Opening Week Activities Welcome New Students to Campus

2013_Move In05CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 18, 2014 – Maggie Eggleston of South St. Louis County remembers well her opening week as a new freshman at Southeast Missouri State University last fall.

“I went to a lot of the opening events last year, and they were a great way to meet people and get free stuff,” she said. “The University does a nice job of giving incoming freshman plenty of things to do their first couple weeks so they can venture out of their dorm rooms and get more familiar with campus and upper classmen.”

Eggleston, who returns to Southeast this fall as a sophomore, says her favorite event was the Welcome Back Picnic.

“Almost every organization and club was represented so it was a good way to get familiar with what was all on campus,” she said. “I would tell incoming freshman to try to go to as many opening week activities as possible because it’s an easy way to meet people and see what the University has to offer. There’s an organization or club out there for everyone.”

Southeast Missouri State University will welcome students for the start of the 2014-2015 academic year with nine days of activities Aug. 21-29.

The college experience will begin for more than 1,100 students on Thursday, Aug. 21, when they make their way to Cape Girardeau to move into their new home in the residence halls for the upcoming school year, said Dr. Kendra Skinner, director of Residence Life. In total, Southeast expects just over 3000 students will be living on campus when classes begin Monday. Move-in day, coordinated by the Office of Residence Life and supported by nearly 1,000 volunteers, is hailed every year by arriving families for its high level of organization, support and the welcoming environment that it creates among students, their families and their new peers.

Along with moving in to their new home away from home, new students will be invited to join in a variety of activities, coordinated by New Student Programs, that promote academic and student engagement and offer many chances for a strong start for the school year.

The Southeast experience includes more than just attending classes, University officials say. It’s about being engaged in the University and taking advantage of the many opportunities offered to students, beginning with their first week.

“We want students to find fun things to do on campus, whether it’s attending a theatre production, playing intramurals, going to worship or joining an organization,” said Katie Krodinger, assistant director of Admissions for New Student Programs.

Southeast’s “Engage in 8” program does just that, she said, providing students with eight weeks of events and activities coordinated by student organizations and University departments across campus. The “Engage in 8” activities that follow are a sampling of countless opportunities for students to meet one another and explore the campus’ wide array of co-curricular offerings to ease students’  anxiety and make them feel at home almost immediately. For a complete list of “Engage in 8” activities, students are encouraged to download the free Southeast app on their smartphone from Google Play or the App Store. The list also is available online at http://semo.edu/nsp/openingweek.

Thursday, Aug. 21

New students will begin moving into Southeast’s residence halls on Thursday, Aug. 21. Those wishing to get a jump-start on the day may do so during Early Bird Move-In beginning at 6 a.m. at the Student Recreation Center-North. Regularly scheduled first-year check-in is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North. Check-in times are listed in the early move-in information mailed to each student in early June.

A “Move-In Bash” in which students are invited to meet new people and dance to tunes, bounce on a bungee, taste Kona ice, listen to “Six Appeal” and enjoy other fun activities is planned for 8-10 p.m. on Parker Field. Rain location is the Student Recreation Center-North. The event is sponsored by Campus Life and Event Services.

Friday, Aug. 22

The day’s events will begin at 7:45 a.m. at the University Center for students who have not yet attended a First STEP orientation session, which will include the Writing Placement Test, orientation, advising and lunch. This session runs through 1 p.m.

Friday, Aug. 22, is also the day for returning students to begin moving into their residence hall rooms.

In addition, Commute and Connect! is planned for 9 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North. Here, commuter students will get the inside scoop on what it is like to be a commuter student, have the opportunity to mingle with other commuters and get information about how to get involved and connect with the campus. Commuter students should stop by to pick up their free Southeast T-shirt to wear to the Welcome Convocation. The group will leave at approximately 9:40 a.m. to make their way to the Show Me Center for the Welcome Convocation.

2013_Stu_Convocation004The spirited Welcome Convocation for all first-year students will begin at 10 a.m. Aug. 22 in the Show Me Center. Southeast student athletes will greet new students, and Southeast’s cheerleaders and Sundancers will perform. The convocation also will feature greetings from Southeast President Kenneth W. Dobbins and Student Government Association President Caleb Cockrill. First-year students are asked to wear the T-shirt they received during Residence Hall Check-In or at the Commute and Connect! event Friday morning and learn more about Opening Week activities.

At the conclusion of the Welcome Convocation, new Southeast students will depart from the Show Me Center in small groups to participate in Southeast 101, which begins at 11 a.m. These groups will allow new students to connect with Southeast faculty and staff and their Opening Week Leader in interactive sessions at various locations across campus. Lunch will be provided.

