Southeast to Welcome New Redhawks with Opening Week Events Starting Aug. 15


Southeast will greet its newest students beginning Aug. 15 for the 2019-2020 academic year.

Southeast Missouri State University will welcome its newest Redhawks for the 2019-2020 academic year with a full slate of Opening Week festivities beginning Aug. 15.

“It’s an exciting time to be at Southeast, and Opening Week brings campus back to life,” said Katie Krodinger, director of New Student Programs at Southeast. “New Student Programs, the faculty and staff, and our returning students can’t wait for the newest Redhawks to join us.” 

Thursday, Aug. 15

Opening Week begins with Move-In Day on Thursday, Aug. 15. 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. More than 900 upperclassmen student volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to welcome new students and help move their belongings into their rooms.

“We know that this is one of the biggest steps in students transitioning to college, and we are here to guide them throughout the day,” said Krodinger. “Our incredible Residence Life staff has the process down to a science and will provide students with an organized and efficient process to get them into their new room.”

Hundreds of student volunteers will be on hand on Move-In Day to help students carry their belongings into their residence hall room.

Students are encouraged to label all their belongings with their name, building and room number. This ensures items get to the right location and also helps if something gets separated so staff can easily reunite students with their personal effects.

In the evening, all new students will have a meeting in their residence hall with their resident assistant and hall director to introduce them to on-campus living.

All students are invited to the Move-In Bash planned for 8-10 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center to kick off the 2019 semester with a walk down memory lane at the all-new Kidult Pop Party. One of the most interactive and fun dance parties, the Kidult Pop Party features nine Instagram-ready inflatables, a retro games zone with classic consoles on massive screens, a custom-designed bounce house, and Kidult Tour DJ dropping pop throwback from the past two decades and much more.

“For many students, this is the first time they will interact with returning students and have the opportunity to reconnect with friends from FirstSTEP or CampRedhawk,” Krodinger said. “All students are invited to come get some ice cream and have an evening filled with music and fun activities.”

Friday, Aug. 16

Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 16, students who have not attended a First STEP Orientation will have the opportunity to attend the last 2019 session and register for classes before the fall semester begins.

Students living off-campus are invited to attend Commute and Connect! and pick up a free Southeast T-shirt and Engage in 8! booklet at 10:45 a.m. in the Show Me Center lobby.

“We know that students who are commuting still have questions,” Krodinger said. “Maybe it’s about connecting to WiFi or where to pick up their parking permit. It’s just as important to get connected to campus as a commuter as it is for a student living on campus, and we want to help.”

Spirited contests are a hallmark of the Welcome Convocation.

Welcome Convocation, the signature Opening Week event for all new students, begins at 11 a.m. in the Show Me Center. It’s the one time all students entering Southeast in fall 2019 will be together. Incoming students should be sure to wear the free T-shirt they received during Residence Hall Check-In or at Commute and Connect! and 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 and inspirational speaker and best-selling author John O’Leary will address the incoming class.

Following will be Southeast 101 sessions during which students can connect with faculty and staff, and their Opening Week leader, and get information and tips about life on campus and advice on how to navigate the first two weeks of the semester.

From 3- 4:30 p.m., students will break into their respective colleges and hear from the dean of their college as well as interact with faculty members from their departments.

“This is a key, first experience for new students to connect with their academic program,” Krodinger said. “It’s a great opportunity to interact with the faculty, staff and other students that will be their academic support network. They will hear about exciting programs and organizations that exist within their college to help them build their resume over the next four years. Launching their career starts from day one.”

At 4:30 p.m., new students will gather at Houck Stadium for their first Southeast family portrait.

From left, Pam Vargas, President Carlos Vargas and Dean Alberto Davila welcome students at the traditional Ice Cream Pig Out.

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 brings friends together to enjoy ice cream and have fun.

All students are invited to finish the evening with a performance by Harlem-based magician and illusionist, Kid Ace, at 8 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. With featured roles in music videos with artists such as Lil’ Yatchy, Young Thug and MGMT, Kid Ace has become one of magic’s up-and-coming newest stars. Additionally, he recently appeared on Netflix’s “Bill Nye Saves the World,” teaming up with Bill Nye and YouTube sensation Joanna Haussman to understand how animal brains react to magic at the Santa Barbara Zoo. With a pulse on the culture, Kid Ace seamlessly blends modern music and fashion with the world of illusion.

Saturday, Aug. 17

Saturday offers a full day of festivities to welcome students. Morning events include Under the Sea Yoga and Drum to the Beat with Recreation Services. In the afternoon, students may participate in Create Your Canvas with Campus Life and Event Services from 3-5 p.m. in the University Center where crafty ideas come to life as students use their creativity to give their new room a special flair.

At noon, a College of Education, Health and Human Studies Freshman Welcome Picnic is planned, inviting all freshman majors from all areas of study to play kickball, get information about student organizations, enjoy free food and meet faculty and staff.

Also scheduled at noon is the Honors Welcome Back Picnic. Students with the Jane Stephens Honors Program are invited to enjoy yard games, food and connect with other Honors students.

Students may learn about the multitude of opportunities offered outside the classroom at the 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.

Closing out events on Saturday, the Student Activities Council will sponsor a welcome back movie, Marvel’s “Avengers: Endgame” at 9 p.m. in Academic Hall Auditorium.

Sunday, Aug. 18

The Welcome Back Picnic offers food, fun and giveaways on Sunday, Aug. 18.

On Sunday, Aug. 18, tours of campus will be offered by Opening Week Leaders at 2 and 3 p.m. Interested students should bring their class schedule and meet at the Kala M. Stroup Fountain on the Plaza 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 encouraged to pick up their textbooks at Textbook Rental before classes begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19. Textbook Rental, located on the first floor of Kent Library, and Southeast Bookstore, located on the first floor of the University Center, will offer extended hours during opening week and weekend. Hours will be: 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Aug. 15; 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Aug 16; 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 17; 1-4 p.m. Aug. 18; and 8 a.m.-7 p.m. Aug. 19-21. Students must have their Redhawks ID and schedule to check out textbooks.

Parking Services will also offer extended hours over the weekend for students who are commuting or returning to campus, or who are residential but hadn’t purchased a permit in advance. Hours will be 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 17-18 before returning to normal business hours on Monday, Aug. 19.

Monday, Aug. 19

University staff will be on hand at tents scattered throughout campus to help answer questions, provide directions and offer snacks.

Fall classes begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 19. Welcome Back Tents will be stationed at various campus locations beginning at 7:30 a.m. on both Monday, Aug. 19, and Tuesday, Aug. 20, offering students a map, water and snacks before heading to class.

Also on Aug. 19-23 from 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. in the University Center Lobby, students are invited to the “Destination” fair to learn about the University’s fun activities on campus, leadership and involvement opportunities, traditions and celebrations, athletic events, and study abroad opportunities.

On Aug. 20 at 10 a.m., a Department of Mass Media Welcome Back for Students gathering is scheduled in the lower level of Grauel Building for incoming students to connect with faculty, staff and returning students and enjoy cookies and popcorn.

For more information on Opening Week, contact New Student Programs at (573) 651-5166 or Visit 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 Missouri State University 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.