New students claim USI home

James Vaughn

USI’s newest Screaming Eagles were inducted Friday in the Physical Activities Center. The new student convocation is held every year to welcome incoming freshmen and transfer students to the university. During the program, students were told to turn and place a pin that said “USI is home” on their neighbor’s shirt.

One of those students was foreign exchange student Ohyun Joo from South Korea. The English major said she chose USI because she wants to experience the average American life.

“I chose USI because it’s in the Midwest, which shows me what the more typical way of life (in the U.S.) is like,” Joo said.

USI President Linda Bennett addressed the students who filled the stands inside the PAC.

“As I look around the room right now, I am looking at what could possibly be the strongest freshmen class, scholastically, that the University of Southern Indiana has ever admitted,” she said.

Bennett also offered advice to the students.

“Get a plan. Stay on target. Reach out for help. Get a degree. Because our expectations for you are high, and we know that every one of you has the ability to do just that,” she said. “You are shaping the future for this university.”

Incoming social work major Tori Densley said she decided to become an Eagle because she knows the Evansville area well and likes the campus.

“This is the first time that I’ve lived in one area for this long,” Densley said. “My family was moving again, and I just decided to stay here.”

Mitchell, Ind., native Heather Patton said she enjoys the friendly atmosphere.

“On one of the Southern Hospitality Days, I came down here and everyone was super nice,” she said. “I just love that about this campus.” Patton is considering a major in nursing.

Freshman biochemistry major Lauren Brown said she really enjoyed the convocation.

“It was a lot more than I expected,” she said. “It was more official than I thought it would be, but they made it fun too. It was great.”

Brown said it was exciting to see all of the older students who took part in the program.

“Seeing all of the students involved is like a reflection of what’s to come for us during our four years here,” she said.

Following the convocation, students made their way to the quad for the class of 2016 photo.