Southern welcomes incoming students with Owl Weekend Activities
Jene Thomas – News Editor
A sea of blue covered the streets in front of residence halls as the sound of big, black moving bins echoed through the halls, despite the heat and traffic.
Resident advisors, athletes, peer mentors and others volunteered to assist incoming freshmen and transfer students during move-in day on Aug. 27. The move-in process was expedited by the boarding pass system. Using the MyHousing portal option on Banner Web, students were able to select a move-in time to which a volunteer would then provide assistance unloading cars and packing moving carts.
Richard Magnotti, senior physics major and resident advisor, said this year’s move-in system had been more effective than previous years.
“The move-in process this year at West Campus was effortless and organized,” he said. “The use of RAs and staff members was streamlined and efficient. This, of course, being opposed to previous years in which RAs were not in as significant communication with the residents moving in.”
Following move-in, students went out to the residential quad behind Farnham for a welcome carnival from 6-10 P.M. Festivities included music and plenty of food. Food trucks served complimentary fried dough, pizza and frozen yogurt, popcorn and a cotton candy maker.
Although she said she was having fun, Natalia Amos, a freshman pre-nursing major, said the food options could have been better.
“I wish there was more besides sweets,” she said. “I can’t have fried dough for dinner.”
There were a number of activities for those that wanted more than food. Planted in the middle of the quad was an inflatable boxing ring, a mechanical bull, a table with palm readings and an attraction where students were hooked up to cords and were able to jump and perform flips in the air with the help of the trampoline. Multiple students walked around with banners they made there with the words “Live for Now” and their names printed on them.
The carnival was a part of a program that the Residence Hall Association (RHA) puts on every year for new students. Last year, there was a viewing of “Neighbors” on a giant screen in the quad.
“This event is to welcome the new students and show them a good time,” said Shawn Copeland, senior marketing major and president of RHA.
During the New Owl Weekend, some of the activities were not optional. Both Friday and Saturday were required orientation days and a full day’s worth of activities. Students were split into their assigned learned communities. Working with peer mentors and faculty serving as guest speakers, they learned about campus safety, the university’s financial services, sexual assault procedures and how to succeed at Southern.
Move-in day brought news crews from all around Connecticut with Channel 8 filming Thursday and Channel 3 on Sunday when returning students began moving in. Although the camera was not allowed to shoot inside residence halls, multiple students were filmed unloading and moving around outside.
Both new and returning students will have a chance to experience all that Southern has to offer during Welcome Week, which started with Donuts with the Dean on Monday morning at 8:30. The week will include Zumba, a lip sync battle, Owl Thon kickoff, and a number of free food and t-shirts.
Students will be able to partake with Welcome Week activities from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6.
“I’m looking forward to getting a higher education and meeting new people,” said Kayla Benedetti, a freshman art major.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai – Photo Editor