While the campus is already abuzz with anticipation, it has been in full swing the past three months in preparation for new students arriving for the fall 2016 semester. Students descending on campus will find two newly constructed houses marking the opening of a much anticipated Greek Village, a reimagined Towers Cafeteria, new synthetic turf recreation fields for intramurals near Bertling and Sprigg, an innovation laboratory for mass media students to practice their media storytelling skills, additional upgrades to the Show Me Center and the start of construction on a new Center for Speech and Hearing.
“We have such a wide variety of events for students that there are dozens of opportunities to meet new people, try new things and start getting really comfortable on our campus,” said Katie Foshee, assistant director of New Student Programs in the Office of Admissions. “Moving to a new place and starting college are big transitions, so we want students to know that they aren’t going through it alone. Campus staff, returning students and other new students are all here as a support network.”
The week’s festivities begin with Move-In Day on Thursday, Aug. 18. Students report to the Student Recreation Center, where they can pick up their room keys and begin checking into their residence hall rooms. Early Bird Move-In begins at 6 a.m., followed by New Student Move-In with assigned times starting at 8 a.m. About 900 upperclassman volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to welcome new students and help move their belongings into their rooms.
“My best advice is to label everything! Yes, all of it, with your name, building and room number. Masking tape is wonderful for this. That way, if something gets separated, the staff can help you reunite with your belongings,” Foshee said. “Remember that you don’t have to bring everything you own. Even our spacious residence halls are probably smaller than the room that you are used to, and you’ll be sharing it.”
Residence hall students are asked to attend one of two meetings – either at 10 a.m. or 3 p.m. in Academic Hall Auditorium – about getting involved and living on campus. Representatives from Campus Life & Event Services, Residence Life and Chartwells Dining Services will provide information and answer questions about life at Southeast.
In the evening, all new students will have a meeting in their residence halls with their resident assistant and hall director to introduce them to on-campus living. A Move-In Bash is planned for 8-10 p.m. on the front lawn of Kent Library near the Kala M. Stroup Fountain, and all students are invited.
“Returning students– we still want you to come to events! Don’t think that just because you did it all last year that you won’t get something out of the events,” Foshee said. “Come see us at Move-In Bash, the Student Involvement Fair and the Welcome Back Picnic. The more the merrier!”
Friday, Aug. 19
Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 19, students who have not attended a First STEP Orientation will have the opportunity to attend the last 2016 session and register for classes before the fall 2016 semester begins.
Students living off-campus are invited to attend Commute and Connect! and pick up a free Southeast T-shirt at 10:45 a.m. in the Show Me Center lobby.
Welcome Convocation, the signature Opening Week event for all new students, begins at 11 a.m. in the Show Me Center, with doors opening at 10:45 a.m. It’s the one time all students entering Southeast in fall 2016 will be together. Incoming students should be sure to wear the free T-shirt they receive during Residence Hall Check-In or at Commute and Connect!, and to grab a lunch as they arrive. Welcome Convocation encourages students to get excited about Southeast through giveaways, contests, interactive games and spirited activities. At noon, Southeast President Carlos Vargas, Student Government President Peyton Mogley and inspirational speaker John O’Leary will address the incoming class.
“They’ll give great advice, tell some stories and get you prepared to start your semester off right,” Foshee said.
Following will be Southeast 101 during which students can connect with faculty and staff, and their Opening Week leader.
“SE 101 is the first academic experience students have at Southeast. They will meet a faculty or staff member and a current student who will give them some tips, information, advice on how to navigate the first two weeks of the semester. After that, they meet the dean of their college, which is always a wonderful connection,” Foshee said.
From 3-4:30 p.m., students will divide into their respective colleges and hear from the dean of their college as well as interact with faculty members from their departments.
At 7 p.m., students are invited to participate in a Southeast tradition, the annual Ice Cream Pig Out sponsored by the Student Government Association (SGA) in the Student Recreation Center. This all-you-can-eat event offers ice cream, friends and fun. After enjoying ice cream served by Southeast students and administrators, stick around for an exciting performance by Boston hypnotist David Hall.
Saturday, Aug. 20
Saturday offers a full day of festivities to welcome students. Morning events include choral ensemble auditions, Real Ryder Cycling or TurboKick, a service opportunity at the Cape Girardeau Conservation Nature Center, crafting, and yoga and yogurt. In the afternoon, students may participate in Dec Your Dorm, where great crafty ideas may spark students to give their new room a special flair.
A College of Education Welcome Picnic also is planned, inviting all freshman education majors from all areas of study to play kickball, get information about student organizations, enjoy free food and meet faculty and staff. Also scheduled during the afternoon are yard games with the Honors Program and the LGBT Resource Center Reception.
Students are invited to learn about the multitude of opportunities offered outside the classroom at a Student Involvement Fair from 5-6:30 p.m. in the University Center. Many student organizations will have information booths, and groups will showcase their talents. At 6 p.m., a Leadership Reception will take place in the University Center. It offers an opportunity to engage with other future leaders, while enjoying light refreshments.
The Student Activities Council will sponsor a welcome back movie, “Captain America: Civil War,” at 9 p.m. in Academic Hall Auditorium.
Sunday, Aug. 21
On Sunday, Aug. 21, instrumental ensemble auditions will be held from 10 a.m.-10 p.m. in the Cultural Arts Center Room 155 at the River Campus. During the afternoon, choral ensemble auditions will be available from 1-5 p.m. in the Kenneth & Jeanine Dobbins River Campus Center Room 120.
Tours of campus will be offered with Opening Week Leaders at 2 and 3 p.m. Interested students should bring their class schedule and meet at the Kala M. Stroup Fountain in front of Kent Library.
Highlighting Sunday’s events will be the annual Welcome Back Picnic from 4-6 p.m. in the Show Me Center. The picnic offers food and freebies from Cape Girardeau businesses and organizations, University departments and student organizations, and will be a wonderful kickoff to the fall semester.
Students are also invited to cheer on the women’s soccer team in their first home game of the season as it faces the University of Illinois-Springfield at 7 p.m. at Houck Stadium.
Foshee reminds students to pick up their textbooks at Textbook Rental before classes begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 22. Textbook Rental, located on the first floor of Kent Library, and the Southeast Bookstore, located on the first floor of the University Center, will offer extended hours during opening weekend. Hours will be: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 18; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug. 19; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 20; and 1-4 p.m. Aug. 21. Students must have their Redhawks ID and schedule to check out textbooks.
Monday, Aug. 22
For more information on Opening Week, contact Foshee at (573) 651-5166 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Visit http://www.semo.edu/nsp/openingweek/for a Countdown to Convocation with links to all the week’s events, faculty advice, tips from upperclassmen and a bucket list of places to explore as a part of the Southeast experience.
Students also are encouraged to download the Southeast app to see Southeast’s “Engage in 8!” activities, a complete listing of events offered on campus during the first eight weeks of the semester.
“We can’t wait to see you at Opening Week 2016!” Foshee said.