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Every year, freshman are introduced to the George Washington University with an elaborate orientation led by a group of students called the Colonial Cabinet. During three days, students learn how the university functions and what is expected of them. They are entertained by groups like Capitol Steps and live on campus in dormitories. It is one of the largest orientation programs for universities in the Northeastern United States. There has been significant controversy over how the university introduces students and how much the orientation costs.

The orientation consists of several parts, some of which parents typically attend as well. The orientation involves some welcome/general information messages, some skits that illustrate some of the typical college stereotypes (such as "COLLEGE! NO PARENTS!"), and an outing to the ESPN Zone and/or Capture The Flag. Every student is assigned to a small group of fellow freshmen and transfer students, and there are ice-breakers and activities to help the new students get to know each other.


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