College meetings are planned for 2:30-4:30 p.m. at various locations across campus. In these sessions, students will have the opportunity to hear the dean of their college speak and interact with faculty members from their department. Shuttles will be available to take students back to the Show Me Center parking lot at the end of the meetings. College meeting locations are as follows:

  • College of Education: Johnson Hall Room 200
  • *Secondary and Middle School education majors should report to their content area.
  • College of Health and Human Services: Academic Hall Auditorium
  • College of Liberal Arts: Grauel Building: Rose Theatre
  • College of Science, Technology and Agriculture: Show Me Center
  • Donald L. Harrison College of Business: Robert A. Dempster Hall Room 105
  • Earl and Margie Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts: Grauel Building, Rose Theatre (with transportation provided to the River Campus)
  • School of University Studies: University Center Ballroom. This session is also for undecided majors.

2013_Stu_Convocation001The Jane Stephens Honors Program will hold an open house at 603 N. Henderson on Friday from 3:30-6:30 p.m. Honors students interested in learning more about the program are invited to visit the house and meet colleagues in the honors community. Snacks and refreshments will be available.

The annual Ice Cream Pig Out, sponsored by Student Government, is planned for 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 22, at the Student Recreation Center-North. This all-you-can-eat Southeast tradition offers great food, fun and a chance to hang out with friends. Students are invited to stick around for an exciting performance by Chad Taylor at 8 p.m., also in the Student Recreation Center-North.

The fun continues at 9 p.m. with a free concert and beverages, sponsored by Interfraternity Council, on Parker Field.

Get wet and have crazy fun at the Midnight Slip-N-Slide from 11:30 p.m.-1:30 a.m. at the Ignite House at 415 N. Pacific St. Students are invited to have a blast at the slip-n-slide with all their new friends, whether they want to take a turn or laugh at everyone else. This is sponsored by Ignite Campus Ministry.

Saturday, Aug. 23

People concerned about eating healthy on campus or wanting to avoid the legendary “freshman 15” can join Laura Vollink, resident dietitian with Chartwells Educational Dining and Catering Services, to learn more about cultivating a healthy lifestyle from 11 to 11:45 a.m. Aug. 23 in Towers Café.

Freshman education majors from all areas of study are invited to play kickball, get information about student organizations, enjoy free food, and meet faculty and staff at the College of Education Welcome Picnic from 1:30-3 p.m. on the Scully Building Portico.

Activities will continue throughout the afternoon that will include a Pinterest Party, SEMO Bingo, Cooking 101 and another Honors Open House. A Student Involvement Fair is planned for 5:30-7 p.m. in the University Center, and a Begin to Lead program for students interested in becoming a student leader will be offered from 7-9 p.m. in the University Center Ballroom A.

Other evening events will feature Capture the Flag at 8 p.m. at the Kala M. Stroup Fountain on the Kent Library lawn, the Student Activities Council-sponsored welcome back movie, “Neighbors,” at 9 p.m. in Academic Hall Auditorium and the Welcome Back: First Night Party from 9 p.m. to 1 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center. This event, sponsored by Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, is open to new, returning and international students.

Sunday, Aug. 24

Choral Ensemble auditions are scheduled for 1-5 p.m. Aug. 24 in the River Campus Center Room 120. For more information, contact Peter Durow at pdurow@semo.edu. Music Ensemble auditions are slated for 1-9 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Center Room 155 at Southeast’s River Campus. Music ensembles are open to all students regardless of declared major. This audition session is for woodwind, brass and percussion placement in the Wind Symphony and the Southeast Missouri Symphony Orchestra.

Opening Week Leaders will offer campus tours beginning at 2 and 3 p.m. Aug. 24 starting at the Stroup Fountain on the Kent Library lawn for students unsure of where their classes are located. Students should bring their class schedules with them.

Highlighting Opening Week will be the annual Welcome Back Picnic, offering food and freebies from 4-6 p.m. at the Show Me Center, courtesy of businesses and organizations from Cape Girardeau, University departments and student organizations.

Sunday’s activities will come to a close with an ice cream social planned for 7-9 p.m. at The Lighthouse, 1115 Broadway, followed by Tunes on the Terraces sponsored by Ignite Campus Ministry from 8-10 p.m. Listen to music, play games, have a chance to win prizes, and enjoy one last night of uninterrupted fun before classes begin.

Monday, Aug. 25

Fall 2014 classes will begin Monday, Aug. 25. Welcome tents will be located at various spots around campus between 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m., and volunteers will be available to offer students directions, a map, water and snacks before heading to class.

Other events on Monday will include a Global Prints poster sale, choral ensemble, string and marching band auditions, a tie-dye party, a Department of Theatre and Dance open house, ultimate Frisbee and volleyball on the practice band field and Towers sand volleyball court, Interfraternity Council fraternity recruitment events, Crango and a Group Fitness Class free preview. Information on the First-Year Leadership Program will be available in the University Center lobby from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

Tuesday, Aug. 26

Fall 2014 classes continue Tuesday, Aug. 26. Welcome tents again will be available to students from 7:30 a.m. and 1 p.m.

Tuesday evening events will include choral ensemble, Studio Jazz Ensemble, string and fall theatre auditions. Theatre roles are available for “Hairspray,” “Macbeth” and “Durang One Act Comedies,” including “Naomi in the Living Room,” “Wanda’s Visit” and “For Whom the Southern Belle Tolls.”

