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About UP Connections Mentorship

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ'S):

What is UP Connections?

UP Connections is a peer-mentorship program designed to support first generation, multicultural, out of state, LGBTQA+, underrepresented, 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 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+, underrepresented, or students of color, however all are welcome and encouraged to participate.

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 shift, adapt, and grow to the needs of our students. As a result we now have UP Connections a peer mentorship and retreat program. 

Can I participate in other pre-orientation programs (such as Service Plunge or FGEN) 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: 

  • Service Plunge 
  • HON 101 
  • AROTC 
  • International Student Orientation 
  • Leaven 

You will have to ultimately decide which one is the best fit for you. 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 versus 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 Coast at Rockaway Beach. 

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

Yes, students will return from the retreat Thursday morning of orientation (August 23rd, 2018). This will leave plenty of time to move in, get settled, and attend activities during orientation!

How are mentoring matches made?

As of 2018, mentoring partnerships are made using an online questionnaire available for students upon registration, beginning Monday, June 11th. Questionnaires shall be submitted by both new students and mentors. Matches will be made according to a variety 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 2 night program has a total cost of $150.00 and payment will be collected on our online registration page: Eventbrite (registration goes lives June 11th).  The costs of this program covers: meals, transportation, lodging and other expenses. Five full scholarships are available for those with financial need. Requests must be made before registering for the event. To make a request please contact t Yuri at

My parents will accompany me to UP, are there any events for parents?

Yes! The UP Connections program kicks off with a Welcome Lunch August 21st at 12PM in the Pilot House. Parents, families, friends, loved ones are welcome and encouraged to join us! After the Welcome Lunch we will depart for the retreat so make sure you are prepared to give your short goodbye's to your loved ones. During the retreat August 21st-August 23rd we have found that parents/families/friends enjoy eating, exploring and shopping (no sales tax) in the Portland area while you are away. In addition, when you return for Orientation Weekend there are activities planned for new students and their families, there will also be plenty of events dedicated to parents. This includes everything from the Parent & Family Social, Academic Meetings, to Parent Involvement Opportunities. For a full orientation schedule, click here.

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 Coast not California Coast after all), 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, 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 bagged). 

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, new students may move into their residence hall room beginning at 9AM. on the Thursday August 23rd of orientation weekend. So that means, the day we return from our retreat you will be able to move into your dorm. Your room keys is your student ID card. ID Cards will be issued and obtained at the Department of Public Safety. It is important to plan accordingly regarding move in and your stuff while you are away at the retreat. Please contact us at 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 two events 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!