Think you have what it takes to be an Avanti?

Think+you+have+what+it+takes+to+be+an+Avanti%3F

Jill Driver, a senior biology major, passes out pamphlets to incoming freshmen and their parents during an orientation session in the Ferguson ballroom Wednesday. / CW | Jerrod Seaton

Ashanka Kumari

With every new group of freshmen, there must be an older and more experienced group of students to prepare them for the year ahead. At the Capstone, these students are known as the Avanti Team, and it is time to sign up for the 2011 team.

The Avanti Team is a group of students who support the recruitment objectives of the University through service with Bama Bound Orientation sessions and other special programs throughout the academic year.

“It takes a unique student to be an Avanti. If you thrive on a team and love serving students, you will do great in this line of work,” Ally Martin, communications chair, said.

According to the organization’s website, the name “Avanti” comes from the Italian word for “forward,” as in “to go forward,” but what exactly do these almost 50 students do?

The Avanti Team takes new University of Alabama students and prepares them for their first year by helping them register for classes and also helps them meet new people through events such as pool parties and small group sessions during Bama Bound.

“Being an Avanti is about being dynamic, service-minded and professional,” Martin said.

Being an Avanti is like working an actual job for the students involved. “[During the summer] you actually end up working more than 40 hours a week, but having said that, it is probably the most fun job you’ll ever have,” Jill Driver, an Avanti programming chair, said.

“The Avanti Team works tirelessly to make sure the diverse needs of students are met in the best manner possible,” Jeremy Blount, Avanti 2011 academic chairperson, said.

Incoming students meet with their Avantis during summer Bama Bound sessions that help them get well oriented for their first year at the Capstone. Along with this, new students often keep in touch with their Avanti leaders long after Bama Bound sessions are over.

“Avantis are more than happy to assist students with questions or concerns that may arise throughout their first year at the University,” Blount said.

According to Mallory Miciek, assistant director of Orientation and Special Programs, Avantis also assist the office of Orientation and Special Programs with University Days, a day-long preview program for prospective students and their families. They also participate in weekly training sessions and the Southeastern Regional Orientation Workshop, which will be held at LSU this year.

Now, the Avantis are working on building their new team for the 2011 school year. Applications for admission into the Avanti 2011 Team are due in the Office of Orientation and Special Programs, Student Services Center Room 205 by 4 p.m. on Oct. 11. Group interviews will be conducted from Oct. 18-19 and individual interviews will be Oct. 27-29. The new team will be announced on Nov. 2.

“This is the first student involvement/leadership opportunity that a lot of students apply for, so it’s not required that you have prior activities that you were involved with. It’s very application friendly to freshmen, however, we also have juniors and seniors on the team,” Driver said.

“We have a saying— ‘AFL,’ or ‘Avanti For Life.’ Once you are a part of this family, you will never lose the love and support that our team provides. It is a summer like no other for those who are brave enough to apply,” Martin said.

For more information, visit orientation.ua.edu/avanti or contact the Office of Orientation and Special Programs at 205-348-4999.