College Programming and Orientation

Orientation Team

The Orientation Team (O-Team) is a group of current students that assist in the facilitation and implementation of Orientation Programming through the College. These students play an integral role in the welcoming and transition of the first-year student population by serving as a role model, ambassador, and support system throughout Pre-OrientationOrientation, and transition to College life


2024 O-Team Applications Have Closed


Interested in becoming a House O-Aide for O-Week? Visit the Housing & Residence Life - Staffing Opportunities website to learn more! 


O-Team Roles

    Each year, College Programming and Orientation (CPO) hires students to assist with the implementation, planning, and coordination of orientation programming at UChicago. Positions range from virtual experiences or in-person programs, to working with students throughout the summer or for only one week, to working with small groups or large scale events. The Orientation Team (O-Team) plays an integral role in welcoming our newest students the University of Chicago. 

    Though O-Team members will all work together toward the same goal of welcoming our newest students to campus, various segments of the O-Team will do this in differing ways. Learn about the different roles that you can apply to be a part of, along with a short overview of the program’s mission below.  Students are eligible to apply for either a Pre-Orientation or Orientation position and Peer Mentor position (cannot be selected for both a Pre-Orientation and Orientation position).

    During the Winter Quarter, the following positions are open for applications

    • UChicago Mentoring Program (UCMP) Peer Mentors and Transfer Peer Mentors
    • Phoenix Outdoor Program (POP) Rangers
    • Chicago Urban Explore (CUE) Guides
    • International Pre-Orientation (IPO) Navigators


    Winter Quarter Application Timeline

    • January 15: applications open
    • February 3: applications close
    • February 5-9: applications reviewed (not all applicants offered an interview)
    • February 12-23: interviews
    • March 8: positions announced

    All dates and times are subject to change. Final dates and times will be provided on your contract. 

    • Complete all O-Team training sessions and commitments.
    • Communicate with your supervisor and CPO staff throughout the duration of the program. 
    • Participate in all assigned project work as needed.
    • Assist with all assigned pre-orientation and/or orientation programming. 
    • Not hold other jobs on- or off-campus during Training, Pre-Orientation, and Orientation Week.
    • Serve as a mentor and role model for incoming students.
    • Exhibit and maintain professionalism at all times and on all mediums.
    • Assist with the registration meeting(s) during Orientation.
    • Assist with day of staffing of the Student Activities Resource Fair.
    • Assist with the preparation and execution of Family Weekend.
    • Gain valuable interpersonal and leadership skills. 
    • Work closely with fellow students to shape and develop Pre-Orientation and Orientation programming.
    • Be permitted to move in early if living in University Housing.
    • Receive complimentary meals during training and throughout Orientation.
    • Receive a custom thank-you gift from the CPO.
    • Receive a stipend. 

Pre-Orientation Staff

    There are several pre-orientation programs that require dedicated, responsible, and enthusiastic staff in order to be successful. Each pre-orientation program's leaders have a different title, but ALL fall under the O-Team umbrella. Though each program has unique needs, all pre-orientation staff members must work together to ensure new students are welcomed to the university and surrounding community. The specifics for each pre-orientation position can be found below, and the application process and expectations for all pre-orientation positions can be found at the end of the page.

    The Chicago Urban Explorer pre-orientation program is dedicated to welcoming students to the UChicago campus, familiarizing participants with how to get around the city and all it has to offer, and facilitating the formation of friendships among participants. By day, Guides will travel the city with their small groups, meeting with civic leaders, touring important landmarks and cultural institutions, and engaging with faculty to develop a deeper understanding of Chicago. At night, all of the groups will come together for dinner, discussions, and lots of fun activities.

    This role will require facilitating small group discussions, as well as providing support and supervision by serving as an ambassador and role model to first-year students. Guides are required to live with participants in College Housing throughout the duration of pre-orientation.

    International Pre-Orientation (IPO) seeks to ease the transition for students from around the world into the University of Chicago. This program allows incoming students the opportunity to explore campus, the neighborhood of Hyde Park, and the city of Chicago while making friends and getting to know upper-class students in the College.

    IPO Navigators will be in charge of leading their small group of students through the IPO programming while facilitating conversation, acting as a role model, and helping international students in their transition into a new school and new home. Guides are required to live with participants in College Housing throughout the duration of pre-orientation.

    The Phoenix Outdoor Program (POP) is an outdoor experience for incoming students interested in exploring the natural world. During the program, groups of eight to ten first-year students and their two upper-class leaders will backpack or camp in midwestern forests, experiencing all that the great outdoors has to offer and creating lasting bonds in the process. 

    Rangers, both Group Leaders and Support Staffers, will be selected before the end of fall quarter and will then participate in CPR, Wilderness First Aid, and other training courses during winter and spring quarter to prepare to lead their group in September. Student leaders will also go on a training trip in the spring, likely over Memorial Day Weekend.

    Rangers will be expected to not only teach their group wilderness skills and successfully complete their daily hikes, but also engage their group in discussions around UChicago and facilitate the formation of bonds among participants.

Peer Mentors

    The UChicago Mentoring Program (UCMP) strives to foster community at the University of Chicago through peer mentorship. UCMP provides incoming first-year and transfer students with upper-class mentors to aid in their transition to College and the University of Chicago. Mentors are assigned to groups of incoming students and engage with them throughout summer, Orientation Week and into Autumn Quarter. Peer Mentors also assist with the implementation and coordination of Orientation Week (O-Week) programming. A successful College Orientation Staff member is a student who has demonstrated leadership promise through contributions to student life and who is interested in introducing new students to the University and surrounding community.

    Learn more on the UCMP webpage.