BSO participants listen to a speaker at last year's event.

Photographer: Ben Wirtz Siegel

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BSO to bring almost 10,000 to Athens Campus

The newest members of the Ohio University family will be converging on the Athens Campus in the coming weeks as OHIO kicks off Bobcat Student Orientation (BSO) – an event that will bring almost 10,000 individuals to the city of Athens.

One-day orientation sessions for incoming transfer students will be held July 11 and 12, followed by three weeks of orientation sessions for incoming first-year students that begin July 15. These one-and-a-half-day orientation sessions run through Aug. 3.

In their first official visit to campus as OHIO Bobcats, more than 4,000 students are expected to attend the orientation sessions, including nearly 3,700 first-year students and more than 300 transfer students. And they won't be coming alone. More than 5,600 parents or guests of those incoming OHIO Bobcats have registered for BSO, according to Jenny Klein, assistant dean of student persistence and success who oversees OHIO's orientation program.

Parking information

When those students and their parents and guests arrive on campus, one of the first things they will notice is the number of construction projects underway at OHIO as the University builds for the future. Two major building projects on the campus' southwest side – the construction of the Multipurpose Pavilion and the launch of Phase I of the Housing Development Plan -- as well as the closure of Richland Avenue, one of the city's main arteries, for a bridge rehabilitation project have resulted in detours and parking lot closures throughout the Athens Campus. The latest information on those detours and parking lot closures can be found at To view a short video on the construction sites across campus and to see detours in these areas, visit Updates are also available on Twitter at #OhioUBuilds.

Bobcat Student Orientation will affect parking on the University's West Green. All students and parents attending BSO have been issued parking permits allowing them to park in the purple lots around the Convocation Center (Lots 127 and 128) and at Peden Stadium (Lot 132). The dark green faculty/staff parking lots underneath the Convocation Center (Lot 129) and behind Walter Hall (Lot 134) will not be open to those attending Bobcat Student Orientation. For more information, visit Parking Services' website at Parking Services also posts all of its latest parking information on Twitter at @OhioUParking.

Program information

The goal of Bobcat Student Orientation is to allow new OHIO students and their parents to meet with faculty, staff and students and to prepare for fall semester through academic integration and socialization.

"It is our goal that every student leaves BSO with a complete and appropriate schedule and a new friend," Klein said.

During orientation, students will take placement tests, meet with an academic adviser and learn about the University's curriculum, register for fall semester classes, explore opportunities for campus involvement, and obtain their OHIO IDs – all while getting acquainted with some of their classmates.

In the meantime, their parents will meet with their student's academic dean, tour the Athens Campus and meet and talk with representatives from various campus offices – all while getting to know other OHIO parents. Students and their parents will also have the opportunity to stay overnight in a residence hall and eat in an Ohio University dining hall.

"We want students and parents to feel as though they've made a great choice, that Ohio University will provide these students with an exceptional experience, and that they've put their trust and faith in higher education in a superb institution," Klein said.

Campus information

Bobcat Student Orientation includes activities held throughout the Athens Campus, but some areas of campus will see more activity than others. For instance, students and parents opting for an overnight experience in a residence hall will be housed in James and Sargent Halls on the University's West Green. On-campus meals will be provided in Nelson Dining Hall on South Green. And several activities are planned for Baker University Center, Templeton-Blackburn Alumni Memorial Auditorium and Gordy Hall.

All activities are designed to help students and their parents learn about Ohio University's outstanding academic programs, policies, people, facilities and services.

"We want our incoming students to leave Bobcat Student Orientation saying, 'Yes, I fit here. I belong here and I see myself succeeding here,'" said Jenny Hall-Jones, associate vice president for student affairs and dean of students. "We want their parents to know that we are going to do everything possible to ensure that their child is successful and that we are partnering with them in their child's education."

One-day BSO sessions for transfer and first-year students who are unable to attend the earlier sessions will be held Aug. 22 and 23. Fall semester starts Aug. 26.

This is the last year that BSO for the fall semester will begin in July. Bobcat Student Orientation for first-year students enrolled for the fall 2014 semester will be held June 5-26 with BSO sessions for transfer students held June 16, 17 and 23.

For more information on Bobcat Student Orientation, visit