From picnics to sporting events to karaoke, the first week of the fall semester wrapped up as students were invited to attend the final events of “Welcome Week 2014.”
The annual series of university-sponsored activities, which began Aug. 23, gave new and returning students the opportunity to connect with classmates and make new friends. The week began with events such as new student move-in, the Recreational Sports Center Pool Party and New Student Convocation where Bearkats could familiarize themselves with the campus and those attending it before classes started Wednesday.
Wednesday’s events included the Student Money Management Center’s “So You’re On Your Own: Now What?” and the Department of Student Activities’ Casino Night.
Freshman English major Lauren Brandon said “Welcome Week’s” assortment of events helped her begin connecting with other students.
“[Welcome Week] is fun, you meet a lot of new people,” she said. “[So You’re On Your Own: Now What]” accommodates to a different group than Party in the Pit did, so there is a variety of students that come.”
Wednesday also began the five-day period of recruitment for Sam Houston State University’s five Panhellenic sororities.
On the second day of class, Student Activities hosted Unityfest, where students learned how to get involved at the university through many cultural and diverse activities. That night, Bearkats shared their musical talents at Kats Meow Karaoke in the Lowman Student Center Kat Klub.
Friday, Student Activities organized the Bearkat Picnic at Austin Hall where students and faculty alike were treated to a free lunch courtesy of Aramark and SHSU Dining Services.
Sophomore criminal justice major Blake Blakeney enjoyed taking a break from classes at events like the picnic.
“It’s a great stress reliever when I get out of class,” he said. “It helps lighten the load, and I can have some fun.”
That night, Student Activities and Program Council hosted “Dinner and a Movie” in the LSC which featured “Neighbors,” starring Zac Efron and Seth Rogan, while Campus Outreach organized the “Friday Night Lights Flag Football Game” as well.
The weekend was full of sporting events for Bearkat Athletics fans to attend.
Saturday brought the first home football game of the season, as well as the first tailgate at Bearkat Alley. Several organizations, such as the Department of Student Activities, the College of Fine Arts and Mass Communications and the College of Education were present with giveaways available for students.
Football fans poured into Bowers Stadium to cheer on the Bearkats as they took on Alabama State University. Spirit groups such as the Orange Pride Dance Team, Cheer and the Bearkat Marching Band made their first appearances as the Bearkats toppled Alabama State 51-20.
Sunday marked the end of “Welcome Week” with women’s soccer winning 2-1 over Prairie View A&M.
Regardless of which events students attended, “Welcome Week’s” main goal was to help students become more involved in different groups and extracurricular activities that will enhance their college experience, according to associate director of Student Activities Brandon Cooper.
Freshman business major Haylee Worley attended multiple “Welcome Week” events and said the activities helped her connect with other students living on campus.
“I’ve met a lot of people, and it’s been really fun,” she said. “I’ve met almost everyone on the floor of my dorm.”
Worley was assisted by Kats for Christ Student Ministries, and she and other freshman became more involved with the group.
“We ended up going to a party that they had and then we ended up hanging out a couple nights in a row,” she said.
While “Welcome Week” has come and gone, the semester has just begun. It is never too late to get out and become involved in a club, meet other students or attend a university-sponsored event.