SRU prepares to ‘WOW’ incoming students
Hundreds of volunteers will unload cars, carry boxes and provide incoming SRU students with their first campus experience during the “Week of Welcome” Aug. 24-31.
Aug. 18, 2017
SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's traditional Weekend of Welcome, a program dedicated to helping new students move in and get settled at the University prior to the first day of classes, has undergone some significant changes this year. One could think of this year's program as WOW on steroids.
"This is so much more than a freshman move-in day," said David Wilmes, associate provost for student success and chair of the WOW event committee. "This is an event for all students to take part in and have fun and for the University to showcase all the wonderful opportunities we have to offer."
For starters, the program has expanded from a Weekend of Welcome to a Week of Welcome that takes place Aug. 24-31. The expanded time frame, Wilmes said, "is a chance for the University and community at large to welcome both new and returning students through a program that will allow them to settle in on the campus, kick back and say, "WOW."
The week's festivities begin Aug. 24-25 with scheduled first-year student move-in from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. both days with upperclassmen arriving later that weekend. Students will have the opportunity to unpack, introduce themselves to roommates and meet with the community assistant on their floor.
In an effort to keep everything flowing smoothly, the WOW event committee will continue with its "Stop, drop and go" strategy for student arrivals. "It's about making the process as quick and painless as possible," said Wilmes. "We liken it to a NASCAR pit stop."
The process includes asking students arriving to:
-STOP...in front of their assigned building.
-DROP...off all belongings. Volunteer staff will be on hand to assist.
-GO...park the vehicle so that others can begin the move-in process.
Wilmes said students can help assure a seamless move-in by:
-Displaying their designated residence hall "hangtag" on the vehicle's rearview mirror.
-Making sure to have their SRU ID and $20 ARHS house council fee on hand.
-Being prepared for the weather (extreme heat, rain, etc.)
-Marking all luggage with a label showing name, residence hall and room number.
-Packing belongings in easy to carry totes, boxes or tied off trash bags.
-Bringing a small dolly or cart for moving bulky items.
-Smiling and enjoying the day.
SRU Dining Services will be providing free hot dogs, beverages and cookies at stations across campus both days.
Hospitality stations will be located on either end of campus where visitors can have questions answered, get directions and pick up event schedules, campus maps or the hours of operation for the various campus offices operating throughout the weekend.
In addition to traditional move-in activities, this year's program has added three new offerings: A parents' lounge in the Smith Student Center, "SRU Success Sessions" and a "New Student Convocation."
The parents' lounge, located in the Fireplace Lounge at the Smith Student Center, will provide a common space for parents to rest, meet other parents and get information about the year ahead.
"The "SRU Success Sessions" are important opportunities for new students to learn how they can be academically and socially successful at our University," Wilmes said. "One of our newest sessions will show students how their web presence can affect their future education and career goals. It's necessary that they maintain clean online accounts and use caution when posting."
The "New Student Convocation" ceremony at 3 p.m., Aug. 25 at Morrow Field House is the first formal gathering of the Class of 2021 and is meant to commemorate a student's inclusion as a new member of the University family.
"Other than graduation, this is the only event where an entire class will come together as a unit," said Wilmes. "We'd like to make this ceremony their official welcome to the SRU community."
The ceremony will consist of greetings and well wishes delivered by SRU Interim President Philip Way; various faculty members; a recent SRU graduate and Rachel Lawler, SGA president and a junior exercise science major from Upper Chichester.
Similar to a graduation ceremony, speakers will dress in official regalia. University grand marshal, Alan Levy, professor of history, will preside over the ceremony.
"We are definitely hoping to make this a new WOW tradition at the University," said Wilmes. "It's a special time to hear from some important people on campus and to rally together as a class."
The Aug. 24-25 activities end with an 8:30-9:30 p.m. Welcome Rally at the ARC followed by a 9:30-11:30 p.m., all you-care-to-eat Moonlight Breakfast at Boozel Dining Hall.
WOW also includes ample time tailored toward creating a relaxing and fun environment for the entire University community, Wilmes said.
Activities scattered across the WOW calendar include among others: an Aug 26 "Cookout on the Quad"; Aug. 26 bonfire; Aug. 27 shuttle service to Grove City Premium Outlets; Aug. 27 WOW Carnival; Aug. 28 "Meet the Suite" pizza party; Aug. 29 "Welcome Back Party;" Aug. 30 "Epic BINGO;" and an Aug. 31 outdoor movie.
WOW concludes Sept. 5 with an "Involvement Fair" where more than 160 student organizations will promote their events, leadership and service opportunities.
"This is definitely one of those events that showcases a lot of the wonderful things that go on at SRU," said Wilmes. "There are so many opportunities and activities we hope our students will take advantage of while they are here."
Various student clubs and organizations such as the Slippery Rock Student Government Association, Green and White Society, University Program Board and Association of Residence Hall Students, among others, will provide volunteer manpower throughout the week.
"For me, this is a kickoff to the entire year, so if it's fun and people have a positive experience, it sets everyone up for success," said Wilmes.
For a complete schedule of WOW events, download a copy of the WOW brochure at: http://www.sru.edu/life-at-sru/student-activities/wow .
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