Experience of a Lifetime
Aug. 19, 2014
Chestnut Hill, Mass. - College orientation is a chance for new students to get an idea of where they will be spending the majority of their time for the next four years. It's a time where students can choose classes, meet some other students and get to know the campus. Boston College, following its unique and elite traditions, has a special program called First Year Experience Program (FYEP) which is a three-day, two-night program used to welcome new students to the Heights.
Each year, 42 upperclassmen are carefully selected and trained to be Orientation Leaders. Those chosen are highly motivated and qualified students who are involved in a wide range of activities and fully encompass the values of Boston College. Leaders are then taught the sectors of the program which are created to excite students about their college choice, as well as educate them on what it means to be an Eagle.
Following a BC football tradition almost 15 years old, senior kicker Joey Launceford and senior manager Spenser Rositano were selected as FYEP Orientation Leaders for the 2014 summer. Aside from Launceford and Rositano, other notable past BC football players who were also FYEP leaders include Matt Hasselbeck (1995), Josh Beekman (2005), Emmett Cleary and Ifeanyi Momah (2010).
The decision for Launceford came in pieces.
"When I first came to BC and went to orientation, I thought, 'Wow these people seem really cool, I think I would do well being an orientation leader.' But it wasn't until this fall when I decided I wanted to be around the team in the summer that I thought about applying to be an orientation leader, so I gave it a shot," Launceford explained.
Rositano decided to apply several months after he had to stop playing football due to medical reasons.
"I've enjoyed football, but in high school I also had time to be involved in a lot of things, like leadership, student council and clubs. I'm at one of the best schools in the country, so I wanted to make sure I got everything out of my experience," Launceford said.
Both student-athletes got more out of the experience than they initially expected.
"The most unexpected benefit about being an FYEP leader was that whenever I said something the freshman would really listen closely to what I said. At first it was scary that they were listening to me that closely, but I slowly understood just how excited they were to come to Boston College and get started," Rositano recalled.
Launceford loved being a leader, as he knew he would, but there were many different aspects of it.
"I saw parts and people that make up BC that I didn't realize were out there making this place the way it is," Launceford said. "I have a new appreciation for the FYEP and the amount of work that goes into those seven sessions.
"Throughout the country it's unparalleled because almost no other school with this small of an undergrad [9,100 student] has this big of a program. The appreciation for that and the kids that make up BC is amazing. When they pick the 42 leaders it's a diverse group of kids who come from different backgrounds, interests and styles. You realize the depth of BC and meet all these kids with these different stories," he continued.
Rositano's favorite thing about being an orientation leader was all of the relationships and friendships he came out of it with.
"I enjoyed learning - and hearing about each student's background and stories."
Launceford was fortunate enough to have an incoming freshman football player in his orientation group, wide receiver Gabreil McClary.
"We have this bond when we see each other on the field. It's deeper than just, How are practices going?' I'm asking, `How are YOU doing? Do you feel good about everything? Are you enjoying your time?' This orientation program is truly amazing."
As for continuing the tradition another year?
"I know there's another walk-on kicker, Jake Wilhelm, that expressed interest already. When I said I was doing it said he was thinking about the same thing. Spenser and I had a great experience," Launceford said.
Football Tradition of FYEP Orientation Leaders