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Quest performance builds bonds

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Quest Assistant Zack Turk

Andrew Friedman, Kendra Hawes and Brandon Lineback sat together toward the back of Bondurant Auditorium Monday night, chatting like they had known each other for years.

But, unbeknownst to passersby, the incoming Radford University freshmen had met just moments before.

The new friendship formed when Kendra got lost on her way to the auditorium, where hundreds of people were gathering to watch the Quest Assistants (QAs) perform a play, one of many activities RU's orientation program offers students and parents.

Then came to the rescue Brandon and Andrew, who guided Kendra in the right direction, and together, the trio watched the curtain rise.

The play, titled "Scenes from a Freshman Year," brought humor to situations students might encounter during their time at RU. In one skit, an unlikely pair of roommates found compromise and formed a longtime friendship. In another, a student was reminded of the consequences one might face if emails go unchecked – frustrated professors, parents and romantic partners.

Tougher topics, such as alcohol abuse, were also addressed.

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From left to right: Tyler Pace, Aisha Foy, Bruce Baker, and Casey Wood

Interspersed throughout the skits were short "commercials," where the actors introduced students to the university's mobile app, its University 100 courses and campus facilities.

"The play is always a cool thing for the students," said Joel Hanlon, senior assistant director of New Student Programs. "The growth I have seen from the students has been huge through the play - from voice projection, public speaking and knowing our program's message." 

Following the play, students headed to the Hurlburt Student Center for billiards, bowling and more bonding.

Connections, such as the one Andrew, Kendra and Brandon made Monday night, is what the Quest program is all about," Hanlon said.

"We want to reaffirm their connection to RU, connect them with peers and get them set up with a schedule that will support success," Hanlon said.

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Nicole Trapeni (l), Zack Turk, and Danielle Armstrong

All three students agreed their Quest experience will help them ease into their first semester at RU.

"I've met so many people, especially within my own major," Andrew said. "And that's good because I'm going to have a bunch of classes with them."

Jul 3, 2014