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Monarch Experience

It's all about M.E.

Monarch Experience is about getting connected, gaining experiences, developing skills, and having fun! It's the perfect way to start your journey as a Monarch - and it's one of the best 'first' things you can do when you get to campus. It really is "All about M.E.!"



ODU and Leadership & Student Involvement provide a variety of leadership opportunities for students. These include programs, retreats, services and publications to assist students and organizations in the exploration and refinement of their leadership abilities and preparation to become active citizens in the community.


Freshman Summer Institute is a three-day intensive leadership program for incoming ODU freshmen held during the summer. FSI builds on the leadership skills of our new students and provides them with a jump-start to becoming acclimated to campus. The students participate in meals with faculty, staff and current leaders, a hands-on service project and many leadership experiences.


The Emerging Monarchs phase of the Comprehensive Leadership Program focuses on the self and transitions into leadership within the community and student organizations. The program includes workshops, various co-curricular activities, an overnight retreat, and an online forum.


The Academic Integrity Council, an initiative of the Office of Student Conduct & Academic Integrity, hears academic integrity cases; decides if students have violated the Code of Student Conduct; and, if violations have occurred, assigns sanctions. Council members commit to being available for two-hour period each week for Council trainings and hearings. Interested in this leadership opportunity - send an email to oscai@odu.edu

Service & Civic Engagement

Old Dominion University values the impact that Monarchs can have on the community - both on-campus and off-campus. Students connect with service and volunteer opportunities in many ways. The Center for Service and Civic Engagement is a great place to start - their great relationships with many agencies in Hampton Roads makes them a useful tool when trying to connect with a service event.


Freshman Service Experience is an optional pre-Week of Welcome event that introduces incoming freshmen to the Monarch Spirit of Service & Civic Engagement. Students move into their housing assignment one day early and spend the next day learning about the importance of service and giving back by volunteering a couple of hours at a local non-profit.


The Alternative Breaks program provides students with opportunities to spend their spring break or a long weekend providing service to others outside of our local community. Through this program, students are given a unique opportunity to travel and immerse themselves in a community to gain perspective on societal issues that would be difficult to replicate on campus. While completing short-term service projects students will be able to experience and reflect on issues such as poverty, the environment, homelessness, literacy, and animal rescue/rights.

Student Organizations

ODU hosts more than 300 student organizations, providing students an opportunity to expand their growth and learning through leadership, service, and socializing with a diverse group of peers.

Student Organizations register each year with the university, are entirely student-led, and are advised by a faculty/staff member. Getting involved and joining a student organization will provide you with unique and fun opportunities to enhance your academic growth as well as your overall Monarch experience. With such a wide range of options, there's bound to be one just for you!

Students use Monarch Link to join student organizations by clicking the "Join Now" button on an organzation's Monarch Link site.

Check out more on student organizations and browse the directory!

Recreation & Wellness

There are many ways to get involved with initatives targeted at physical recreation and overall wellness! The Office Recreation and Wellness is about allowing the Modern Mind to thrive in a charged atmosphere, where life overflows with activity, sport and movement of all kinds. Fitness and wellness, adventure, sport clubs and intramural programs - whatever moves you, you can find it here at the Student Recreation Center in the heart of campus. Addtiionally, the office of Health Promotions often works hand-in-hand with wellness initiatives across campus. See the options below for Monarch Experiences that keep you healthy and active!


Join a small group of first year students as you select from a multitude of wellness activities including customized workouts, nutritional taste-testing, wellness strategies for a balanced life, and tons of fun! Everyone participating receives their very own electronic tracking fitness watch! The watch tracks a variety of activities such as workouts, sleep, calories, and more! Groups are led by our enthusiastic Wellness Team and meet four times during the first half of the semester. Sign-up on Monarch Link TODAY!


Are you interested in sports and developing your potential as a leader? Consider joining the Sport Club Connexions Program! The Sport Club Connexions Program is a multi-tiered program that helps students learn about their leadership style, learn how to lead a diverse group of people effectively, and how to apply their knowledge in the greater community. Sign-up on Monarch Link starting August 1!


Join the Outdoor Adventure Program in the adventure of a lifetime this summer. Let our us lead you on an exciting adventure to surf the Outer banks of North Carolina or backpack and rock climb the pristine wilderness of Shenandoah National Park. Designed specifically for new students, First Ascent will push you to the limits, teach you exciting new skills, and give you the chance to meet outstanding people. If you love the outdoors, enjoy meeting new people, or just have a passion for adventure, sign up for First Ascent. Adventure On!


Surf and Yoga at the Virginia Beach Oceanfront (June 28)

Forget the coffee! Start your morning right with an early morning Yoga and Surf session! We will leave ODU bright and early to begin our morning learning yoga and stretching techniques and hitting the great surf with full force at the ocean front! No experience necessary as our trip leaders will help you in learning the waves and teach you how to get up on your board. We will also bring stand up paddleboards for anyone who wants to give those a try!Trip includes leaders, transportation, and surf boards.

