Summer Swarm is an optional orientation session for first-year incoming students enrolled for fall quarter in Savannah. The goals of Summer Swarm are simple: lower anxiety, introduce students to one another, and familiarize them with the SCAD facilities.
Over the course of two days, students rotate in small groups through orientation sessions. These sessions introduce them to SCAD’s resources and policies, including:
After checking in on a Thursday morning, incoming students and their families gather in Trustees Theater for a warm welcome to Savannah and SCAD. Students then tour the facilities most commonly used by first-year students, and participate in a foundation studies demo class. One demo class introduces the basics of portrait-drawing with charcoal. While many students started by admitting doubts about their drawing skills, the demo class soon put them at ease.
“I didn’t know what to expect,” said Cassandra Emilianchik from Clermont, Florida. “The demo class helped relieve some of the stress over what classes will be like.”
New students’ biggest concern — besides math classes — is making friends. Summer Swarm’s answer is “First Night,” featuring games, snacks and live music at the Student Center. Afterwards, students spend their first night in a SCAD residence hall.
“I really enjoyed the night session,” Emilianchik said. “I got to meet people, hang out and make friends.”
So, how much of an advantage does attending Summer Swarm give first-year students?
“My freshman year, the people who did Summer Swarm seemed to have a leg up on everyone else,” said Elisabeth Pritchett (B.F.A. film and television), a current student and Summer Swarm orientation assistant. “They already knew people and were familiar with the campus.”
Other big benefits Pritchett sees students getting out of Summer Swarm are having their questions answered before starting classes and “being able to meet other people, and realizing that their anxieties aren’t only their own.”
The 2016 Summer Swarm season is over, but the new Bees are just getting started. They’ll buzz back for classes when Fall quarter starts September 12.