Written by: Ashley Creech and Dhruv Verma
This year, University of Washington Bothell welcomed roughly 1,600 first-year and transfer students to the next chapter of their lives with events, programs and activities to gear them towards a successful year. Welcome week began on Friday, September 20th and lasted through Friday, September 27th and was organized by UW Bothell Orientation & Transition Programs who strive to facilitate student engagement and student success for students in transition by developing and connecting students to resources, people, and opportunities.
The beginning of the action-packed week began with move-in day where around 300 students established their new homes at Husky Village and Campus View. For new students moving away from home for the first time, this can be one of the most stressful moments of transitioning to becoming more independent.
The Orientation & Transition Programs goal with Welcome Week is to create a sense of belonging, home and connection with other students. There were many events that occured that weekend in the Community Center at Husky Village including Rock Band and Super Smash Brothers Tournament, Husky Village Lot Party, Monday Night Karaoke and Speed Friending and Smoothies.
Another recurring event that many new and returning students also attended was the movie under the stars on September 21st. Students gathered in the campus plaza with pajamas, blankets, popcorn and snacks to watch SpiderMan: Into the Spider-Verse on a larger projector screen among their new friends.
On Sunday, September 22nd, incoming first year, transfer students and their families were invited to Convocation, a formal ceremony to kickstart the year to hear Chancellor Wolf Yeigh speak along with other leaders on campus. The Activities and Recreation Center was full of school display banners while faculty donned their academic robes to speak about the university’s values and goals for the year for the new students that join the campus.
Continuing the festivities, September 25th kicked off the first of two day to the Activities and Resource Fair, where clubs, organizations and student resources represent themselves with their own tables throughout the Promenade and the Plaza. Students in between classes were able to learn about student opportunities and resources on campus and how they can engage with things they are passionate about while also presenting a space where new students can meet new people and create new experiences.
On September 25th, the Campus Events Board (CEB) team organized a Harry-Potter-themed ARC Carnival to kick start the new year with a blast. This event encouraged new and returning UWB students to explore new interests and connections within campus, as well as provide them with a purposeful and positive collegiate experience through diverse programs and events.
There were many games and activities including balloon modeling, face painting, chess, a trip on the ARC Express around the campus, and a chance to win some marvelous Harry-Potter-Inspired prizes. With the help from an amazing group of volunteers, the Campus Events Board aims to surprise everyone in the future with new projects throughout the rest of the year.
On the 26th of September, quite a few events were held on campus including the SVA (Student Veterans Association) open house, an ice cream social, SJO’s (Social Justice Organizers) That’s What I Should’ve Said and Sound House Open Mic Night. To close out the busy welcome week on the 27th, the block party was hosted in the Activities and Recreations Center sponsored by Residential Life, Recreation & Wellness and was filled with games, activities, music and food.These social events that occur during welcome week serve to inspire and engage students undergoing transitions in college by providing resources and programs that help students have an optimal college experience that is grounded in a sense of belonging and personal development. There will be a large variety of events that will be held on campus throughout the rest of the academic year for students to get more engaged on campus.