The Columbia Outdoor Orientation Program (COÖP) is a pre-orientation program for first-year students in Columbia College (CC) and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science (SEAS). COÖP, a four-day camping trip, is an opportunity designed to help incoming students build a community with other first-year and current students. The COÖP experience is divided into three programs, hiking (HOP), biking (BOP), and river canoeing (ROP). Each program pairs a small group of first-year students with current Columbia students who serve as trip leaders and mentors for incoming students. COÖP leaders ensure safety on the trip and work to facilitate a fun and welcoming environment for new students from all backgrounds. All incoming CC/SEAS first-year students can apply to participate in COÖP, regardless of past camping, biking, hiking, or canoeing experience. Move-in for COÖP 2015 will take place on Wednesday, August 26, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. at the Van Am Quad. Each of the three trips leave the next morning, Thursday, August 27, 2015 and return to campus on Sunday, August 30, 2015. Instructions for move-in can be found here.
COÖP was started in the ancient year of 1984 by a small group of friends with the goal of sharing their love of the outdoors to incoming students (and perhaps getting the University to foot the bill for a hiking trip). The program began with a hiking trip (HOP), but it grew steadily from there. At its peak, HOP was taking over 150 students on its trip. We speculate that at this point (which was sometime in the early nineties) the coordinators of the trip put their heads together and decided to expand. Some people like hiking, but others like biking. Thus, the biking trip (BOP) was created. Soon the coordinators began to realize that while some people do not mind only having two choices, others prefer to have three. Some people like to hike, others like to bike, and still others like to canoe. And so, in 1998, the river canoeing trip (ROP) was created. And we have been happy ever since, trying to expand little by little, so that as much of the incoming class as possible can experience our beloved program, COÖP.
Program Application Information
Applications for 2015 COÖP have now closed. Applicants will be notified mid to late June regarding their acceptance to the program.