Senior Week set to kick off

BY CORY PORTER | APRIL 24, 2015 5:00 AM

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University of Iowa seniors will graduate in less than a month, but before they walk across that stage and into the real world, they have a going-away present: Senior Week.

Started last year by the Campus Activities Board and the Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow, Senior Week will be six-day celebration giving seniors the chance to get together, have fun, and remember their time at the University of Iowa.

Hundreds of tickets have been sold so far, a major improvement over the inaugural year.

“I think it’s really important to show the seniors how far they’ve come … and to show them that their time was well spent and that the university is really proud of what they’ve done,” said UI junior Tess Lough, executive director of University and Alumni Relations for Students Today, Alumni Tomorrow.

Senior Week will start the week off with a VIP Party at the Misterwives show, a Last Lecture and Wine Tasting on May 5, a Sendoff Lunch on May 6, a Trivia Night on May 7, and on May 8 a Giveaway Day and “Kick Return” at Kinnick Stadium.

For the Kinnick event, organizers plan a re-creation of the On Iowa photo, in which students will form an “I” at the 50-yard line; the seniors this year were the first freshman class to participate in the photo as part of OnIowa.

When planning for the event, junior Kaitlyn Chizek, the special events director for the Campus Activities Board, said emails were sent out to seniors asking them what they would like to see.

“We tried to build the event based on their suggestions, so we changed a lot of events,” Chizek said. “We don’t want this to be our event that we’re trying to get people to come to. We want it to be something that the student body can get excited about.”

This is the second year Senior Week will take place, which replaced the annual end-of-the-year musical event RiverFest.

Lough and Chizek said the planning for Senior Week is split nearly evenly between the two groups they’re a part of, while Tiffany Leschke, the coordinator for student activities and programming at the Center for Student Involvement and Leadership, acts in an advisory role.

She said she’s seen a lot more effort and planning go into this year’s event, meaning it will have even more to offer seniors.

“The first year, ticket [sales] were minimal. I’d say we didn’t sell more than 20 tickets. Planning started in February,” she said. “It was kind of a last-minute. This year, they’ve been planning for the entire year, already sold probably close to 400 tickets sold, and we’re still a week and half out, which is amazing.”

She said the planning that has gone into this event will give seniors a good chance to reminisce over their time at the UI.

“This is our way of thanking them for their time [and] kind of recapping the memories for them,” she said.

Tickets are available for $10 at the Hub or across from the Hawk Shop, where graduation caps and gowns are available.

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