5 Things to Know About Orientation

Throughout the summer, East Carolina University will welcome incoming students to campus for orientation. During the two-day experience, students and their parents will learn all about campus and being a Pirate. Here are five things to know about orientation!

1. Getting Acquainted

When attending orientation, students will stay in Greene Residence Hall, located in the West End Neighborhood, and any parents attending who choose to stay on campus will reside in Cotten Hall, located in the Central Campus Neighborhood.

Marisa Suedbeck and Aniah Attkinson welcome people.

Marisa Suedbeck and Aniah Attkinson welcome people walking into the Main Campus Student Center during orientation.

Students and parents staying in the residence halls should remember to bring pillowcases, a blanket and toiletries. Sheets are provided. Orientation assistant Marisa Suedbeck also recommends bringing shower shoes (the residence hall bathrooms are communal style), sunscreen, a rain jacket, comfortable walking shoes and a water bottle to stay hydrated — Greenville gets hot in the summer!

When navigating campus, orientation assistants will be strategically located around campus to direct students and parents and answer any questions. There are also signs around campus that can help get students to the correct buildings.

It is also highly recommended that attendees download the ECU Guides app, which has the most up-to-date information on orientation scheduling and a map of campus. If all else fails — use GPS!

During orientation, the Main Campus Student Center dining locations will be open. In addition to Starbucks, Raising Canes, Au Bon Pain, Panda Express and the Pirate Market, students will be given dining cards that can be used at the West End Dining hall. Orientation assistants recommend trying the dining hall since students will use them after moving to campus this fall.

On the second day of orientation, students will be able to pick up their 1 Cards. An email was sent to students with information on how to upload a picture for their 1 Card. This card provides access to ECU buildings, contains meals and bucks and is used to enter the dining halls. Cards can also be picked up at the beginning of the fall term or mailed to home addresses.

2. New Faces

Orientation is a great time to meet new friends. At your orientation session, you will be divided into groups with other incoming students. You will spend a lot of time during your session with this group, so get to know them! Everyone is learning together, so do not be afraid to expand your horizons with new friends.

While attending orientation, students are given lanyards to wear. These lanyards are color coded showing what region of the United States a student is from. Take this opportunity to interact with students from your region or step out of your comfort zone and strike up a conversation about the different areas in which you live!

Parents should get to know other parents as well. College is a new experience for both students and parents, so parents will need to build their support system as well. Use the parent lounge located on the second floor of the Main Campus Student Center to get to know others!

“It can be scary to come in knowing no one,” said Allison Winters, an academic advisor for the College of Engineering and Technology. Winters works with incoming students to create their schedules and advise them on what paths can be taken while at ECU.

3. Advising

“Bond with your advising team as well,” said Winters. Academic advisors make sure students are in the right courses for their programs, but are also a helping hand on campus. Winters emphasizes the importance of faculty and staff bonds and wants incoming students to know advisors are here to assist you academically, but they can also be a person to lean on personally.

“Meeting students at orientation creates that initial bond,” said Winters. “Even if I am not that student’s assigned advisor, they may see me on campus or stop into my office just to chat because we already interacted during their initial advising session during orientation. Being a friendly face that they remember can be important to incoming students.”


ECU is hosting 10 orientation sessions for new students and family members this summer.
Remaining sessions with open seats are:
July 11-12
July 13-14
July 18-19
Registration is open via PiratePort.

Advising sessions on the second day of orientation are the times to ask questions about your schedule, classes or major. Advisors are there to make sure you are comfortable and ready to step into a classroom on the first day of classes.

4. Activities

Each orientation session will have time dedicated for the Involvement Fair in the Eakin Student Recreation Center. While attending this fair, students will have the opportunity to meet with representatives from a variety of student organizations and campus departments.

“Tabling is a representation of what ECU has to offer,” said Student Government Association Vice President Emily Yates. “Students need to find what organizations they (might want to) belong to.”

Throughout orientation, students will hear about the importance of getting involved and stepping out of their comfort zones. Summer Warmack of service sorority Epsilon Sigma Alpha agrees.

“Campus organizations help students make friends and get comfortable on campus,” said Warmack. “I want incoming students to give all different kinds of organizations a chance and talk to people personally to feel out what they like for themselves.”

With around 500 student organizations on campus, it can feel overwhelming not only to new students, but their parents as well.

“If he needs time to adjust or he is 100% in, I will support him,” said Andrea Bernatowicz, who attended orientation with her son. “I just want whatever he feels comfortable with.”

“There needs to be a good balance between academics and activities,” said fellow parent Diane Graci. “I don’t want my child to come to campus and feel overwhelmed trying to do everything, I just want them to know about available amenities.”

At the end of the night, make sure to attend “A Pirate’s Night for Me!” in Mendenhall and the Eakin Student Recreation Center. There will be entertainment and fun activities beginning at 8 p.m. 

5. Campus Culture

ECU — like all college campuses — has traditions and superstitions. Each orientation session begins with a presentation by orientation assistants of a few traditions. Learn chants like “Purple! Gold!” and songs such as “E.C. Victory” with fellow students and parents.

Walking on campus? Watch where you step! Make sure to remember that as a student at ECU, never walk under the cupola, or risk not graduating in four years. Students take different paths through the center of the lawn on campus to avoid this bad luck.

Get ready to learn about how Pirates give “No Quarter” to athletic opponents. When the “No Quarter” flag replaces the Jolly Roger, it signals that Pirates will take no prisoners and show no mercy to their enemies. At the beginning of the fourth quarter of football games, the Jolly Roger flag is replaced with a red “No Quarter” flag that is flown for the remainder of the game as a reminder to opponents that ECU shows no mercy and will fight until the very end.

Students will be able to cheer on the football team from The Boneyard, the basketball teams alongside the “Minges Maniacs” in Minges Coliseum, and the baseball team from The Jungle at Clark-LeClair Stadium. ECU is excited to teach incoming Pirates about its pride in athletics and encourages students to attend the athletics breakout session to learn all about the Student Pirate Club and how to get tickets for games.

Orientation is the first step towards success as a Pirate, and ECU is so excited to welcome the Class of 2026 to campus. Go Pirates!

Hannah Eccleston is a rising senior in the School of Communication at ECU and an intern with ECU News Services.

Related: Incoming student checklist — Fall 2022