Southern’s Week of Welcome: getting students involved
Philip Zoppi – General Assignment Reporter
You probably know Southern’s Week of Welcome is here from the offers of free water and granola bars around campus, but it’s a whole lot more than that.
Week of Welcome is now in it’s third year. It had numerous events going on from Aug. 31 to Sept. 6. These events were designed to make students feel like they’re at home and to meet new people.
One of these events was called Give a Shirt, Get a Shirt. Jay Henderson, an intern at the Office of Student Involvement, ran this event. It consisted of transfer students handing in their old school’s t-shirts for a new Southern t-shirt.
It was for a good cause as all shirts traded in would be donated to goodwill. This event had hundreds of kids coming for new shirts. Henderson was pleased with the results.
“This the first time this office has done this event,” said Henderson. “We want to make sure that transfer students are able to get a little bit of swag now that they’re at Southern.”
This sort of event can help transfer students adjust to life at a different school. Changing schools can be stressful, so another Week of Welcome event that was available for students called Paws for Celebration introduced some counseling services advice to all students.
Paws for Celebration took place on the Buley Library patio. Jonathan Ruiz, a graduate assistant in the counseling center, helped out at this event. The event had pet therapy dogs brought out to the patio for students to see and interact with. To go along with that, Ruiz was advertising counseling help here at Southern.
“We just wanted to provide some excitement and stress relief for any nerves that might be going on the first week,” said Ruiz. “We have a few different events that we hold every semester that we’re showing students today to help with any stress they might have.”
This particular event drew large crowds of around 50 people at a time. Ruiz and others were able to help new students find out about clubs such as yoga.
On top of all of this support given with events like Give a Shirt, Get a Shirt and Paws for Celebration you could even learn about different cultures during Week of Welcome.
The Office of International Education ran an event called OIE World Fact Blast. During this event students were given trivia on different subjects going on around the world. This was a very fun and relaxing way to meet new people and learn facts you had no idea about.
This event drew about 30 people. It took place in a lecture room in Engelman Hall.
Brendan Walsh, assistant director and fulbright coordinator of The Office of International Education, thought the event was a great way for students to interact with each other.
“We just wanted to do something that was fun and interactive for everyone,” said Walsh. “We were able to make it educational as well. It’s good to do something that’s engaging and educational in an international sense.”
Many students had absolutely no idea about many of these trivia answers given. Those that did know some answers were rewarded for it as the top three participants received t-shirts.
Week of Welcome has turned into something that all Southern students can look forward to and learn from.
Photo Credit: Tyler Korponai