Jennifer Moranchel ’19 keenly remembers her freshman orientation at Linfield College. Her parents, natives of Puebla, Mexico, had a hard time keeping up with all of the complex information and schedules being discussed in English.
“My parents were asking me [in Spanish], ‘What are they saying? What are they saying?’,” she remembers. “I said, ‘I need to take in the info too, and then I can let you know what’s going on!’ … It was a very stressful event, and I don’t think they [her parents] got … closure.”
To provide that closure, and to better support Latinx students and their parents, Linfield has offered a Spanish-language orientation session for the past three years. This year the Spanish-language orientation was held on Thursday, Aug. 24, in Ice Auditorium.
“I think the Spanish orientation is a wonderful experience,” Moranchel says. This is the first year she is volunteering with the Spanish-language orientation. “This is a really meaningful thing, to come and help other families, come and have that transition point.”
Israel Fregoso ’19 took the lead as the student organizer for the Spanish-language orientation this year. He did so as part of Linfield College Latinx Adelante, an organization within Multicultural Programs, to assist self-identified Hispanic/Latinx/Chicanx students in making their student and college life a comfortable, accepting, and culturally responsive experience.
His work included organizing all of the presenters, working with other students and faculty, contacting all of the volunteers and calling all 36 new Latinx students to personally invite them to the Spanish-language orientation.
His hope for the orientation is “to tear down barriers here at Linfield,” Fregoso says. “For us to make that effort, to cross the threshold, to make an orientation program in Spanish so parents will feel more included in the Linfield family means they’ll be much more aware of the resources they have available to them as parents.”
He continued, “It’s stressful, even as a parent who is an English speaker and who was raised here. I hope that they will feel more at ease leaving their students here.”
“This orientation is a testament to Linfield’s openness and making everyone feel welcome,” Fregoso concluded. “Every year, I feel it’s just getting better and better.”