Welcome Week: a welcome back with some changes

Students welcomed back to campus with events

North Dakota State University has started up school this year, with a few changes to learning styles and learning environments. NDSU has received a grant that allows them to implement a HyFlex model for classes to offer both in-class and remote learning options for the safety of the students.

NDSU has also taken precautions and sanitary measures to help stop or slow the spread of COVID-19. By offering free testing on campus for students and faculty, everyone was encouraged to practice social distancing guidelines and public safety measures.

While following social distancing guidelines, NDSU has taken precautions when planning and hosting events, including during NDSU’s annual Welcome Week activities. This year, students living on campus are still encouraged to participate in Welcome Week activities run by Welcome Week team members and NDSU Student Success Programs.

This year for students, Welcome Week will be having events similar to past years, but some of these events have been changed or eliminated to further benefit the safety of students. Students have done events such as “dinner with your dorm member” where students go to one of NDSU’s three dining centers and have dinner with people they were living within their residence halls. A freshman described this event as an excellent way to meet people and it gives them a great opportunity to break out of their shell.

Welcome Week activities such as informational meetings have been happening throughout the week, giving students multiple opportunities to learn more about campus and what NDSU has to offer. Students have been given tours of various campus locations and amenities including the Wallman Wellness Center, which is open and abiding by social distancing guidelines, as well as the NDSU Library and Bookstore and other popular campus locations. 

“We as a school need to recognize that we never could have pulled this off without the help of all of our amazing volunteers. I want to give a massive shoutout to Welcome Week team members. We had the help of over 100 volunteers to make this happen,” Alyssa Teubner, New Student Programs Coordinator, said.

Teubner explained how it is NDSU’s goal to offer the best opportunities to each student and to take diversity into account. Building on last year’s changes, Welcome Week has been designed to provide options for students that are extroverted and enjoy larger activities, as well as providing options for introverted students or students who feel safer and more comfortable in smaller settings.

Another ongoing event for NDSU freshman is a phone hunt for the President’s bitmoji. Around campus and downtown, pictures of NDSU President Dean Bresciani’s bitmoji have been hung up. Students may compete in teams of two to find all the bitmoji pictures for a chance to win a $250 prize.

Last year, the Welcome Week program ended Friday night at the end of the first week of school. This year, due to the large expected number of students that may stay on campus this coming weekend, more Welcome Week events have been planned for the weekend. This includes fireworks on Thursday night sponsored by Gate City Bank and a “Making Mems” presentation with a virtual artist that will be doing things through Zoom, so students may participate either in-person or anywhere they feel most comfortable. Food and gift boxes will also be handed out at this event.

On Friday, Aug. 27, Welcome Week members have an evening of activities at the Wellness Center including a night swim, night yoga and a chance to win Apple AirPods. Students are encouraged to come enjoy the pool, climbing wall and exercise facilities while giving them a chance to meet other students.

NDSU is a proud land grant agricultural institution, and to honor this, students are invited to come to Shepperd Arena on Friday, Aug. 28 from 1-3 p.m. to see animals and learn more about agriculture and NDSU’s agricultural programs.

On Saturday, Aug. 28, Welcome Week team members will be hosting a painting night sponsored by NDSU Student Government. Students may come and paint with free canvases and materials provided by NDSU.

On Sunday, Aug. 29, there will be a Green Bandana Project presentation and training to help educate people on mental health issues and resources. Students may take the Green Bandana Project training in order to be a better individual to approach with mental health-related issues. Students who have completed this training will have a green bandana tied around their backpacks to show their solidarity for the importance of mental health. 

Also on Sunday, there will be an Indigenous student smudging and blessing for students who would like to celebrate their heritage or any student who is curious and wants to learn more about Indigenous peoples. 

Throughout the day on Sunday, there will be a Coffee Shop Crawl in downtown Fargo with the participation of local coffee shops. Students may receive a punch card that they can use at any participating coffee shop. Once this punch card is completed, students may enter with their punched card for the opportunity to win a prize. 

For more information about Welcome Week activities and other upcoming events or information regarding NDSU organizations, please go to myndsu.ndsu.edu.

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