CAPE GIRARDEAU, Mo., Aug. 12, 2015 –Southeast Missouri State University is buzzing with anticipation as it prepares to welcome its newest students to the campus for the 2015-2016 academic year.
New Student Move-In day is scheduled for Thursday, Aug. 20, with a full slate of activities planned throughout the weekend before fall classes begin on Monday, Aug. 24.
“Move-in day is the best day of the year. It’s the reason we do what we do. It’s such a happy and fun day,” says Katie Foshee, assistant director of Admissions for New Student Programs at Southeast Missouri State University. “It’s a celebration of all of our hard work but also of all of the students’ accomplishments” that have brought them to Southeast. “It’s the sweatiest day of the year, but it’s also the happiest day of the year.
“Southeast is a wonderful place where you will have the opportunity to develop your full potential,” she tells students. “Southeast will provide you with every opportunity to become the best version of yourself. It is just taking those opportunities when given them and finding them when they are not easy to find. Southeast is going to become your home. You’re going to love it!”
Opening Week gets underway with Early Bird Move-In beginning at 6 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 20, in the Student Recreation Center-North. There students may pick up their room keys and check in before proceeding to their designated residence hall to begin moving in their belongings.
About 1,000 student volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to help new students unload their vehicles and carry in boxes, televisions, refrigerators, clothing, electronics and other items students have brought to campus for their residence hall room.
“Dress for the weather and label everything,” Foshee warned, acknowledging August days in southeast Missouri are generally warm.
Once students are moved in, a jammed packed weekend of events awaits them.
That evening, residence hall students are asked to participate in a meeting with their hall director and resident assistant who will introduce them to on-campus living. At 8 p.m., new residence hall and commuter students are invited to a Move-In Bash from 8-10 p.m. on the front lawn of Kent Library near the Kala M. Stroup Fountain on the Plaza.
“The Move-In Bash is a great first activity to attend,” Foshee said.
On Friday, Aug. 21, at 8:30 a.m. in the University Center, a First STEP is planned for students who still need to attend orientation in order to enroll in classes. Commuter students are invited to “Commute and Connect!” at 9 a.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North, where they will get a free T-shirt.
The hallmark of the weekend is the Welcome Convocation scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 21 in the Show Me Center.
“Convocation is an extension of the student’s orientation program and all new students are expected to attend,” Foshee said. “It is really the only time students get to sit down with their whole class. It’s the first time to be addressed by the president. It’s the first time to really get your charge as a class and to go forth and take Southeast by storm.”
The Welcome Convocation offers students the opportunity to meet new Southeast President Dr. Carlos Vargas, Student Government President Peter Jacobsen and faculty representative, Dr. Willie Redmond.
“SE101 follows the convocation. You might think of it as a last minute crash course” in which new students are divided into small groups of about 25, Foshee said. They get to meet a current student and interact with a faculty or staff member while learning about life on campus, time management, Southeast lingo and useful resources.
At 2:30 p.m. that afternoon, new students participate in college meetings where they meet the dean of their college along with the department chair and faculty in their major.
“Friday is a key day academically,” she said. “Students begin to learn what their academic program is all about.”
Friday evening concludes with the Student Government Ice Cream Pig Out at 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center-North. This all-you-can-eat tradition offers great food, friends and fun. After enjoying ice cream served by Southeast students and administrators, a magician will perform at 8 p.m.
“This is a great way to end a really academic day with a little bit of fun,” Foshee said.
Saturday, Aug. 22, offers 14 different events for students to explore the campus and opportunities available to them.
“I encourage every single student to do at least one activity on Saturday,” she said. “I’m partial to the Student Involvement Fair, but there’s everything from Recreation Services and crafting to a scavenger hunt and dodgeball. Pick something that you enjoy and you are naturally going to find other people who are passionate about the same things you are.
“Getting involved at Southeast is key to your success inside and outside of the classroom,” Foshee advises students.
All new students will receive a booklet, “Engage in 8,” at new student convocation. The guide lists daily activities for the first eight weeks of the semester, including recreation, service, music auditions, crafts, campus ministry, social, leadership, Greek Life, intramurals, Homecoming, Family Weekend and many more.
On Sunday, Aug. 23, campus tours with Opening Week leaders are available at 2 and 3 p.m. beginning in front of Kent Library. All students are invited to a Welcome Back Picnic from 4-6 p.m. at the Show Me Center. The event offers food and giveaways from Cape Girardeau businesses and organizations, University departments and student organizations.
Foshee reminds students to pick up their textbooks at Textbook Rental before classes begin 8 a.m. Monday, Aug. 24.
Foshee says Opening Week is an exciting time for both new and returning students.
For new students, “They get to meet a whole new group of people,” she said. “They get to engage with people maybe they met at orientation or at Camp Redhawk.”
For returning students, “there’s the natural feel of getting to come back to a place they view as their second home and see all of their friends and pick up where they left off with all of their student organizations and activities and get to do the things they are so passionate about,” she said.
She encourages all students to share their Opening Week experiences, including photos and video, in social media at #SemoGetInvolved, #RoadToSemo and #WillToDo.
“If you had a great experience, let us know,” she said.
For more information on Opening Week 2015, contact Foshee at (573) 651-5166 or firstname.lastname@example.org, or visit semo.edu/campuslife or semo.edu/nsp. Students also are encouraged to keep “Engage in 8!” activities at their fingertips by downloading the free Southeast app in Google Play or the App Store.