Welcoming students back to campus

As the summer of 2012 comes to a dreaded end for most students, the festivities of Welcome Week are just beginning for incoming freshmen students at Northern Kentucky University. The annual celebration aimed at helping new students assimilate into campus life officially began Aug. 17 and will continue in a series of scheduled events until Aug. 26.

The college experience for freshmen students of NKU began with an action-packed schedule, which started Aug. 17 with freshman move in day. With activities ranging from picnics, outdoor movie screenings, worship services and music entertainment, there’s something for everybody.

With over 30 events scheduled over the course of nine days, the success of orchestrating daily events relies heavily upon the collaborative efforts of numerous entities. There are several student organizations that join forces each year to coordinate these events. Chiefly among the sponsors is the Activities Programming Board, a student organization that promotes and hosts campus activities year round.

Tina Hoesl, APB executive director, is an advocate of the positive impact Welcome Week has on freshmen students. “It’s a fun environment for students to make new friends and learn about future APB events,” she said.

The Street Dance event kicked off the main evening events of the week on Aug. 17. A DJ kept the party going with popular hits as students danced and kicked up sand on the volleyball courts where free beverages were available.

The supply of food and drinks brings in another frequent sponsor of events, the Chartwells catering service. Chartwells Catering Manager Monica Kohnen acknowledges the challenge of supplying food for each event. “There’s so many different people trying to complete the best Welcome Week possible,” Kohnen said. “We’ve been doing this for a few years so we get used to the challenges.”

The excitement continued August 20 when APB and the Interfaith Council hosted a free outdoor screening of the summer blockbuster “The Avengers” on the Griffin Hall Oval lawn. There were minor adjustments to the events scheduled Aug. 21 when the outdoor concert was cancelled, leaving hypnotist Dale K. as the main attraction for the night as he dazzled students with his professional yet humorous take on mind motivation techniques.

On Aug. 22 students were invited to the performance of Dueling Pianos, a pair who is returning for the second year. Two pianists performed requests for students in the Student Union multi-purpose room.

On Friday night, students are encouraged to check out Fresh Fusion, where hundreds of the university’s student organizations come together as a way for new students to find their place in the NKU community. From 3-7 p.m., the booths will be set up for all students to check out around Loch Norse Lake.

The week will continue with live music, spirituality workshops, stand-up comedy and karaoke with DJ Ricky Pangallo on Saturday night in the Student Union multi-purpose room at 7 p.m. Welcome Week will conclude with a brunch and worship event sponsored by the Baptist Campus Ministry on Sunday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.