New this year, students are invited to join others for an Instagram Scavenger Hunt at noon Aug. 26. The event will run through 11:59 a.m. Aug. 27. Take photos of a variety of places on campus (see Instagram announcement @SEMissouriState) and submit these photos for prizes using the hashtag #SEMOHunt and tagging @SEMissouriState in the photo. Southeast will give out a variety of prizes for different photos, i.e. first to complete the hunt, best photo, etc.) Winners will be announced when their photos are featured on Instagram and they are tagged in them. All prizes may be picked up at the Aleen Vogel Wehking Alumni Center, and Instagram accounts must be public for photos to be judged.

Other events Tuesday will include the Global Prints poster sale featuring live music, Chartwells samples and other goodies; an Interfraternity Council Fraternity Showcase; Mechanical Bull and BBQ at Ignite House; a 4-on-4 volleyball tournament and ice cream bar from 6-8 p.m. on Parker Field, and a barbecue on Academic Terraces from 6 to 9 p.m. sponsored by Chi Alpha Campus Ministry.

Wednesday, Aug. 27

On Wednesday, Aug. 27, NPHC, the historically African-American Greek letter organizations – will host a weekly Hump Day Stroll competition open to everyone from noon to 1 p.m. beginning at Stroup Fountain on the Kent Library lawn. Participants are invited to join in strolling and routines of energized synchronized dance. Later that evening, an NPHC seminar will be held for all students, faculty and staff wanting to learn more about NPHC Greeks,

Also on Aug. 27, first-year leadership program information will be available during the noon hour in the University Center lobby, and students will get their first opportunity to join in an Anthenaeum program. Musa Olaka, assistant director of Kent Library, will present on his research in the field of genocide and his volunteer work with survivors of genocide in Rwanda as part of the Athenaeum Series from noon to 1 p.m. in Kent Library’s Sadie’s Place. This series is an opportunity for Southeast community members to showcase their expertise. It also allows students from the Holland School of Visual and Performing Arts to perform in an intimate setting for the University community. The Series is ongoing, with events the last Wednesday of every month. Refreshments will be served. For more information, visit library.semo.edu.

The Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum will provide tasty afternoon treats during their Hawaiian ice social from 2-4:30 p.m. Aug. 27 in the River Campus Atrium.

The day’s events also will include the first Jazz Lab Band rehearsal, a Homecoming informational meeting, an LGBT BBQ, Carnival Night on Academic Terraces from 5-8 p.m., and Ignite’s first weekly worship.

Thursday, Aug. 28

Southeast will sponsor a “Save a Life Tour: Distracted Driving Program” from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Center lobby. This program will educate students about the danger of texting and driving through the use of cutting-edge technology, a video display and live personal interaction.

Additionally, airbrush art will be available in the same location.

Students are invited to “Bits and Bytes” from 1-2 p.m. Aug. 28 in the Magill Computer Lab in Room 118. Students can participate in valuable interactive demonstrations using the latest technology. In this upbeat session, the group will toss around a beach ball of apps, learn how to be mobile on campus and get tips and tricks for using Moodle, and more. All attendees will receive a free flash drive pre-loaded with helpful materials and one winner in each session will win a gift card. The event is sponsored by Information Technology and Southeast Online.

Students are invited to join in a football tailgate from 4-6 p.m. in front of Houck Stadium along Bellevue Street. The tailgate will feature two hours of live music, free refreshments, and appearances by the Southeast Marching Band, Sundancers, cheerleaders and Rowdy.  Personal tailgating space is available in the Wehking Alumni Center parking lots. The tailgate party will precede Southeast’s home football opener against Missouri Baptist at 6 p.m. that evening at Houck Stadium. Student admission is free with a valid Southeast ID, and students are encouraged to cheer on the Redhawks from the Redhawks Nest student section. For more information, visit GoSoutheast.com.

The evening will conclude with an outdoor smoothiehouse and live music from 8-10 p.m. on Academic Terraces. This event is sponsored by Catholic Campus Ministry and the Fellowship of Catholic University Students.

Friday, Aug. 29

Information Technology and Southeast Online will have another “Bits and Bytes” presentation from 1-2 p.m. Aug. 29 in the Kent Library Instructional Classroom on the second floor.

Chi Alpha Campus Ministry will have an international picnic at the fountain in front of Kent Library for new international and American friends to socialize. Activities will include free fried chicken, games and prizes.

Opening week will come to a close with the Southeast women’s soccer team taking on University of Missouri-St. Louis at 6:30 p.m. at Houck Stadium, followed by karaoke at 7 p.m. in the Towers Complex lobby.

Southeast will be closed for the Labor Day holiday Sept. 1. Classes and the next seven weeks of the “Engage in 8” program will resume Sept. 2 and continue through Oct. 18. For more information on “Engage in 8,” download the free Southeast app from Google Play or the App Store. “Engage in 8” activities also are available online at http://semo.edu/nsp/openingweek.