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University of Iowa News Release


June 17, 2009

(Click on image for larger photo.)

UI pitches The Big Tent for student orientation

Student orientation is one of the first steps in preparing first-year students to succeed at the University of Iowa, and in past years, the ground floor of the Iowa Memorial Union has been a hub of orientation activity.

But with the ground floor still closed for flood repairs, UI officials have moved part of this summer's orientation into The Big Tent, a temporary shelter pitched in Hubbard Park to make up for the approximately 80,000 square feet of space not yet recovered from the flood of 2008.

Orientation Services, a department with the Office of Admissions, conducts the student orientation sessions at the IMU. Students register for fall classes, meet their academic advisors, obtain student IDs, and learn about the university.

The 60 x 120 foot tent will be set up for the nine two-day student orientation sessions that will take place between June 15 and July 21. The rest of the student orientation's operations will be successfully accommodated in the IMU's remaining space.

David Grady, associate vice president and director of University Life Centers, said the tent provides seating for more than 250 new students and their parents or guests. He said The Big Tent for student orientation will be where many visitors will come to eat, relax and get to know other new Hawkeyes and their families.

"Orientation is an essential university activity -- orienting students and their parents to the UI and building student schedules for the next academic year -- and we are pleased that orientation is back in the IMU," said Grady. "The tent on Hubbard Park temporarily replaces the space that we are unable to use on the ground floor because of the flood damage. It will provide common gathering space to relieve some of the congestion in the IMU."

The Big Tent will ensure that visitors for Orientation 2009 will be as comfortable and have the same experience as in past years. The University Book Store, University Athletics and Alumni Association will also have satellite operations open adjacent to the Big Tent for the duration of orientation.

"The use of Hubbard Park during our orientation programs is an excellent way to make full use of the facilities of the Iowa Memorial Union, while providing ample space for offices and services displaced by the flooding that occurred last summer," said Andy Cinoman, director of orientation services.

STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa News Service, 300 Plaza Centre One, Iowa City, Iowa 52242-2500

MEDIA CONTACTS: David Grady, 319-335-3114,; Tom Snee, 319-384-0010 (office), 319-541-8434 (cell), ,