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Archive for Saturday, August 11, 2001

Disorientation Guide’ makes a comeback

August 11, 2001

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Disorientation will make a comeback at Kansas University this fall.

A group of students and community members is putting together a "Disorientation Guide" to provide freshmen and new students information on Lawrence that regular KU orientation does not cover.

The guide will somewhat resemble one last done in the 1980s, organizers said.

It will tell students there's more to life in Lawrence than just Mount Oread.

"As a student, I didn't learn anything in orientation that really stuck with me," said Ben Burton, student senate executive committee chairman. "It all seemed like stuff you pick up from going to school anyway."

The guide will include articles on locally owned businesses, local issues and community organizations, Burton said. It will be passed out free in residence halls, fraternities and sororities, and at tables set up on campus.

The guide, Burton said, will give students a jump start on things that might take years to learn.

"A lot of this information comes from living in the community," he said.

About 20 students and community members are working on the guide, which should be ready for distribution shortly after school starts. The printing will be paid by Concerned, Active and Aware Students (CAAS), which is part of the Center for Community Outreach.

Shawna Smith, co-director for CAAS, said students had been discussing the guide for a few summers, but it wasn't until June that it became a reality.

During her own orientation three years ago, Smith said she was surprised at how "KU-centric" the information was.

"Our major intent is just to give kids some alternatives and let them know what an amazing and unique community Lawrence is," Smith said.

"It's not really anti-orientation," said Kyle Browning, student body vice president. "It's very much, 'Here is some more information that you might be interested in.'"

The first disorientation guides were distributed in the mid-1980s but did not become a tradition, Browning said.

This year's guide will be from an "activist-oriented and student-centered" approach, Browning said. "I think it's going to provide a lot of information that you normally wouldn't get as a new student or a new resident to Lawrence."

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