The Columbia University Outdoor Orientation Program (COÖP) is an optional pre-orientation program for incoming students entering Columbia College and the Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science. COÖP is designed to ease the anxieties of transitioning into the college environment through a four-day outdoor camping experience. The COÖP experience is divided into three trips, hiking (HOP), biking (BOP), or river canoeing (ROP), each of which pairs a small group of first-years with several upperclassmen trip leaders. The leaders act as mentors for the first-years, ensure safety on the trip, and create a comfortable environment in which first-years can ask questions, express concerns, and get to know one another.
The application for incoming first years can be found at this link.
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 only one trip, COHOP, but it grew steadily from there. At its peak, COHOP 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. This was the exact thought process that the coordinators went through. It has been heavily and extensively documented. Thus, COBOP was born. And it was good. But soon the coordinators began to realize that while some people don’t 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 the epic year of 1998, COROP was born. 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.