WSU celebrates the semester with Welcome Week

Lindsey Roberts

University President David R. Hopkins talks with students at the annual President's Cookout. Photo by Lindsey Roberts.

Hannah Hendrix, Features Editor

Wright State kicked off the fall semester with the start of Welcome Week on Thursday, Aug. 21, following Freshman Move-In. The first event in the series was a new one that the Residential Community Association hopes to make a tradition: Paint the Pit.

During Paint the Pit, students painted a large green stripe in the Woods housing parking lot, sometimes called the Pit. Yellow pawprints will be painted on the stripe, and each incoming class will repaint the Pit together.

The following day, the Office of Student Activities hosted Do the U, where new students could learn about campus organizations and how to navigate the Student Union, while taking part in games and contests.

After Do the U, the Office of the President hosted the annual President’s Cookout, held this year in McLin gym due to rain.

“I like to come and meet some of the new students,” University President David R. Hopkins said.

Michelle Liebold, a senior early childhood education major who attended the cookout, said as a freshman, she didn’t know the university hosted so many Welcome Week events.

“The next year I thought it was just for freshmen,” Liebold said, “but it’s a good way to meet some new people at the beginning of the year.”

In years past, the Office of Student Activities has hosted First Weekend, followed by Welcome Week, which finished with Fall Fest, an additional student organization fair slated for Friday, Aug. 29, which will span the North Lawn. This year, First Weekend events were consolidated into Welcome Week, which will continue until Sept. 7, spanning three weekends in total.

“We are trying for one universal look so people don’t get confused with the name of the event,” said Jack Pence, assistant director with the Office of Student Activities. Pence also said that the extension of Welcome Week offers smaller student organizations the opportunity to host events which are marketed by the Office of Student Activities as part of Welcome Week, saving their organizational budgets for events later in the academic year.

Pence said this year’s Welcome Week also includes some Dayton-area events such as the Beavercreek popcorn festival and a trip to 2nd Street Market.

“One of the big changes we’ve made, though, is we’ve gone mobile—we’re on Guidebook now,” Pence said. “Students are on their phones and they’re connected and we want to make sure we’re there with them and when they’re looking down at their iPhone or their Android, Welcome Week will be right there.”

Pence said Guidebook also allows quick notification when there is a change in plan, a feature that saw some use during move-in weekend. “Weather is a big one,” Pence said. “We can send out a notification that gives the new location of an outdoor event.”
Pence said that the student activities office has left much of the event planning for Welcome Week in the hands of student organizations.

“We are looking at Welcome Week as the collective program that really combines faculty, staff, departments and student orgs,” Pence said.

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