What is SOS?
For many students, making the transition from high school to college is an exciting and challenging experience. The Student Orientation Staff (SOS) is here to help students make that transition as easy and fun as possible. SOS is a staff of 80 currently enrolled, volunteer student leaders who are responsible for facilitating all activities during SOAR and Welcome Week. The SOS Leadership Team consists of two student Co-Directors who work with the Director of New Student Programs to plan, implement, and oversee all orientation programming and six Team Leaders who are responsible for leading teams of 12 SOSers to carry out that programming. SOSers wear bright orange t-shirts so that they can stand out in a crowd (which is particularly helpful on Move-In Day!).
SOSers receive extensive leadership training throughout the spring semester and over the summer. These volunteers are chosen based on academic standing, campus involvement, and dedication to service. Each SOSer volunteers approximately 200 hours of service to the university between April and August. It’s a lot of work, but it’s a LOT of fun, too! If you’re interested in applying for SOS, applications go out on the first of March every year. Stop by the Department of New Student Programs if you have any questions. We are in the Student Center, office 206!
The History of SOS
The Student Orientation Staff (SOS) program began in the fall of 1979 under the leadership of Dr. Fred Rhodes, then Dean of Students. The students were selected from the Student Senate (later renamed the Student Government Association) and the Royal Rooters (later renamed the Bear Den). The following year an orientation interview process was created and group leaders were established to serve as coordinators of an orientation committee. In 1987 the position of co-director was established. These two individuals were to guide the group leaders and work closely with the advisor to ensure the program’s success. The first SOAR (Summer Orientation & Academic Registration) program was offered in 1992. To date the Department of New Student Programs offers eight SOAR sessions per summer, one of which is designed specifically for the Honors College.
The mission of the UCA Department of New Student Programs as carried out by the Student Orientation Staff is to coordinate and implement a process to:
- Assist new students in their academic, personal, cultural, and social transition to UCA
- Expose new students to the broad educational opportunities within the institution
- Integrate new students into the life of the institution
- Assist the institution in learning more about its entering students
- Provide an opportunity for new students and their families to become familiar with institutional policies, programs, and resources.
Kelsey Pope & Jacob Wickliffe
FORMER SOS CO-DIRECTORS
Sydney Crafton & Josh Dabney
Cody Stephens & Rachel Carlock
John Lewis & Rebecca Moye
Matt Melton & Craig Cole
Kyle Boyd & Elizabeth Eason
Aaron Kopf & Jake Melton
Hanna Manning & Andy Winkelman
Lindsey “Oz” Osborne & Stephen Roach
Aaron King & Jeanie Zelinski
Dana Newton & Mandi Tollett
Amanda Blair & Brian Bowden
Lauren Harris & Melissa Nix
Scott Kiehn & Amanda Stouppe
Sancy Faulk & Jordan Woolbright
Desiree Mauppins & Annie Turner
Heather Knight & Chris Oholendt
William Hornburg & Corey Simmermon
Gretchen Buchanan & Will Pittman
Erin Burns & Jennifer Worley
Leslie Perdue & Michael Vines
Blake Douglas & Lawanda Shewbart
Lane Vassar & Paul Vitale
Jackie Davis & Galen Horton
Sean Fleming & Angie Carr
Gary Cooper & Margaret Gunter
Chrystal Harris & Chris Williams
Renae Bartlett & Tim Fix
Tim McMahan & Kim Stone