Southeast Missouri State University will welcome its newest Redhawks to the fold to begin the 2018-2019 academic year during Opening Week 2018 festivities beginning Aug. 16.
New and returning students will find the recently completed National Pan-Hellenic Council Plaza, a greenspace for student recreation and events and recognition of Southeast’s NPHC chapters on Parker Field; the new Southeast Support Network, an innovative, far-reaching student success network available this fall to help guide students on the path to success as they manage their college career; and the launch of an academic reorganization with realigned colleges and departments, creating synergies that better serve students.
Thursday, Aug. 16
Opening Week begins with Move-In Day on Thursday, Aug. 16. 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 1,000 upper-class student volunteers will be on hand throughout the day to welcome new students and help move their belongings into their rooms.
“Moving in is a big transition, and campus staff and student volunteers are all here to help guide new students every step of the way and welcome them home,” said Katie Foshee, assistant director for New Student Programs in the Office of Admissions. “Our wonderful Residence Life staff has been preparing for this day for months to provide them with an experience that is organized, efficient and fun.”
Foshee encourages students 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 halls with their resident assistant and hall director to introduce them to on-campus living.
At 7 p.m., the official opening ceremony for the new National Pan-Hellenic Council Plaza on Parker Field will introduce students to the space, the eight historically African-American fraternities and sororities recognized at Southeast to which the space is dedicated, and to the new outdoor gathering area for their entire campus community.
A Move-In Bash is planned for 8-10 p.m. on Parker Field, and all students are invited.
“This is a great event to meet new people and start getting really comfortable on our campus,” Foshee said. “Students are encouraged to introduce themselves to students from other residence halls, reconnect with others they met at FirstSTEP Orientation or CampRedhawk, and join our returning students from several student organizations for an evening of fun, music and activities to kick off the year.”
Friday, Aug. 17
Beginning at 7 a.m. on Friday, Aug. 17, students who have not attended a First STEP Orientation will have the opportunity to attend the last 2018 session and register for classes before the fall 2018 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.
“Even if students are living off-campus, we want to help them get involved right away,” Foshee said. “Maybe they need help connecting to Southeast’s Wi-Fi or need to know where to pick up their parking pass before the first day of classes – whatever their need, staff and students will be there to welcome them and answer questions.”
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 2018 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 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 Student Government President Matt Rolwing will address the incoming class.
“Convocation really jumpstarts the semester off right for new students,” Foshee said. “They’ll get great advice, hear some terrific stories and be motivated to spread their wings and soar into their semester.”
Following will be Southeast 101 sessions during which students can connect with faculty and staff, and their Opening Week leader.
“At SE101 they get to meet a current student and faculty or staff member who will give them information and tips about life on campus and advice on how to navigate the first two weeks of the semester,” Foshee said.
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,” Foshee 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.
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.
Following the Ice Cream Pig Out, new students are invited to join the Interfraternity Council and Panhellenic Council for some free food and conversation at the Meet the Greeks Party hosted at Parker Field at 9 p.m.
Saturday, Aug. 18
Saturday offers a full day of festivities to welcome students. Morning events include choral ensemble auditions, yoga and yogurt with Recreation Services, and crafting with Southeast Serves. In the afternoon, students may participate in the Handcrafter’s Showcase from noon-4 p.m. at the Rosemary Berkel and Harry L. Crisp II Museum at Southeast’s River Campus, or Dec Your Dorm 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.
An Education Majors Welcome Picnic, sponsored by the Department of Elementary, Early and Special Education and the Department of Leadership, Middle and Secondary Education, 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 and evening are yard games with the Jane Stephens Honors Program, an LGBTQ+ Resource Center Reception, an event to introduce the First Year Leadership Program (FyLP) and events hosted by student organizations.
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.
“The University Center will be jam-packed with student leaders who are eager to share the groups that enhance the campus experience,” Foshee said. “More than 100 groups will be present — from co-curricular organizations and honor societies, to sport clubs and special interest groups. There’s something for everyone!”
Closing out events Saturday, the Student Activities Council will sponsor a welcome back movie, “Black Panther,” at 9 p.m. in the Forrest H. Rose Theatre, located in Grauel Building.
Sunday, Aug. 19
On Sunday, Aug. 19, 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.
New or returning transfer students are encouraged to stop by for food, games and prizes, and the chance to connect with other transfer students at the Transfer Student Welcome hosted at the Donald G. and Gloria King LaFerla Hall from 3-4 p.m.
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.
Foshee reminds students to pick up their textbooks at Textbook Rental before classes begin at 8 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 20. 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 weekend. Hours will be: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Aug. 18; 1-4 p.m. Aug. 19; and 7:30 a.m.-7 p.m. on Aug. 20-22. 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. 18 and 1-4 p.m. Aug. 19; before returning to normal business hours on Monday, Aug. 20.
Monday, Aug. 20
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.
“Campus comes back to life during Opening Week. Faculty, staff and the student community cannot wait for our new class to join us and look forward to supporting them in their journey,” Foshee said.