About UP Connections Mentorship

Pre Orientation UP Connections Banner

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S):


What is UP Connections?

UP Connections is a yearlong peer-mentorship program designed to support first generation, multicultural, out of state, LGBTQA+, undocumented, historically underrepresented groups, and students of color adjust to their first year in college. The program provides connections, resources, and tools for incoming first year students. Students are carefully paired with mentors, attend a three-day, two night retreat prior to the orientation, and join a year long mentorship cohort group. These groups meet for social and academic events throughout the whole school year. 

Who should attend UP Connections?

Anyone is welcome to join the program! UP Connections is especially aimed to provide support for students who may be first generation college students, multicultural, out of state, LGBTQA+, undocumented, historically underrepresented groups, and students of color, however all are welcome and encouraged to participate.

What if I just want to participate in the retreat and not the yearlong mentorship program?

UP Connections is a yearlong mentorship program that is kicked off with the overnight retreat. It was designed to support first year students with their transitions to college. Therefore, yearlong participation is required. You will not be able to attend the retreat without a commitment to the yearlong mentorship program.  

I have family/friends who have participated in the Ohana program in previous years, what happened to that program?

Great question! Beginning in the 2017-2018 school year, the Ohana program went through restructuring, rebranding, and changes to make it a more inclusive and supportive program that aims to meet the needs of a wider variety of students. As we continue to get students from all walks of life we want to ensure our programs shifts, adapts, and grows to the needs of our students. As a result we now have UP Connections: a  yearlong peer mentorship and retreat program. 

Can I participate in other pre-orientation programs such as Plunge Into Your Neighborhood in addition to UP Connections?

Due to time conflicts between pre-orientation programs, students may only participate in one program. The following pre-orientation programs are at a conflict with UP Connections and you will not be able to participate in both: 

  • Plunge Into Your Neighborhood
  • HON 101 
  • AROTC 
  • AFROTC 
  • International Student Orientation (exceptions may occur with approval of the Office of International Students)

Feel free to reach out to the various programs, ask questions, to help determine what will work best for you and your needs. 

How is UP Connections different from the New Student Orientation?

All incoming students are required to attend New Student Orientation, whereas UP Connections has limited space and is a cohort model. The UP Connections program offers a unique experience in that it provides opportunities for students with diverse backgrounds to begin forming connections with one another and with their mentor, get exposure to resources on campus, and build support prior to orientation weekend. Students will be able to participate in ice breakers, games, reflective small group activities, and discussions – all the while getting to experience the beautiful Oregon scenery at a retreat site. 

Will I participate in the on-campus New Student Orientation program if I attend UP Connections?

Yes, students will return from the retreat Monday August 17, 2020. This will leave plenty of time to move in, get settled, and attend activities during Orientation!

How are mentoring matches made?

Mentoring partnerships are made using an online questionnaire available for students upon registration. Questionnaires are submitted by both new students and mentors. Matches are made according to a variety of factors, some of which include: student preferences, backgrounds, status, needs, interests, personality, etc.

What is the cost of attendance? Is there any financial aid for the program fee?

The three-day, two-night program has a total cost of $100.00 and payment is collected on our online registration page: Eventbrite. The costs of this program covers meals, transportation, lodging, and other expenses. Fee Waivers are available for those with financial need. Requests must be made before registering for the event. To make a request please contact Yuri at hernandy@up.edu.

My parents will accompany me to UP. Are there any events for parents?

Normally, Yes! However, given the impacts of COVID19 we are no longer able to host any welcome activities for family/loved ones of participants of this program. In the past we held a huge Welcome Lunch where participants, their family, loves ones, current students, student leaders, staff, faculty, Administration, and even the University President would attend this joyous welcome celebration. Although we will no longer be hosting this big welcome lunch we are working hard to make sure your loved ones/families feel included in this program despite not physically being able to gather. 

What should I bring to the retreat?

To prepare for the three-day, two-night retreat, it is recommended that students bring a few changes of comfortable clothes, a rain jacket (this is the Oregon weather-which is very unpredictable), comfortable shoes, toiletries, and a reusable water bottle. Some optional items may include a hat, sunscreen, sunglasses, card games, a camera, etc. Please note, we are not responsible for anything missing or stolen, so do not bring valuable possessions. With this in mind, we also ask that you please pack lightly, to ensure that everyone's belongings fit on the bus. Please keep your belongings down to one bag (think no bigger than a carry on size bag). 

When can I move into my dorm room? Where do I get my room key?

You may be asking yourself what do I do if I have all my stuff with me to move in? Where do I store this? Well, participants of UP Connections will have the ability to "drop and go" this means you will be able to get into your room to drop off your things (not move in your things) and go. This should be enough time to claim a bed/side of the room leave your things and get ready to take off for the retreat! New students may move into their residence hall room by appointment on Monday, August 17, 2020. So this means that you will be able to move into your dorm on the day we return from our retreat. Your room keys is your student ID card. ID Cards will be issued and obtained at the Department of Campus Safety. It is important to plan accordingly regarding move in while you are away at the retreat. Please contact us at upconnections@up.edu if you have further questions or require special accommodations. 

As a mentee, how often should I expect to see my mentor?

During the school year, mentors will be asked to plan and organize one event per month with their mentorship group. In addition to these, students may attend three socials/events throughout the year with the larger UP Connections group. Mentors and mentees are welcome to meet outside of these scheduled events if they wish!

Can I continue my relationship longer than one year?

Of course! Beyond the one year mark, mentor/mentee relationships continue based on the mutual interest of both parties. Officially, the program winds down after spring semester end of the year celebration. However, from our experience some of the best mentoring relationships continue well past the end of any formal, organizationally sanctioned timeframe. We even have former mentees and mentors return to serve as mentors the following school year. Students have the opportunity to apply and interview to be a mentor for the next cohort. There is even a lead student organizer position for the UP Connections program. In summary, we encourage you to stay involved!