Honors Summer Adventures: Behind the Scenes of Cyclone Aide-ing with Alec

Hello! My name is Alec Filak. I am a junior studying Mathematics and Statistics from Rockford, Illinois and this summer I had the opportunity to be a Cyclone Aide. The Cyclone Aides are a group of 34 students easily spotted on campus over the summer in their snazzy red polo shirts and freshly ironed khakis. One of their primary goals is making New Student Orientation a success by answering families’ questions, helping them navigate campus, and building excitement for their upcoming adventure at Iowa State. This year’s Orientation seasons just wrapped up on July 1st after a full month of remarkable sessions. Helping out with Orientation has been such amazing experience with so many one-of-a-kind experiences. Too much has happened during Orientation for me to even attempt to cover it all, but I did collect a few photos to highlight some of the biggest parts.

Filak 11. This photo of Katie and Cy captures the incredible amount of exCYtment all of us Cyclone Aides had throughout Orientation. We had multiple families ask us how we had so much energy from 7:00 in the morning to 10:30 at night. Personally, I drew my energy from my love of my job (coffee can only go so far…) It was incredibly fun working with the fellow Cyclone Aides while assisting new students and families each day.

Filak 22. Speaking of assisting new students, here is Bill helping a new student register for their fall semester’s classes. (Looks like she might have some 8am’s… ouch) Although building their class schedule was sometimes the most stressful part of Orientation, students were always thrilled to walk away with their new schedule.

Filak 33. Other forms of guidance during Orientation were our Student and Family Panels. During the evening, we separated students from their families to give both students and their families a chance to ask any questions they had to a panel of Cyclone Aides (especially those questions that would have received a stinky eye from the absent party). Being a part of these panels was my favorite part of Orientation because I loved sharing my advice gleaned from my 2 years of experience at Iowa State with the new students and their families.

Filak 44. Although all the weather channels deny the occurrence of any hurricanes in Iowa, I believe hurricanes passed through Ames at least three times. Some of our Orientation guests had the blessing of abundant precipitation during their Orientation, but that didn’t put a hitch in our giddy up. Above, Brooke and Zoe are rocking the umbrella and poncho look just moments after one of the aforementioned hurricanes had passed through.

Filak 55. Above are the Cyclone Aides and faculty from the best college at Iowa State, the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences (I’m the tallest non-balding male in the photo by the way). Orientation guests meet with their individual college during the afternoon to discuss curriculum planning, tips for success, and general college information. These sessions served as a great reminder that although winning an intramural champion t-shirt and watching Arrested Development are pretty important collegiate activities, academics should come first.

Filak 66. Being a Cyclone Aide does come with some perks. For instance, we got a personal tours of many unique places on campus like the Farm House (the oldest building on campus) and Jack Trice Stadium (home to Cyclone football). In addition to premier tours, we received numerous free t-shirts and food, neither of which you can have too much of. My favorite benefit of being a Cyclone Aide was the opportunity to wear the Cy mascot outfit. I haven’t met too many students that have crossed that off of their Iowa State bucket list and I’m proud to say that I have.

Filak 77. As Cyclone Aides, we keep plenty busy throughout Orientation. Although it is tiring, we focus on our duties and feed off of each other’s enthusiasm and energy to get the job done. Notice the beaming smile on Joe’s face even as he tackles the extreme exhaustion of blowing up a beach ball for student small group.

Filak 88. Okay, we have to take naps sometimes.

Filak 9Overall: Lots of new friends, fun memories, and red polos.


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