Summer Orientation Spotlight: Summer Lewis
Summer Lewis is a third year student from Woodbridge, Ontario studying Criminology with a concentration in Law and a minor in French. She is the current president of the Carleton University Criminology and Criminal Justice Society. She is a Summer Orientation leader this year working on the portfolio of Administration and is responsible for planning Expo Carleton.
How has the Summer Orientation experience been so far?
My Summer Orientation experience has been surprisingly tiring, but also very rewarding. I have had the chance to connect with a lot of students who are in my program. I found that to be the most energizing experience. You can go through your whole summer orientation day and think, “Wow, I’m really tired, we’ve been doing a lot of programming”, and then I meet one Criminology student who might be skeptical. Being a die hard Criminology fan I get to talk about my program and share all the experiences I’ve had in my program and let them know all the benefits that come with that.
Can you describe your portfolio and what roles you have to fulfill within it?
I am working on the administration portfolio this summer. Essentially the tasks that I do day-to-day are dealing with registration, contacting parents and students in regards to their concerns for registration for all of our orientation programs. The best part of my portfolio is that I get to plan Expo Carleton. Expo Carleton brings together all the Carleton clubs, services, and societies in one huge event in the field house for all students to walk through and see. It is especially beneficial for new students who are participating in the Fall Orientation program, because they can come through and see all those Carleton groups at once. I think it definitely gives them a feeling of being connected to the Carleton community knowing that there is club for you. That is something I am having a lot of fun working on this summer.
Why do you think it is important for students to attend Summer Orientation?
The best part about attending a summer orientation session, for students coming right from high school, is the idea that it bridges that gap from the vast differences between attending high school and attending University. From speaking to a lot of students who have shared their experiences with me, a lot of students said that they were really directed in their programming from their day-to-day courses, and everything was very much guided. So, students who are going away from home and coming to University, have this freedom in registering for your own classes. Students can be really confused when they are giving that freedom. A huge benefit to attending summer orientation is that, you get these little tidbits that help you, not really narrow down your freedom, but they help you learn how to navigate that freedom. For example, student attending a summer orientation registration assistance session obviously helps them to make sure their are no errors in their registration choices, but as well helps them navigate the system better.
On a typical Summer Orientation Day, what is your favorite part?
My favorite part on a typical summer o day, would probably be my presentation that I do with Shadi. It’s called ‘Financing a University Education’. I love doing that because we took such a dry subject that could really bore people, and also serious subject because it’s important to know how to pay your tuition, and we made it really fun. Shadi plays ‘Slim Shadi’, it’s just a play on words of the American rapper, ‘Slim Shady’. We definitely have a lot of fun with our presentation, we use the premise of a talk show, we try to be a little interactive with the crowd. A sub category to this favorite part would be during lunch, letting all the students from my tour group know, “Yo, I’m presenting right after lunch, be hype for me!”. Getting students involved in the presentation in general is really fun.
What is something you’ve learned working at Carleton this summer that you didn’t know previously?
From becoming a summer orientation leader, I would call the training rigorous. I had to learn a lot about the really small details about the services on campus. For example, even though I knew there was a Campus Card office on campus or Info Carleton, I didn’t know a lot of really small things about them.
I was a residence student in first-year, so after leaving residence I thought, “Now it’s time to grocery shop and learn how to cook.” I didn’t realize that there were various off-campus meal plans available to me and the different ways to use dining dollars or top-up accounts. So from the training we had, I learned a lot more about the finer details of being a Carleton student.
If you could switch your portfolio for a day, which would you choose and why?
I would switch to Mentorship because I have been involved in a lot of the Mentorship programs at Carleton run through the Student Experience Office (SEO) and the Centre for Student Academic Success (CSAS). Working with Bounce Back and First Year Connections this past year has been a really rewarding experience. I’ve been lucky, I know not all mentors are lucky enough to have students that are always engaged, but I’ve had students that have been really engaged, that love to follow up afterwards. I’ve been connecting with some of them this summer, to see how they are doing, and they do the same. Mentorship is something I really want to be involved with in the coming year just to help develop the programs further.
I think also a huge part about being a mentor that is really appealing to me is, because I am looking into law and grad schools, I myself are looking for a mentor to help guide me through those lengthy processes. So, my journey towards law school is kind of paralleled in an undergraduate student’s journey through Carleton. I would love to help someone navigate their journey as much as I’m looking for someone to help me navigate mine.
How do you think your work this Summer can help or relate back to what you study in Criminology?
I would say that some of the skills I’ve learned from summer orientation like the flexibility, being able to think on your feet, and the problem solving skills that you need on a day-to-day basis just in case of anything that may come up. You spend so much time planning a rigid schedule of presentations, tours, lunch, and being able to navigate all those things that pop-up can relate to the field of law. Especially when in court, there is a lot of thinking on your feet and you have to know your essential details. For example, you have to know the criminal code but also how to navigate around those rules and think quickly on your feet and solve the problem right before you. That’s something that is kind of parallel to summer orientation.
Summer Orientation Superlatives: Meet the Team
Most likely to break out into song during a presentation
Most likely to get lost on tour
Gets the most laughing fits