Campus Life and Undergraduate Orientation

An essential part of a student’s growth takes place outside of the classroom. The Office for Campus Life (OCL) strives to provide all Tufts students with exceptional programs, services, and opportunities to create well-rounded, independent thinkers who become effective leaders in college and beyond. We manage Pre-Orientation, major campus events such as Spring Fling and Senior Week, the advising of over 300 student organizations, including the TUSC programming board and TCU student government, and management of the Mayer Campus Center.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is Pre-Orientation?

Pre-Orientation programs are an opportunity to get involved on campus early, meet upper-class leaders and mentors, gain valuable leadership skills, and meet other students with similar interests before Orientation officially begins. Students look back at their participation in these programs as a great start for their Tufts experience.

We offer eight innovative Pre-Orientation opportunities to all new students, including incoming transfer students. These programs are optional, but in recent years more than half of the incoming class has participated in one of the eight programs we offer.

When can my student sign up for Pre-Orientation?

Online registration for Pre-Orientation opens in the beginning of June. Students register through the same Application Status page for any of the eight programs.

Each program has a maximum number of participants. Programs with more registrants than capacity will use a random selection process to fill spots. Your student will be asked to rank a minimum of three program choices. If they do not get into their first-choice program, they will be placed in one of their other two choices. While we cannot guarantee students a spot in the program of their choice, we can guarantee them a spot in one of the eight programs. The fee for all programs is $425. Fees are prorated for students on financial aid based on aid percentages.

We send students an email in mid-June with information about their placement(s) in the Pre-Orientation program and the processes for confirmation and payment.

How much does Pre-Orientation cost?

Program fees are determined by the percentage of financial assistance your student receives from Tufts. Costs range from $0-$425. This award in no way affects their overall financial assistance package. If cost is a prohibiting factor for your student, please contact preorientation@tufts.edu so we can explore options with them.

How does my student become a Pre-Orientation Leader?

The time frame for hiring Pre-Orientation Leaders varies for each program, beginning with hiring Program Coordinators in December - February, and then Leaders and Support Staff (if applicable) February - April. If your student is interested in one of these positions, we recommend they reach out to the programs directly for details.

What is Undergraduate Orientation?

Our goal for Undergraduate Orientation at Tufts is to introduce new students to their peers, upper-class students, faculty, staff, and the many Tufts’ services available to them as they begin their college journey. Everyone at Tufts is here to help your student and family understand the expectations and opportunities students encounter as members of the Tufts community. You can find examples of the orientation schedule and programs on the Orientation website, which is updated throughout the spring and summer.

My student isn’t finding a sense of community at Tufts. What can they do to make friends or get involved?

Tufts has a number of opportunities for students to build relationships with peers in their residence hall, classes, and beyond! In addition to the network they build through common academic interests and through events held in their residence hall, a wide variety of student organizations exist across many different topics and areas of interest. We also host a Student Organizations Fair each fall. Most groups have formal, elected roles, and many host open meetings and events for students to join or attend freely or irregularly throughout the year. At the start of the year, all students will be required to register on  JumboLife, the Tufts student engagement platform, where they will be able to explore student organizations and events in greater depth.

My student says they’re bored. Where can they go to find things to do?

Often when we hear from students that they’re bored, it’s because they’re not aware of the resources to find campus events. With over 300 student organizations, 100+ Resident Assistants (RAs) in the residence halls offering programs, and countless other groups and departments hosting events across campus, there’s always something to do! We register over 600 student-run events each academic year!

Campus events can be found on the JumboLife Events Calendar, and campus-wide events planned by the Tufts University Social Collective can be found at tusc.tufts.edu. From weekly Film Screenings to carnivals and concerts, there’s always something to do on campus. Examples of popular events run by student organizations include open mic nights, comedy shows, theater performances, speaker panels, concerts, cultural celebrations, fundraisers for local charities.

My student is looking to attend a ticketed event. How do they get a ticket?

Students can purchase tickets for student organization and department events through TuftsTickets. Each student creates a user account and can purchase tickets online with a credit card or at the Campus Center Information Booth with cash or JumboCash. Many tickets on Tufts Tickets are free!

All TuftsTickets are non-transferable and non-refundable. If your student is having issues or concerns with their ticket account, including questions regarding credit card charges, the student must email (do not call) ocl@tufts.edu so that the issue can be resolved. Because the system is account-based, individual information can not be given to parents, even if the credit card on their account belongs to a parent or guardian.

Where can my student find on-campus social spaces outside their residence hall?

The Mayer Campus Center is a hub of social life at Tufts. Our game room has TVs, ping pong, pool, board games, as well as multiple dining options, the bookstore, meeting and study rooms, and a multi-use space known as Hotung Cafe. There’s always something happening in the building. It’s also a great place to relax or grab a coffee with a friend between classes. The Information Booth is also housed in the building and is a great place to get questions answered, purchase postage stamps, event tickets, discount AMC movie vouchers, and more!

My student was not very involved in high school. Can they still hold a leadership position on campus?

Student Leadership roles vary by organization, but we’ve found that most of the leaders have no prior experience running and organization or planning events. The Office for Campus Life is here to support student groups and ensure they have all the skills they need to do so effectively. Students can stop by the Office for Campus Life in the Mayer Campus Center for quick questions or setup a meeting with one of our staff members to discuss an idea they have in more depth by emailing ocl@tufts.edu.

Are there additional costs associated with participating or attending campus events and programs?

Tufts students pay a Student Activity Fee that is managed by the Tufts Community Union Treasury. They are responsible for distributing the funds to over 300 student organizations that host events, meetings, attend conferences, lectures, and speakers on campus. While most on-campus events are free, some events and programs have an added cost associated with them.

My student is interested in getting a job on campus. Where can they apply?

A number of departments across campus hire students to work part time throughout the academic year. These positions may be University funded or funded through a student’s Work Study awarded through their Financial Aid package. The Office for Campus Life is the Medford campus’ largest student employer, with as many as 50 student employees each semester, including building managers, event staff, and information booth attendants. For more information on campus jobs, your student should visit Handshake, Tufts’ job application and career platform.

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