SUNY Oswego’s Benn Delisle helps new students adjust to college life amid pandemic

Benn Delisle doing his work

Laker Leader Benn Delisle does work on the SUNY Oswego campus. Photo: Brian Rudman

OSWEGO, N.Y. — Every summer, SUNY Oswego’s new student orientation staff helps incoming freshmen and transfers adjust to life on campus. 

“We’re generally the first person you see on campus, the first person to put a face to the Laker,” said Benn Delisle, new student orientation team captain. “We have to be energetic, engaging, fun for new students.”

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, this year’s staff had to make some adjustments. 

“The complete model was changed,” Delisle said. 

Instead of the normal two day in person orientation, the staff who are also known as Laker Leaders, administered a six week online course via Blackboard, Delisle said. 

While it was not the normal way of doing things, it still allowed for Delisle to achieve his goals in this position. 

“I want to be able to help students because I was super nervous coming to school, and I wanted to be able to facilitate that change and help that transition,” Delisle said. 

Online may not be the best way to do this, but the Laker Leaders are still putting their best foot forward. Using zoom meetings, fun games and ice breakers, Delisle and the rest of the staff still made the effort to help new students transition, Delisle said. 

This may not have been a conventional summer for Laker Leaders, but Delisle still hopes that new students got one important thing out of it. 

“The main takeaway of orientation is becoming prideful in being an Oswego student and being a Laker,” Delisle said. “And that for the next four years you’re gonna be on this campus and it’s something you should be proud of and excited for.”