining Services is here to support you throughout the academic year. Masks required.

2:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

GROUP A Campus Tours (optional)

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

If you haven't already seen Northwestern's campus—or would like another look—join this guided tour led by an admissions ambassador or counselor. Masks required.

3:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

* Residence Hall Meetings

If you're a new student transitioning from home to dorm life, this is your opportunity to meet your resident director (RD), resident assistant (RA), and the people on your wing.

  • Colenbrander Hall (De Valois Stadium)
  • Hospers Hall (Hospers 1st floor lounge)
  • Fern Smith Hall (RSC 4-court area)
  • Stegenga Hall (Bultman Center Gym)
  • North Suites (1st floor lounge)

3:30 PM

PAR

Parent Workshops

Choose one of the following workshops:

  • Health and Safety at Northwestern (Vogel Community Room, DeWitt Learning Commons)
  • Academic Support at Northwestern (Allen Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center)
  • Parent Panel: Navigating Relationships with College Students (Christ Chapel)
  • Faith at Northwestern (England Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center)
  • Vocation at Northwestern (Hub Raider Grille, Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Student Emotional Wellbeing (Vermeer Dining Room)

4:15 PM

PAR

Parent Workshops

Choose one of the following workshops:

  • Health and Safety at Northwestern (Vogel Community Room, DeWitt Learning Commons)
  • Academic Support at Northwestern (Allen Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center)
  • Parent Panel: Navigating Relationships with College Students (Christ Chapel)
  • Faith at Northwestern (England Theatre, DeWitt Theatre Arts Center)
  • Vocation at Northwestern (Hub Raider Grille, Rowenhorst Student Center)
  • Student Emotional Wellbeing (Vermeer Dining Room)

4:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

* Small Groups

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Meet your O-Staff leader and get acquainted with the other students who will be in your First-Year Seminar (FYS) class.

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Picnic on the Green

Campus Green

All new students and their families are invited to enjoy a free picnic on our campus green, provided compliments of Creative Dining, the college's food service provider. Bring your own lawn chairs or blanket. Masks required while waiting in line and getting food.

Please get in line at the following times based on the first letter of your last name:

5 to 5:15 p.m. A-C, E-F
5:15 to 5:30 p.m. D, I-L
5:30 to 5:45 p.m. G-H, M
5:45 to 6 p.m. S, N-Q
6 to 6:15 p.m. R, T-Z

7:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

PAR

Commissioning Service

Rowenhorst Student Center 4-court area

Join your classmates for a time of worship, during which we will commission and dedicate you for your new role as a Northwestern College student. Masks required. This event will shown via livestream in the Dance Room of the Bultman Center for those who aren't comfortable attending a large gathering.

Following the Commissioning Service, we request that parents say their goodbyes and begin their journey back home. The remainder of the schedule is designed for students only.

8:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Screen on the Green

Campus Green

Bring a lawn chair or blanket as we enjoy "The Princess Bride" (PG) together on the campus green. The movie will start at sunset (weather permitting).

Saturday, Aug 22

9:00 AM

FIRST

* Small Groups/Navigating Northwestern

Campus green in front of Christ Chapel

Meet your O-Staff leader and members of your orientation small group. Masks required.

11:00 AM

TRNF

Transfer Student Lunch

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Join Julie Elliott, Northwestern's vice president for student life, and her family for a picnic lunch at a local park. Masks required.

11:00 AM

FIRST

Brunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food. You will need to complete the Raider Check app so you can show it to gain entrance to the caf.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Games on the Green

Campus Green

Let off some steam by taking part in some fun lawn games on the campus green.

4:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Picnic with President Christy

President Christy's home (106 Martin Ave.)

Join President Christy and his wife, Michelle, at their home for a picnic dinner. Wear your lanyard. It will serve as your meal ticket. Parking is limited, so students are encouraged to ride a shuttle. Shuttle vans will depart from the plaza in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons. Masks required in the van and while getting your food. (It's a 5-minute drive to President Christy's home. The caf will be open for those uncomfortable with driving with others in a van.)

10:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Prov

Christ Chapel

Share in the fun and laughter with Northwestern's hilarious improve group, Black V. Masks required. Space is limited. You will be able to reserve your seat using the iAttended app when you arrive on campus.

Sunday, Aug 23

11:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Sunday Brunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food. You will need to complete the Raider Check app so you can show it to gain entrance to the caf.

1:45 PM

FIRST

* Dessert with Your First-Year Seminar Professor

Meet in front of the DeWitt Learning Commons

Meet with your small group and enjoy dessert together. This is a great way to get to know your FYS instructor. Masks required.

5:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Dinner

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food.

7:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Opening Night

Christ Chapel

Get to know your college through this show about the thrills, chills and spills of life at Northwestern, starring the O-Staff. Masks required. Space is limited. You will be able to reserve your seat using the iAttended app when you arrive on campus.

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Praise & Worship Candlelight Service

Campus Green

Join us for the first Sunday Night Prise & Worship (P&W) of the school year. There will  be a prayer dedication and a special candle-lighting ceremony. Masks required when arriving and leaving.

Monday, Aug 24

7:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Breakfast

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food. You will need to complete the Raider Check app so you can show it to gain entrance to the caf.

8:30 AM

FIRST

TRNF

* The Academic Endeavor

Locations to be determined

Academics can be the hardest part of college. This session will prepare you for a successful academic career at Northwestern. Please see the back of your lanyard for your assigned room. Masks required.

10:00 AM

FIRST

* Freshman Survey

Locations to be determined

We want to know the class of 2024. This survey provides feedback on the valuable skills you bring to the college experience and some of the challenges you may face as a student. Please see the back of your lanyard for your assigned room. Masks required.

11:00 AM

FIRST

TRNF

Lunch

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food.

2:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

* Bodies, Boundaries and Bystander Intervention: Title IX at Northwestern

Christ Chapel

In this session you'll learn about Northwestern's vision for sexual relationships, what we're doing to prevent sexual assault and misconduct on campus, and what you can do to help make this a safe place to learn and grow. Masks required.

3:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Individual Adviser Meetings Available

Adviser's office or via Zoom

Your faculty adviser provides guidance throughout your college years to help you maximize your learning at Northwestern. Individual meetings can be scheduled during this time to make any last-minute schedule adjustments. Masks required for in-person meetings.

4:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Community = Building Belonging

Plaza by the DeWitt Family Science Center

We all have God-given gifts that build a beLOVEd community at NWC. In this active session, we will explore your gifts, make new friends and enjoy ice cream—together. Masks required.

4:30 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Dinner

DeWitt Center Cafeteria

Masks required while waiting in line and getting food.

7:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Closing Night

Christ Chapel

Enjoy the final presentation of the O-Show! Performances at both 7 and 8 p.m. are open to new and returning students. Masks required. Space is limited. You will be able to reserve your seat using the iAttended app when you arrive on campus.

8:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

O-Show: Closing Night

Christ Chapel

Enjoy the final presentation of the O-Show! Performances at both 7 and 8 p.m. are open to new and returning students. Masks required. Space is limited. You will be able to reserve your seat using the iAttended app when you arrive on campus.

9:00 PM

FIRST

TRNF

Acoustic Worship and Prayer

Campus Green

Gather together for a time of worship and prayer for the coming year at NWC. Masks required.

* Orientation events for which attendance is required
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