University welcomes Class of 2017 with events across campus
Published: Monday, September 2, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 2, 2013 18:09
Season Cooper, who is entering her freshman year at the university, has set a goal for her first semester in college: to find a group of friends that can support her now that she is on her own in a new phase of life.
“I feel like I’m going to miss home just a little bit,” Cooper said. “But everyone on my floor seems really nice.”
As a part of the class of 2017, Cooper is one of 3,821 freshmen on campus. Among her classmates are 1,273 Delawareans. Twenty-five percent of incoming freshmen are from minority groups, an increase from 20 percent minority groups in the class of 2016—an increase, which, according to the Office of Admissions, is in part due to increased outreach efforts by Diversity Enrichment Leaders and Delaware International Leaders within the Office of Admissions.
Cooper attended events throughout the weekend as a part of 1743 Welcome Days, the Division of Student Life’sthree-day series of events that took place across campus.
Jose Riera, Interim Dean of Students, said the events were well-attended.
“We were really pleased with the attendance and participation from students. A lot of that is credit to New Student Orientation where we really start to plug this program in for the students, so that helps a lot too.”
Welcome activities included events such as academic orientations, group Zumba sessions, games and contents, Activities Night, the Twilight Induction ceremony and Campus Breakout, which took place Saturday night and featured a SCPAB co-sponsored performance by YouTube sensation and comedian Bo Burnham as the headliner. SCPAB co-sponsored Burnham’s performance.
Meaghan Davidson, an Assistant Director for Programming with the University Student Centers and the chair for the Campus Breakout staff programming committee, said Burnham’s performance was popular among students. She said organizers had 2,500 sit-ons and all of them were used. In the past, these events have been held under a tent that seats just under 2,000 students, she said.
Davidson said organizers aimed to have an “anchor” in each of the main areas; in Trabant this was a hypnotist, and in Perkins Student Center this was a comedian and Quizzo.
The events in Perkins were reflective of any other Tuesday in the student center, she said.
“[The events] mirrored what that looks like for the rest of the semester so people can feel comfortable coming back.”
Riera said the events were created to allow upperclassmen to participate in being welcomed back to school.
“We’ve really been moving to a model where we’re trying to engage the entire campus in welcoming our first year students and our upper level students,” Riera said. “I feel like this year that spirit was felt on campus. There’s just so many departments that go into that, from facilities, to residence life, to faculty. I thought that a lot of that came together this year, and that’s exciting.”
Freshman Dan Bucchin went to Trabant University Center for Activities Night on Sunday, which he said was “packed.”
“Everything was electric and everyone was excited to meet new people,” Bucchin said. There was ice cream there, so that was a huge bonus. Everyone liked that.”
Bucchin, who lives in Eliphalet Gilbert Hall, joins hundreds of other freshmen living in one of two new freshmen residence halls on East Campus. He said he is happy with his living situation.
“The rooms are spacious compared to my friends’ rooms,” Bucchin said. “Everything is new. The lounges are so nice. They have a nice view, and the dorm is in a convenient location.”
Eliphalet Gilbert Hall houses traditional students, some students in the ROTC program and some student athletes. Louis Redding Hall, the other new residence hall on East Campus, houses traditional students and freshmen in the Honors Program. The halls are the most environmentally-friendly halls on campus, according to the university website.
Bucchin said he is adjusting to college well, and said his RA and advisor have been especially helpful.
“It’s not as hard as I thought it would be,” Bucchin said.