Student Life

O-Team 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.

Pre-Orientation Staff

Have questions? Please contact the College Programming Office at

The Campus Crew program offers opportunities for students to learn more about campus, meet other members of their incoming class, and explore the unique character of the city of Chicago, while also offering a shared work experience that is vital to the successful implementation of O-Week. 

Campus Crew Captains will be in charge of leading and working alongside their small group of students through the morning while facilitating conversation, acting as a role model, and helping students in their transition into a new school and new home. In the evening, all Campus Crew participants and Captains will enjoy fun outings to activities such as Cubs games, escape rooms, and others. Captains will be in charge of overseeing evening programming.

Learn more on the Campus Crew webpage.

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.

Learn more on the CUE webpage.

International Pre-Orientation (IPO) seeks to ease the transition for students from around the world into the University of Chicago. This six-day 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 upperclass 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.

Learn more on the IPO webpage.

The Phoenix Outdoor Program (POP) is a backpacking experience for incoming students interested in exploring the natural world. For five days, groups of eight first-year students and their two upperclass leaders will backpack or hike through the woods of Manistee National Forest in Michigan, 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 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.

Learn more on the POP webpage.

All dates and times are subject to change pending review from the College Programming Office and College Housing. Final dates and times will be provided on your contract. 

  • Attend a spring training session hosted by the College Programming Office (for POP Rangers, there will also be training sessions in winter quarter)
  • Report to and attend all of fall training.
  • In addition to working during pre-orientation week, all pre-orientation leaders will also have a shift during O-Week and be expected to work at least one shift during Family Weekend, which takes place in late October.
Pre-Orientation 2020 Schedule (2021 TBD)


Monday, September 7

Student Directors arrive for training

Tuesday, September 8

POP Rangers arrive for training

Wednesday, September 9

CUE Guides and IPO Navigators arrive for training

Saturday, September 12

POP begins

Sunday, September 13

CUE begins

Monday, September 14

IPO begins

Saturday, September 19

Orientation Week begins
  • Not hold other jobs on- or off-campus during Training or Pre-Orientation Week.
  • Serve as a mentor and role model for all new students and their family members.
  • Exhibit and maintain professionalism at all times and on all mediums (email, social media, in person, etc.). You are always a direct reflection of the University of Chicago, the College, the Dean of Students Office, and the College Programming Office.
  • Assist with staffing your assigned O-Week event.


  • Receive a stipend.
  • Gain valuable interpersonal and leadership skills.
  • Work closely with fellow students to shape and develop Pre-Orientation Programming. 
  • Be permitted to move in early if living in University Housing.
  • Receive complimentary meals during training, Pre-Orientation and throughout Orientation.
  • Receive a thank-you gift from the CPO.