Welcome Week is an annual staple in Missouri State University-West Plains’ cultural life that kicks off each fall semester. It’s a great opportunity for new students to get accustomed to campus and make new friends. This year, however, Welcome Week is changing a few things.
Prior Welcome Week events were held the week before classes start, but this year, the new and improved schedule will be Aug. 21-25 – that’s right, the actual first week of classes!
Coordinator of Student Life and Development Jared Cates said this change allows every student to join in the festivities. “The former event really only ‘welcomed’ a small slice of the pie in terms of the entire student population on campus. This year, the goal is to provide an event that has a diverse lineup of events and unite the entire campus community,” Cates said. “By having Welcome Week during the first week of classes, more students will have the opportunity to get involved, establish relationships with peers, and connect with other faculty and staff members.”
Another exciting improvement this year is that Welcome Week is now free to all Missouri State-West Plains students. Last year’s $25 fee, which previously covered food and “swag” for participants, is being waived this year. But don’t worry, food will still be provided at the Blackout BBQ and the Pool and Pizza Party. Even better, Grizzly themed T-shirts and movie passes will be available through the Campus Scavenger Hunt.
Why should you go?
“Welcome Week is definitely a great way to begin college. It taught me everything I know about the campus and even helped me meet people who are now some of my closest friends,” student Makayla Koon said. “What I loved about Welcome Week is it allowed me an opportunity to get to know everyone on a personal level which really calmed my nerves on the first day of classes. I knew someone in every class because I met so many people at Welcome Week!”
Cates wants everyone to know that attending Welcome Week is supposed to be fun, as well as helpful for students. By scheduling the events between and after classes of the first week, it will provide students an outlet for any first-week stresses. Getting out and having fun is key here. Welcome Week is an opportunity to start off the term on good footing, where you can establish and build relationships with faculty, staff and students who want to help and see you succeed.
To anyone who doesn’t feel like Welcome Week is for them, or has anything to offer, Cates suggests picking at least one thing to try. “It’s something that everyone can take part in. Plug in, and make that your Welcome Week experience.”
Students do not need to register to attend Welcome Week; however, certain events, such as Escape West Plains, Dodgeball (open to faculty and staff) and Grizzlies Got Talent require participants to register.
Registration will be at the BBQ Welcome Booth.
Welcome Week 2017 Schedule:
For more information on Welcome Week, call Cates at 417-255-7233. Videos from past Welcome Week events can be found here, and a complete photo gallery from Welcome Week 2016 can be viewed on Missouri State-West Plains’ Facebook page.