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Welcome Week adds features

BY MITCHELL SCHMIDT | AUGUST 21, 2009 7:07 AM

Joel Wesselink, starting his second year at the UI, said he will make sure to stop by the UI Job Fair and Taste of Iowa City at this year’s Welcome Week.

As a transfer student last year, he said, moving in and handling classes kept him preoccupied during last fall’s events.

“I didn’t go to very many things last year, but I should have,” he said. All UI students should take advantage of the chance to meet people and learn about what the university has to offer, he said.

Aside from such staples as the Black and Gold Carnival, a few new features will début at the 11th-annual event, which will begin Saturday.

One tradition will be revived for the festivities: a convocation held on the Pentacrest at 4 p.m. on Aug. 23, said Tara Edberg, an assistant director in the Office of Student Life.

“[It] is the official welcome from President Sally Mason into the Hawkeye Family and where first-year students begin their Iowa experience,” Edberg wrote in an e-mail.

First-year student Simone Renault, who won a contest via YouTube, will give a speech on behalf of the class of 2013 after Mason speaks. Immediately following, students are invited to go to the President’s Block Party at 5 p.m. at the President’s Residence, 102 E. Church St.

One event returning for its third year on Aug. 27 is the Community of Color, which is meant to showcase the university’s diversity. The event will offer food, music, and door prizes, said Andy Freeman, the coordinator of outreach and campus programming at the Center for Diversity and Enrichment.

“We will welcome back returning students as well as welcome new students,” he said. “It’s a chance to get connected and meet students.”

On a practical side, some Welcome Week events may help students get acquainted with downtown. Midweek, Taste of Iowa City will give new Hawkeyes a chance to sample the many food possibilities. The event will be held from 4 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 26 throughout downtown.

In addition, first-year students will also be treated to an after-hours shopping trip to Target at the Coral Ridge Mall in Coralville to stock up on supplies for college life. Buses will leave from the residence halls at 10:30 p.m. Saturday.

Late Night at the IMU, another new activity, will wrap up the week starting at 10 p.m. on Aug. 28. Students can enjoy free food and door prizes at the IMU, as well as slip-n-slides, volleyball, and a Spirit Squad performance in Hubbard Park until 1 a.m.

“Welcome Week is an outstanding opportunity for Hawkeyes to connect to each other, faculty, staff and the entire Iowa community,” Edberg said.


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