Welcome Week Kicks Off New Academic Year

Posted: August 18, 2010 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: August 17, 2010 at 11:44 am

By Catherine Ferraro

The Patriot loves to hang out and join the fun during Welcome Week. Creative Services photo

It’s almost that time of year when Mason’s campuses swarm with more than 30,000 students returning for a new semester. Representatives from university offices will be out in full force, donning bright gold volunteer shirts and extending a friendly welcome to new and returning Patriots.

Welcome Week, which runs from Thursday, Aug. 26, through Tuesday, Sept. 7, is packed with more than 50 events that are sure to please.

“For Welcome Week this year, I want outreach to students to be stronger than ever before,” says Dennis Hicks, associate director in the Office of Student Activities. “My goal is to make sure that every Mason student – new and returning – on all of the campuses feels welcome and is comfortable as a part of the university community.”

Carrying on a Tradition

Lots of people are on hand to help during move-in. Creative Services photo

One of the traditions that will kick off Welcome Week is the New Student Convocation on Friday, Aug. 27, from 4 to 5 p.m. at the Center for the Arts. During the convocation, incoming freshmen and transfer students will be welcomed to their new academic community. They’ll also hear an inspiring talk by Robinson Professor of Physics James Trefil, a renowned researcher who is also an advocate of scientific literacy.

Convocation leads into another signature event of the week: Revolutionary Rock. This event invites students to dance the night away with their newfound friends in the glow of neon lights. It will be a fun night of break-dance battles, giveaways and lots of delicious treats.

The entire Mason community is invited to show their spirit and Patriot pride at IVth Night, which honors the university’s namesake, George Mason IV. On Wednesday, Sept. 1, from 6 to 9 p.m. on the Student Union Building I Quad, this fun-filled event introduces students to everything they need to know about being a Patriot, including the fight song.

They’ll also get samples and coupons from local restaurants and retail stores and see live performances. The coveted Mason Fight Song shirt, designed by senior Vinh Le, an information technology major, will be distributed free while supplies last.

Joining Together to Show Mason Spirit

Welcome Week is a great time to meet new people and make lasting friendships. Creative Services photo

To ensure that new students don’t get lost on their first day of classes, the National Pan-Hellenic Council and Mason Ambassadors are hosting “Dude, Where’s My Class” on Sunday, Aug. 29, from noon to 2 p.m. Members of these organizations will walk groups of new students around to most of the buildings on campus so they know where to go on Monday morning.

A new off-campus student social sponsored by the Office of Orientation and Family Programs and Services (OFPS) will make it easier for students to find carpools, network and learn about other opportunities available to them. The social is on Tuesday, Aug. 31, from 3 to 6 p.m. at Brion’s Grille, 10621 Braddock Road, Fairfax, Va.

Another event offered by OFPS is a shopping trip to IKEA in Woodbridge, Va., on Tuesday, Sept. 7, for students who want to accessorize their residence hall room. During the event, students can participate in contests and promotions and receive giveaways.

The entire Mason community is invited to attempt to break the world record for the largest game of dodgeball on Friday, Sept. 3, from 9 to 11 p.m. in the Recreation and Athletic Complex (RAC). The current record is held by Samsung Mobile with 712 participants. After the game, participants will form the Mason logo and pose for a giant group photo.

Serving the Community

Mason students and faculty and staff members are encouraged to bring in their old, clean T-shirts from their previous high schools or universities in exchange for a new Mason shirt. The T-shirt exchange takes place on Thursday, Sept. 2, from 4 to 6 p.m. on the North Plaza. The trade-ins will be donated to the Salvation Army.

MasonGIVES invites students, faculty and staff to participate in a half-day of service on and off campus. Opportunities are available through several community agencies, including Our Neighbor’s Child, Hylton Boys and Girls Club and the Orphan Foundation of America.

For more information about the events on the Fairfax, Arlington and Prince William Campuses, visit the Welcome Week website.

Write to mediarel at gazette@gmu.edu