Office of Student Life: Creating the Extraordinary Student Experience

About the OWL Program

Are you interested in being part of the excitement of Move In Day 2018?  If so, you may want to consider becoming an OWL! Every year we recruit over a thousand of OWLs to move-in early and prepare their residence halls and build community.  We encourage you to submit an application if you do not already have plans to return to campus for another early arrival program.  The OWL program is a great way for students to become part of the OSU Family and get a jump start into Autumn Semester!


Why should you become an OWL?

  • Meet new people
  • Move in before your roommates
  • Build lasting relationships
  • Free T-Shirt!

OWL Program Description/Purpose 

The Ohio State Welcome Leader program strives to provide a developmental and enriching early arrival experience through student connection, service to others, and embodying tradition and school spirit. 

Points of Pride: 

  • Cultivate your understanding of everyday leadership, including connecting and collaborating with others in a team environment.  
  • Familiarize yourself with campus resources and involvement opportunities 
  • Engage in an early arrival experience. 

Dates of OWL Program (Dates may be subject to change):

  • OWL Co-Chair Dates: May 2018 - August 18
  • OWL Area Coordinator Dates: August 11 - 18
  • OWL Coordinator Dates: August 13-18
  • OWL Program Dates: August 16 - 18


How is the OWL Program organized?

The OWL Leadership team is led by the Program Coordinator for Involvement & Leadership for Residence Life, Leah Wheeler. The team is made up of 2 Graduate Assistants and 2 student Co-Chairs. They are responsible for the recruitment, planning, and implementation for the OWL Program. 

The Co-Chairs oversee a group of 8 student Area Coordinators. These students are responsible for specific areas of campus, and supervise the OWL-Coordinators. There are approximately 140 OWL-Coordinators, who are each assigned a residence hall and a “flock” of OWLs. The OWL Coordinators arrive to campus the Monday before Move-In Day to go through training on leadership development and how to do their job once OWLs arrive. This training includes learning about problem solving skills, how to communicate effectively, meaningful facilitation, guidelines for meeting with their flocks, and how to have a difficult conversation. Other activities we provided for OWL-Cs include a networking lunch with professionals on campus, socio cultural conversations after watching a movie at Gateway, learning more about the 9 dimensions of wellness, and leadership sessions that focused on different aspects of leadership and had a variety of professionals across campus presenting. 

There are approximately 1,550 OWLs that arrive on the Thursday before Move-In Day. They go through team building Thursday night with their flocks and then enjoy a social and active event called Hoot Fest as a thank you for the work they will do. OWLs go through a day long training on Friday that includes OWL building training in flocks in the morning, a leadership development session, and a break in the rotation for students to take care of personal necessities.  

On Saturday, Move-In Day, the entire OWL Program reports to their assigned locations on campus for their assigned shift. OWLs do not get released until the Communications and Logistics Manager, Aubrie Smith, gives the order. The OWL Leadership Team will communicate with their Area Coordinators to give this order at the end of the day.  


 For more information, please contact Leah Wheeler, Program Coordinator for Involvement and Leadership in Residence Life at