Dean of Students

Leadership Pre-Orientation (Optional)

Why the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation program?

Have you thought about what you’ll do when you get to campus? The time you spend outside of the classroom can be just as important and impactful as the time you spend in class. Many first-year students come to Union ready to get involved – but they just don’t know how to find their right fit.

This pre-orientation program is packed with fun activities and events that are designed to help new students discern their co-curricular interests, learn important leadership skills, and get to know their peers.

Were you very involved in high school? Looking to get more involved than you were in high school? It doesn’t matter what your level of leadership experience was before coming to Union – this pre-orientation program will help you discover your interests and help you find your fit! Hit the ground running with the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation program!

Welcome to Campus

Arrive on campus early on Wednesday, September 4 and get to know our Leadership Mentors – current upper-class students who all have had different paths to leadership while at Union. Some have been heavily involved on campus; others are involved in only one or two interests. Whatever your personality or leadership style, there is a Leadership Mentor who can help you fulfill your goals. You will have time to move in before joining the rest of the program participants for lunch and our kick-off events!

Learning Leadership Through Fun Activities (Wednesday, September 4)

After moving in and a lunch with all of the program participants, we jump right into activities on Day 1! We will kick off the afternoon with some large group activities and team builders so you can start getting to know your new classmates and the Leadership Mentors. After that we break out into small groups for more fun. Learn about leadership through a variety of fun activities, led by the Leadership Mentor team. We will spend the whole afternoon learning important personal leadership skills with entertaining games. How do you learn communication skills through while navigating a maze; build trust on a magic carpet; discuss ethics with a sinking ship; and handle conflict management with puzzles? Sign up for the Leadership Experience Pre-Orientation to find out!

High & Low Ropes Courses (Thursday, September 5)

The highlight of Day 2 is spending the morning at Camp Becket in Becket, MA. Camp Becket’s Berkshire Outdoor Center features one of the most comprehensive ropes course in the entire Northeast! Join your classmates in some outdoor education, challenging each other while getting to know one another. Develop a bond with the class while working as a team, cooperating, and communicating with the help of Camp Becket’s low ropes courses. We head back to Schenectady for a "Taste of Schenectady" followed by a fun evening activity before returning to campus for the night.

Leadership and Service (Friday, September 6)

We will spend most of Day 3 off-campus at Thacher Park, where you will get to know ask questions about involvement at Union, play group games, and take a short hike to appreciate Union's surrounding community. We also participate in a service-learning project, giving back to the Schenectady community, followed by a discussion on how service is important in the world of leadership and why it matters. In addition to a conversation about service-learning, we will spend part of the day learning about multiculturalism and inclusion and how that fits into successful leadership. We will meet up with some of the other pre-orientation programs for dinner and another fun evening activity!

Day of Fun! (Saturday, September 7)

We’ll finish our pre-orientation program with a bang! To celebrate the end of the program, the students in the Leadership Experience, Outdoor Experience, and International Orientation programs will join up and spend a day together at a fun location to relax, have fun, and gear up for the general Orientation program that begins the following day.



Program registration opened at 9:00am EST on June 3, 2019.

Application deadline is Friday, August 30 at 11:59pm EST


September 4 - September 7



Cancellations are accepted until August 16.

All charges are non-refundable after August 25.

Students whose financial situation limits their participation in these programs may contact the Dean of First-Year Students, Kate Schurick. Limited funding is available for these programs.


Contact Student Activities at (518) 388-6118