Walking into Welcome Week: New students introduced to college life


The Shield

Students participate in a chant for their individual colleges during last years Welcome Week. Each college works to be the loudest as they walk into the Physical Activities Center.

Moms and dads unloading vans packed with clothes, TV’s and mini-refrigerators, faculty members guiding students around campus and an ice cream and movie night – these are just a few things to discover during this Welcome Week 2016.

From Aug. 18 to 24, Welcome Week leaders aspire to guide first-year students as well as get them familiar with professors and administrators.

Students will also get a chance to explore the campus with their families and get a good handle on the location of their classes.

One of the largest events during Welcome Week is convocation.

“For new students, convocation is the introduction to the university,” Carmen Stoen, director of Student Development Programs, said. “It is a welcoming given by the president of the university, administrators and top student leaders. It is meant to encourage incoming students to get involved and take every advantage of their college experience.”

This formal introduction to the university will take place Friday afternoon with a 2020 class picture being taken directly after in the Quad.

At convocation, first-year students will be introduced to the University and sophomores will be recognized for some of their achievements from last year.

Student leaders will be recognized and available to any students with questions they may have.

The Student Government Association (SGA) president, Ashley Wright will conduct a pinning ceremony at convocation, where students will receive a pin with their entry year into the institution.

Aside from the more formal welcoming sessions, several interactive evening activities are scheduled throughout the week ranging from an ice cream social to hypnotist Daniel James.

“What I am most excited for during Welcome Week is the hypnotist,” freshman Andrew Todd said. “I’ve talked to some people who have been to past Welcome Weeks and they say he is awesome.”

The evening events are designed to make new students feel more a part of their university, while also bringing them together with returning students.

One of the other popular events is the college meetings accompanied by lunch with the faculty.

“This gives students the opportunity to get to meet some of the faculty connected to their majors,” Stoen said. “It also gives them the opportunity to interact with other students in their major.”

The meetings start at 11:30 Friday. Students will be given a free t-shirt representing their college that they can wear at Convocation.

One of the required portions of the week is Eagle Experience: UNIV 101. Since all new students must complete the UNIV 101 course, all incoming freshmen and transfer students must attend Eagle Experience

“There will be people from campus talking about different issues,” Stoen said. “We end it with a small group discussion with an AMIGO and you’ll meet some of your classmates for the first time that are in that UNIV 101 class.”

Stoen said she ultimately hopes students meet two or three new people they can make a connection with, someone they can grab lunch with once the semester starts.

“I also hope that students feel a little more comfortable being on campus and won’t be as anxious on their first day of class,” Stoen said, “and be a little more confident about their surroundings and the resources that are available to them.”