By Katie Montei

New Staff Meet in Madison

For almost two weeks every summer new staff come to Orientation for New Staff (ONS) in Madison, Wisconsin. Their time is spent training for their new position with InterVarsity and connecting with other staff. Every new staff member must complete ONS in their first two years of staff.

Making Connections
Some of the staff who came to ONS this year had been on campus for a year already. But even those who were coming off a year of staff work felt that ONS would help to build their understanding of and connection with the wider movement.

Connecting to other staff workers is an invaluable aspect of ONS. Megan, who is staffing an International student chapter said, “I get excited about taking things away from ONS – getting to know other people are doing the same thing across the country as me.”

Fundraising Anxieties
InterVarsity staff are required to fundraise their own salary. In order for staff to start spending time on campus they must first raise a certain amount of their support.

Many staff noted their anticipation about the fundraising training that takes place during ONS. Given the hard economic times, raising money so that they are able to work on campus is a concern. Almost all of the staff expressed the hope that ONS would help to put some of their concerns to rest about fundraising.

Alicia, a staff worker at Grand Valley State University in Michigan, explained that Michigan is being hit extra hard financially. “I am hoping that I am encouraged with fundraising, and take away some creative ideas,” she said. The staff spend one evening using the phones at the National Service Center (NSC) to fundraise – sharing a phone with one other new staff so that they can support and encourage each other during their phone conversations.

A Bigger Movement
ONS also gives new staff the opportunity to understand that the role of the NSC is to support them and their ministry. InterVarsity is a large movement that while unified, also has many branches. The NSC connects staff to the rest of the movement and also the wider public.

At ONS the NSC hosts a picnic for the new staff. Afterwards the staff walk through each department, learning about the different roles of the national office. Those who work at the NSC hope the new staff leave the office understanding the role of the national office, and also the breadth and depth of the movement. The day is a welcome break from their busy ONS schedule.

InterVarsity is blessed to have new staff who are excited and motivated by their work. Their dedication brings transformation to students, chapters, and campuses across the country.