Wake Forest Freshmen Get an ‘Irreverent’ Take on Orientation

Wake Forest U.

In the pages of Wake Forest’s hardcover orientation guide, students are introduced to the Demon Deacon, the university’s mascot.

Among the more playful suggestions Wake Forest University offers its first-year students is this: Be sure to keep a secret stash of double-roll toilet paper.

No, it’s not for those unexpected bathroom needs, but for a more recreational endeavor. After a victory by one of the college’s sports teams, students often cover the quad with TP. To ensure “maximum impact and tree coverage,” use the extra ply.

That’s a tip from Forestry 101, a 138-page hardcover book that Wake Forest hands out to all freshmen. Part campus guide, part keepsake, the publication is the university’s unusual attempt at ditching the stuffy orientation brochures for something more whimsical.

Forestry 101, which was first published five years ago, includes all the necessary details and deadlines a new student should know. But it also makes a point to illustrate quirky details of the university’s history and traditions, like the toilet-paper tip on a page devoted to “How to Toss Like a Boss” after a big athletic win. (Which, for the record, might as easily be an instruction guide for students with less baseball experience and weaker arms.)

As fun as it might be, in the age of the internet, is printing and mailing out a hardcover book really worthwhile?

Yes, according to Wake Forest students. In a recent survey, about 95 percent of them said the college should keep publishing it, and perhaps more importantly, they reported that their parents love it. One student noted that her mom likes it because it keeps her organized.

Sharing the ‘Essence’ of Wake Forest

The guidebook intentionally attempts to strike a “tongue in cheek” tone that’s “less institutional,” said Hayes Henderson, assistant vice president of creative…

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