Old Gold: The orientation manual
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(Editor's note: The Old Gold series provides a look at University of Iowa history and tradition through images housed in University Archives, Department of Special Collections.)
Where would we be without instruction manuals? Uncrating that new washing machine, that big new LCD screen, that new desktop: all come with operator’s instructions that help us navigate our way through the mysteries of spin cycles and input controls.
Given the bewildered expressions on the faces of many new students who arrive in Iowa City each August, why should college education be any different? Ergo, the orientation handbook, at your service at the University of Iowa since at least the 1930s.
Old Gold pulled a few old copies out of the file cabinet and offers some advice for you young'uns who are still unpacking, 1966 style:
“A charge of $4 will be made for replacing the Identification Card and $4 for replacing the Certificate of Registration. A penalty, such as suspension of activity privileges for the period of issue, or a specified shorter period, may be imposed on any student who loses either card or allows either of them to be used by any other person.”
“Typically, courses offered at 8:30 a.m., 9:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. are assigned first. Therefore, the course sections may be closed by the time you register. It is recommended that you avail yourself of 7:30 a.m. and afternoon classes whenever possible in order to avoid conflict of scheduling later.”
Got that? Prepare for 7:30, budding scholars. Old Gold survived them, and so can you.
The handbook—or guide or manual—remains an indispensable tool for first-year students. But an 82-page booklet, circa 1963, doesn’t compare with the content that today’s guide offers: one cool gigabyte of information, stashed away on a flash drive you can snap around your wrist. This year for the first time the Office of Orientation Services is offering the guide on a stick. Chances are Old Gold will soon file the 2012 edition on a server instead of in a file cabinet.
Got courses? Fill out the chart and you’re all set for the semester, thanks to the handy 1959 edition of Herky Hints, the new student orientation manual. Image from Subject Vertical File Collection (RG 01.15.03), Miscellaneous category, folder “Freshman orientation,” University Archives, Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.
Orientation Registration Guidecover, 1966. Image from Subject Vertical File Collection (RG 01.15.03), Miscellaneous category, folder “Freshman orientation,” University Archives, Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.
The 2012 orientation guide is the first paperless “handbook” for incoming freshmen at the UI. Image from Accession 2012-83, University Archives, Department of Special Collections, University of Iowa Libraries.