There was slight irony in the way Jordan Orayfig became the General Chair of New Student Orientation. The opening weekend, which all incoming students experience upon their arrival to Alden Street, has a vibe that is hardly subtle. Throughout the four days, leaders lose themselves (and their voices) in a frenzy of skits, cheers and East Campus adventures.
This year’s NSO had just ended, and current General Chair of New Student Orientation Bethany Boyle, and Orayfig were having lunch in the Richard B. Flynn Campus Union. Surrounded by an array of newly purchased textbooks and school supplies, Boyle said that she had a question for Orayfig before they went to get their food.
“She’s just looking at Dunkin Donuts and gives me one of these,” Orayfig imitates, turning his head quickly with an expression that was dead serious. “How would you like to be the Chair of NSO this year?”
The nonchalant passing down of the highest NSO role didn’t even compare to the excitement expressed over that previous weekend about an undersized wagon painted red. Orayfig, however, was plenty stunned with the question. When the words finally sunk in, he replied with an emphatic yes.
“I felt like I had just been asked to be President of the United States,” he recalled.
Orayfig, a junior from Delmar, N.Y., is studying Health Sciences and Rehabilitation with a concentration in Physical Therapy.
He admits that with such a heavy class load, there are plenty of hours spent in the library. Piling the responsibilities of NSO chair on top of his education fills his days quickly. Throughout his collegiate schooling, however, Orayfig has become used to the juggling act.
Even when summer arrives he continues to wear multiple hats. At a local YMCA, he split his time between personal training and lifeguarding. He also enjoyed earning some cash with his own two hands, painting and remodeling houses for a local contractor.
When asked for the source of all this energy, Orayfig jokingly answered coffee.
“A lot of the energy I have comes from the fact that I love what I’m doing,” Orayfig explained. “I don’t do stuff unless I absolutely I love it.”
There are of course other qualities that make Orayfig the ideal fit for the job. His predecessor, Boyle, points out personality as a key component to filling the role successfully.
“[He] is not too aggressive when it comes to giving his input and making a point to others,” said the former chair. “Yet [he is] very easygoing and accepting to what everyone has to offer.”
It isn’t difficult to detect the passion in Orayfig’s voice when reflecting on NSO. He comments on what he feels are the most desirable aspects of the weekend. He strongly believes that the diversity skit delivered by various leaders genuinely hits home with most of the kids. He describes the sense of joy he receives witnessing one of his “NSOer’s” become more comfortable within the group.
“Being able to get them to be enthusiastic about everything is literally the greatest feeling in the world,” said Orayfig. “Just seeing them be themselves, that’s all you can ask for.”
Now, the group of people he is responsible for has grown by the hundreds. The first stage of Orayfig’s reign calls for replenishing the staff with roughly 80 leaders. So far the board, which Orayfig claims could not have been put together better, has received 150 applications, an all-time high.
Boyle relayed a message that she received months back.
“You have been chosen as general chair for a reason. We know you can look at this program as a whole, seeing the bigger picture on everything.”
Since he was in the shoes of the current applicants, Orayfig has gotten the bigger picture.
“The second I heard, ‘Hey, you want to be an NSO Leader?’ [I thought] if I could make this impact that my leaders made on me to somebody else, why wouldn’t you want to do that?”