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August 23, 2013
CONTACT: K.E. Schwab

600+ volunteers welcome 1,500 new students - WOW

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. -Slippery Rock University's 1,500 new students moving into campus residence halls for fall semester will find new twists in "Weekend of Welcome" activities this year, including a number of interactive "What Would You Do?" discussion workshops.

"We are excited about this year's WOW programming," said Paula Olivero, assistant vice president for student development and head of WOW planning. "We have responded to student feedback via surveys and other means to restructure the educational activities workshops that we offer during WOW and this year the emphasis is on making them more interactive."

"We are modeling them after a program at Arizona State University called 'Step Up,' in which students will see a vignette depicting an issue such as diversity, alcohol abuse, sexual assault or sexually taking responsibility, then answer the question 'What would you do?," she said.

The 10 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Saturday, workshops, which Olivero said would mimic events seen on the popular ABC television series "What Would You Do?," will be offered today for students in SRU's living learning communities and those participating in the Jump Start program and Saturday for students moving into campus residence halls today.

The sessions, some designed by SRU's Karla Fonner, assistant director of the SRU Women's Center, and Renee Bateman, health promotions coordinator in the McLachlan Student Health Center, will be offered in various campus classroom buildings.

More than 600 faculty, staff, student and community volunteers will assist with move in, said Christopher Cole, director of the Smith Student Center and volunteer coordinator for WOW.

"The volunteers primarily serve to welcome new students, their parents and other family members, provide information, help with traffic control and help move the student's belongings into the halls. They do a fantastic job - and have fun in the process," he said.

Olivero said the move-in process has been tweaked this year with arriving students pre-selecting a specific arrival time to better space arrivals. Previously students arrived at random either in the morning or afternoon, based on the first letter of their last name.

"Our community assistants have called each student to discuss their specific arrival time, welcome them and answer any questions. It is a time consuming process, but we think it will cut down considerably on congestion during move in and be a first step in connecting students to SRU," she said.

A number of SRU services, including the parking, academic services and the Help Desk will have extended hours throughout the weekend. See the full schedule at:

This evening's Association of Residence Hall Students and Green and White Society-sponsored SRU Rock Pride Rally, a Saturday afternoon picnic on the Quad (Rain: Smith Student Center), and a 10 a.m. to noon Sunday campus clean up project are among the activities scheduled before the 8 a.m., Aug. 26, start of fall semester classes.

The national group "Play Fair" will participate in the Friday evening bonfire/rally at Mihalik-Thompson Stadium (Rain: Aebersold Recreation Center) to stage what Olivero called "The Ultimate Icebreaker," designed to help students meet new friends and become part of the SRU family. SRU President Cheryl Norton will participate.

A WOW "Welcome to SRU" Party is 6 to 9 p.m., Saturday, at the Aebersold Student Recreation Center followed by the Student Government Association-sponsored First-Year Students Welcome Bonfire outside Building F.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.