Back Bay Paddling (July 26)

Join us as we take a nice and relaxing guided kayak tour, paddling through Back Bay. We will enjoy wildlife, the open skies and enjoy the quiet peace of the water during this adventure. The trip includes transportation, boat launch fees, instruction, kayaks, equipment and trip leaders.

Kayak at Whitehurst (August 2)

Join us as we take a nice and relaxing kayak tour, paddling through Norfolk's Lafayette River. The trip leaves from ODU campus and winds through the Lafayette River ending at the Virginia Zoo.Trip includes leaders, transportation, and kayaks.

Campus Employment

Getting a job on campus is a fantastic way to meet people and garner workplace skills all at the same time! There are campus employment opportunities across all aspects of the university. Practically every office on campus employs students to assist them in the day-to-day opratations of the office. Explore the many student employment options today!


The Learn and Earn Advantage Program (LEAP) is an on-campus work program that allows eligible 1st year undergraduate students the opportunity to earn money and gain valuable job-related skills during Fall and Spring semesters.

Fraternitiy & Sorority Life

Since 1966, fraternities and sororities have been a part of tradition and campus life at ODU. Each chapter is unique and offers an amazing experience of brotherhood and sisterhood that is unmatched by any other student organization. ODU fraternity and sorority members strive for high academic excellence and provide scholastic assistance to their members through tutoring, academic coaching, scholarships and awards. Our Greek lettered organizations are actively involved in community service events and are committed to serving others and giving back.

The fraternity and sorority experience is designed to develop leadership skills valued long after college. Fraternity and sorority life contributes to the development of social skills, interpersonal relations, communication skills, time management and self-confidence. It's also a lot of fun!


ODU celebrates the diversity of its students and is committee to helping Monarch become global citizens. There are many ways for student to get involved in exploring diverse cultures, environments, and identities.

Several student organizations have been created to highlight the diversity of campus - explore our student organizations directory to find an organization that celebrates diversity - just like you!

Also, check out the following event hosted by the Office of Intercultural Relations:


Friday August 15, 2014 - 10AM-5PM

This is a one-day program designed to welcome and to provide global engagement opportunities for new ODU students while exploring Norfolk, their new hometown. Registration is limited to the first 40 students who sign up. Register here.


Getting engaged on campus doesn't always mean that you have to stray too far from your academic studies - in fact, the best involvement opportunities are the ones that you're able to link back to your classes in some way or another. Below are some Monarch Experience options that are directly linked to your academic interests.


Being an Honors College graduate is a prestigious accomplishment, one that is viewed favorably by graduate schools and potential employers everywhere.

Honors College courses are offered in a small class setting with some of the best faculty members on campus who emphasize innovation and individualized instruction. These courses are not designed to be more difficult or time-consuming but to deepen and refine the undergraduate experience.


Housing & Residence Life staff members provide a learner-centered environment conducive to the academic success of students through an intentional Living-Learning Community program. Living-Learning Communities provide students the opportunity to live and engage with other students who have similar academic and co-curricular interests.

The following options are university courses (for credit) found in the course catalog:

UNIV 100
Learn the survival skills to succeed at ODU. Enroll in this 1-credit course to learn how to navigate the university.

A 1-credit class that serves an an introduction to the causes and effects of natural disasters such as earthquakes and hurricanes.

A 1-credit class that will help you discover how you can work from your strengths and accomplish more. You will learn techniques to develop your leadership style.

Performing Arts

The arts community is a thriving one at ODU! Whether you join the cast of a theatre production or join an ensemble in the music department, you will express your creative side and jumpstart your Monarch Experience all at the same time!

Check out all the opportunities with Arts @ ODU!


Now that you've picked something to be your Monarch Experience, it's time to luanch your Co-Curricular Transcript and record your ME!

Your Co-Curricular Transcript (CCT) will assist you in tracking all of your involvement during your time as a Monarch. The CCT is managed via Monarch Link - your online tool for getting involved!

Many ME options are already listed in Monarch Link - and your participation is automatically recorded. However, if your ME is not autmotically listed in Monarch Link, you can record it yourself!

To learn how to make sure your Monarch Experience has been recorded, check out the helpful guides in the Files section on Monarch Link.

Or, watch this How-To Video for a step-by-step guide!


Click below to read examples of other students' Monarch Experiences

"Leadership is ME!"

Student Government is something that I will cherish for a lifetime!

- Christopher, Sophomore

"Emerging Monarchs is ME!"

A great step towards making great connections!

- Amanda, Sophomore

"Campus Employment is ME!"

The LEAP program really helped me with getting that "A" - it has been great!

- Te-Etta, Junior

"Fraternity Life is ME!"

Getting involved has been one of the best decisions of my life - I love ODU!

- Isaiah, Sophomore

"Service is ME!"

My time volunteering with my student organization In Support of Children has helped me love every minute of being a Monarch!

- Barbara, Sophomore