Frequently asked questions about orientation

Here are answers to the questions we are asked most frequently about Orientation at Seattle Pacific. If you don’t see the answer to your question, you can email orientation@spu.edu.


General Information

What is Orientation?
Orientation is a four-day event jam-packed with opportunities for you to meet and engage with your peers; learn all about SPU; meet key faculty, staff, and administrators; and simply acclimate to this new season at SPU.

When is Orientation?

  • Orientation is a four-day event that starts the Thursday before classes start and continues through to Sunday.
  • This year’s dates: September 10–13
  • Parent and Guest Orientation takes place on Friday, September 11.

What do my parents and/or guests do while I’m at Orientation?
Check out our Parent and Guest Orientation program

How do I register for Orientation?
Students register for Orientation here. Students register on behalf of their guests. 

Is Orientation mandatory? Do I need to attend the whole time?
Attending Orientation is mandatory for all first-year and transfer students. While Orientation is a mandatory program, this Autumn Wuarter, we are adjusting students' options to fulfill their attendance requirements. These options include:

  1. Students living on campus (including transfer students) are expected to participate in all online and in-person sessions with their orientation groups. 
  2. Students living on campus who cannot attend in-person sessions due to health/other concerns will be asked to participate in all sessions online via Microsoft Teams with their Orientation group. Please note, studnets may be asked about their circumstances in order to provide appropriate support during Orientation and into the academic year. Please email us if you're unable to participate via in-person sessions, so that we can work to create other opportunities for you. 
  3. Off-campus/commuting students are expected to participate in Orientation online. If students would like to participate in-person with their Orientation group, please select "in-person" on your registration form. Please note - students are asked to choose one modality for participation for the entirety of Orientation in order to allow us to provide for student safety and wellness. Students living off-campus are advised to review the new Orientation schedule to be aware of gaps/breaks during the day where limited campus spaces may be open. 
  4. Transfer students who are not living on-campus can choose to either participate in the full in-person Orientation as outlined in point three, or they may choose to be fully online. We also ask transfers to participate in a 2-hour Zoom Webinar on Sunday, Sept. 13th to hear from a transfer panel, SPU staff and faculty, and get any last-minute questions answered before starting classes on Monday. 

In your SPU Orientation Registration, please indicate which of the above you will be opting into!

When do parents and/or guests typically leave their students?
Parents and guests are encouraged to say goodbye to their students at the conclusion of New Student Convocation on Thursday evening.

Is there a make-up Orientation?
We do not offer a make-up Orientation. If you have further questions or concerns about this please send an email to orientation@spu.edu

Can we arrive late/leave early?
Students living on campus must show up at their assigned move-in. We will not be able to accommodate early or late arrivals.

What if I need accommodations at Orientation?

  • If you need any accommodations other than move-in times (students, parents, and guests) please email orientation@spu.edu.
  • Examples of prior accommodations include: wheelchair accessibility, interpretation services, reserved seating, etc.
  • Please note: We cannot accommodate a new or changed move-in time.

What are Orientation Leaders?
Orientation Leaders are students who volunteer their time to lead new groups of students through the four-day Orientation program. They have been trained during the summer to ensure you will have a successful transition into college life.

When do classes start?
Autumn Quarter classes start on Monday, September 14.

What if I have more questions?
If you have any questions, please email orientation@spu.edu or contact the Office of Student Involvement and Leadership at 206-281-2689.


Cost

What is the cost and what does it pay for?

  • All students (first year and transfer) pay a mandatory $125 Orientation fee that will be charged directly to their student account regardless of what program they attend.
  • This fee covers Orientation meals, supplies, t-shirt, activities, and all other costs associated with Orientation.
  • For families and students unable to come to campus, a portion of this fee will cover a Welcome Box that will be delivered directly to the student's listed address. 
  • There is no additional fee for parents or guests. A portion of the fee covers the costs of the Parent and Guest Orientation program.

What if I am not attending every event? Do I still have to pay?
All students (first year and transfer) will be charged a mandatory $125 orientation fee — charged directly to their student account — even if they do not attend the program in its entirety.

Is there an adjusted cost for parents and siblings?
There is no additional fee for parents or guests. A portion of the fee covers the costs of the Parent and Guest Orientation program.

Where do I pay to attend Orientation? Is this attached to my registration?
The Orientation fee is charged directly to a student’s account.


Move-In Day

When can I move in? What happens on move-in day?

