HOTs brave the heat

WORK: Students volunteer to help freshman move in to UND.


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After last semester, I was left with many questions. Did I choose to live in the right place? Will I like my classes for the fall? What organizations should I join and who are my friends going to be?

These sound like problems a freshman would have, and believe me it was not a proud moment for me. In an effort to resolve some of these issues, I decided to sign up for the HOT team. I did not know it at the time, but it would be one of the best decisions I have made so far here at UND.

For those of you who do not know what HOT is, I will give you a quick overview. HOT, or “Hall Orientation Team,” is a group of volunteer students that help move in residents to the dorms as well as helping out with other Welcome Weekend events. HOT works with fraternities and sororities, student ambassadors and various other organizations around campus in an effort to make the new students’ first few weeks a memorable and welcoming time. In essence, we are the friendly people in the green “I <3 UND” shirts.

I joined HOT because I wanted to start getting involved around campus. Most of my friends from freshman year were either moving into a house off campus or transferring to another school. In all honestly, I was kind of left in the dark and realized that I needed to make more friends. A previous HOT team member suggested I join.  I took her advice and I am glad I did.

I have met some really great people through HOT. Everyone is friendly and outgoing. You can tell right away that people who join HOT really like UND and are always up to having a good time. When you are working with people like that,  you cannot help but enjoy the group you are involved in.

Volunteering was a rewarding experience. I was more involved and more aware of campus life as a member of HOT than I ever was before.

However, there are still some people who do not understand what that feels like. I had several people come up and ask me why I was doing all this work. Questions like: “You are not even getting paid?” and “Why would you volunteer to work so hard?” and “I would die if I had to do what you are doing,” spewed from several people’s mouths.

My response was the same each time. I simply said I was enjoying myself and it was all worth it.

Sure, the weather was not ideal. It was hot and sticky. I was sore in places I never knew I could be sore, and I am sure that I sweated more this weekend than I did after I ran a half marathon in June.

But these are all minor details.

The fun I had and the friendships I made will last longer than cramped muscles or a sweaty body.

So here is a shout-out to Casey, Miranda, Jacob, Adam, Meredith and all the other Central Planning Committee members who made HOT successful this year. I have made some great friends and had an awesome Welcome Weekend.

Here is my advice to all new freshmen out there — join something. Whether it is an intermural sport, a fraternity, a sorority or any of the other 275 student organizations UND has. I promise you will not regret it.

Mary Ochs is a staff writer for The Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]

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