UVA’s Orientation Leaders Learn about OpenGrounds

Summer orientation is a memorable experience for every incoming first year at UVA. It is a few days where excitement, freedom and ambition merge into one feeling while touring UVA’s storied grounds. Those giving the tours are some of the university’s most involved and active students- ranging from CIO leaders to band members, each has achieved something unique that has broadened their experience of what it means to be a Wahoo.

As these Orientation Leaders (OL’s for short) guide to-be first years through Grounds, they are sure to mention the libraries, Central Grounds, and the Rotunda (which is sadly, currently under construction). This year, for the first time since OpenGrounds’ opening in 2012, OL’s will also know to mention OpenGrounds–its mission and offerings for current students of all levels of their education.

Following an introduction by Lindsey Helper, OpenGrounds’ Program Manager, current OpenGrounds interns were present to answer questions and highlight their roles in facilitating the space’s purpose and day-to-day activities.

The most common question was around OpenGround’s mission:

“OpenGrounds generates new ideas that will make a difference, connecting people and inspiring action across boundaries within and beyond the University. With programs that connect diverse individuals and groups in physical places and global networks, OpenGrounds builds creative, collaborative partnerships between individuals and institutions to generate innovative solutions for critical societal needs.”

On paper, this could be confusing to some and might beg the question of what OpenGround’s day-to-day activities would look like. Lindsey put it nicely:

“OpenGrounds is a space where groups from varying parts of UVA and the community come together to meet and work on projects that are interdisciplinary in nature.”

If you are a current student, a prospective one, a member of the community or the faculty, you can participate in OpenGrounds’ mission and work on interesting projects with well-rounded people. To find out more, visit our website.


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