  • Move-in dates have been changed for new studnets, and a sign-up process will be required for all students to support responsible distancing. If you are living on campus, move-in has been spread over the course of two days: Thursday, Sept. 10th and Friday, Sept. 11th. from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on both days. 
  • Each student will be assigned a move-in date and time. This move-in date and time will indicate when you gain access to your residential living area to begin the move-in process. You are welcome to check-in at Orientation Check-In any time on the day of your assigned move-in slot. However, we suggest checking in about an hour before your move-in slot. 
  • Select a preferred move-in date and time block in your Orientation registration form. Each time block has a limited number of request for each spots. Let us know your preferred move-in time by August 15th. Students who do not indicated a preferred move-in slot by August 15th will be automatically assigned for move-in. 
  • Please note: we cannot guarantee you will receive a move-in time in your preferred move-in window, but will do our best to accommodate. Move-in times will be narrowed down to a more specific time based on your preferred selections. Please email us if there are any time constraints that dictate your move-in availability. 
  • Move-in assignments will be released after housing assignments, the week of August 17th. 
  • If you live within a four-hour driving distance of SPU, or have a flexible travel schedule, we ask that you consider requesting a moving time on Friday to accommodate students and families travelling from farther away or on pre-purchased flights. Priority for Thursday move-in times will be given to these students and guests.
  • When you arrive on campus, park in one of our open parking lots (Dravus or Ross Lot) and make your way to Orientation Check-In in Upper Gwinn. 
  • After you have checked in, you will be directed to your respective living area and greeted by a student volunteer who will give you a 45-minute parking pass. You will then be directed to park in a designated parking space near the living area.
  • After you move your belongings into your living space, you will be asked to move your car to the designated parking lot — Dravus or Ross — to provide more space for the next wave of new students. 

Families and Guests

Is there a program for families and guests? When do things officially end for parents?

  • Yes! Parents and Guests are invited to help their student move-in, if they are living on campus. During move-in, there will be Departmental Pop-Ups with staff from offices across the university - be on the lookout for them in the afternoon. We then invite you to a Welcome Dinner that evening, catered by local Mexican restaurant El Camion.
  • Check out Parent and Guest Online Orientation materials for info on how to be apart of your students' transition throughout this quarter from near or far. Here is the schedule for Parent and Guest Orientation.
  • Parent Orientation is not required but encouraged, especially if this is your first student attending SPU. 

Where should we stay?

  • The SPU website has a list of suggested hotels and businesses in the area. Please visit this page for more information.

How do we register for Orientation?

  • Family and guests are registered on the student's registration form. If updates need to be made, students can access their form registration via the link provided in their confirmation email to change guest information accordingly.

Are meals provided for families and guests?

  • Dinner is provided on the day you move your student onto campus, either Thursday, September 10 or Friday, September 11.

Travel/Transportation

How do I get to campus?

Where do I park when I arrive on campus?

  • You can park in the Dravus lot (#45 on campus map)
  • If you are moving your student into their on-campus housing, you will be given a limited-time parking pass for the parking lot closest to their living area.

Where do I get my parking permit?

Where can family and friends eat and stay?


Meals

When do meal plans start for students? Are meals covered during Orientation?

  • Lunch and breakfast are on your own during your student's move-in day.
  • Dinner for parents and guests are included with the cost of attending Orientation. Parents and guests will receive dinner on Thursday.
  • Orientation will cover all meals for new students who are attending Orientation in-person from Thursday evening through Sunday.
  • Orientation will provide meal tickets for students who are not on a meal plan for the dates of Orientation.
  • Meal plans for all students who have them will be in effect on Friday morning.

Special Population

What if I am an athlete and I move in before Orientation?

  • Our athletes often move in at different points. Please work with your coach on your specific move-in day and time.
  • Student athletes will still need to check in for Orientation either on Thursday or Friday. Orientation check-in will provide you with important group information you will need to know for the duration of our program.

What if I am a Dining Services employee and I move in before Orientation?

  • Work with your supervisor for your specific move-in day and time.
  • Students will still need to check in for Orientation either on Thursday or Friday. Orientation check-in will provide you with important group information you will need to know for the duration of our program.

What if I am attending Early Connections?

  • Please wait to hear from our Multi-Ethnic Programs (mep@spu.edu) office for your specific move-in day and time. Please also note that Early Connections is an invitation-only program.
  • Students will still need to check in for Orientation on Friday. Orientation check-in will provide you with important group information you will need to know for the duration of our program.

I am an international student. Do I need to attend two Orientations?

  • Yes. Attendance at both programs is mandatory. International Orientation is a tailored program to meet the needs of international students and provides opportunities to meet other international students.
  • Orientation is a four-day event jam-packed with opportunities for you to meet and engage with your peers; learn all about SPU; meet key faculty, staff, and administrators; and simply acclimate to this new season at SPU.
  • International students can check in at Upper Gwinn on Thursday or on Friday.