Southeast gears up for opening week activities

Wednesday, August 10, 2005

Southeast Missouri State University will welcome its new students with a full slate of activities beginning Aug. 18 that will culminate with the start of fall semester classes on Aug. 22.

"The campus is gearing up for all of the wonderful activities planned for students during Opening Week 2005," said Theresa Haug Belvin, Assistant Director of New Student Programs. "Our students have a lot to look forward to this year, and the University is very excited to have our new students join us."

On Aug. 18, first year students wanting to get a head start on settling in to their new campus abode can do so at the early-bird move-in from 6 to 8 a.m. at the Student Recreation Center. A parents' fraternity and sorority informational meeting will be held at 3 p.m. at Towers CafÈ, and refreshments will be served.

Later that evening, a commuter student social is planned for 6:30 p.m. in the Show Me Center meeting rooms, and residence hall meetings are scheduled from 8 to 11 p.m.

On Aug. 19, faculty and staff will officially welcome the newest members of the University community with a Welcome Convocation at the Show Me Center. The convocation, which provides students with a general University orientation and information about Opening Week activities, begins at 9:30 a.m.

Kenneth W. Dobbins, president of Southeast Missouri State University, John Mehner, president and chief executive officer of the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce, Adam Hanna, Student Government president, India Jeffery, student regent, and Dr. Irene Ferguson, dean of students, will welcome new students to Southeast. Theresa Haug Belvin will serve as master of ceremonies.

A meeting for nontraditional students is planned for 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the University Center Missouriana Room. Any students who is a veteran, a GED recipient, married or divorced, has dependents, or is over the age of 24 should attend this very informative meeting, which also will include lunch.

Traditional students will break into Southeast 101 groups from 10:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. at various campus locations. The theme for this year's Southeast 101 session is "Experience a New Tradition." Southeast 101 allows new students to ask questions of faculty and current students about academics and campus life. Southeast 101 gives students a glimpse of what Southeast life is like through discussions that focus on academic expectations in the college classroom, basic tips for succeeding and how to access resources at the University. Lunch will be served during the meeting.

Towers CafÈ will be serving an "Italiano Night" dinner from 4:30 to 7 p.m. After dinner, the annual "Great Ice Cream Pig Out" is scheduled for 7 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center. This all-you-can-eat Southeast tradition features ice cream served by Southeast students and administrators and is sponsored by the Student Government Association. Entertainment will be provided at 8:15 p.m. by comedy hypnotist Dale K. The performance is sponsored by Student Activities Council.

On Aug. 20, activities begin with a First STEP enrollment program for first-year students who have not yet attended the orientation. The program is scheduled for 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. in the University Center. Also on Aug. 20, a variety of recreational activities are scheduled throughout the day. The Student Recreation Center will have the climbing wall open, and will hold sand volleyball and dodgeball games, as well as club sports demonstrations. Playstation games will be available at noon in Towers lobby for students interested in video games.

Later that evening, a Minority Student Forum is planned at 6:30 p.m. in the University Center Program Lounge. An outdoor movie, "Hitch," will be shown on Academic Terraces at 9 p.m.

Campus Ministries will hold services throughout the morning of Aug. 21 at various locations.

The annual Chamber of Commerce Welcome Back Picnic will be held Aug. 21 at 4 p.m. in Capaha Park. Sponsored by the Cape Girardeau Chamber of Commerce University Relations Committee in partnership with Chartwells Educational Dining Services, the annual picnic offers food, fun and lots of activities for students, faculty and staff.

A fraternity informational meeting will be held at 8 p.m. in the Towers CafÈ, with a sorority informational meeting following at 9 p.m.

Classes for the fall 2004 semester will begin at 8 a.m. on Aug. 22. That evening, the University Center will be hosting an open house from 6 to 9 p.m.

Students to begin arriving August 18

More than 1,200 first year and transfer students who will live on campus arrive in Cape Girardeau Thursday, August 18. In addition, another 1,000 returning on-campus students will move back into the residence halls Aug. 18-20.

"This fall, we'll have about 2,300 students living in our residence halls," says Bruce Skinner, associate director of the Office of Residence Life.

More than half of the 2,300 students are first year students who will be living away from home for the first time.

"We make a special effort to connect these first year students to the Southeast community," Skinner said. "There are hundreds of scheduled and spontaneous events for new and returning students to take advantage of during the first few weeks of the fall semester. We have a very organized process for the students, parents and family friends that make the trip to campus to help their student move into their room."

Move-in Day begins at 6 a.m. Aug. 18 at the Show Me Center/Student Recreation Center. A one-stop shop of local businesses and campus departments will provide on-campus students information while they pick up their room assignments, room keys and check-in information. Students may check in at their assigned time or during the Early-Bird Move-In scheduled for 6 to 8 a.m., Haug-Belvin said.

The Department of Public Safety at Southeast is urging people to consider alternate travel routes near campus that day. Beth Glaus, manager of parking and transit, said heavy traffic congestion is expected on New Madrid between Henderson and Sprigg streets from 6 a.m. to 3 p.m., with the heaviest traffic expected from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Residence hall check-in for first year students is planned for 6 a.m. to 4 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center located on New Madrid between Henderson and Sprigg.

Glaus said those not participating in residence hall check-in may wish to consider traveling north and south on West End Boulevard instead of on Henderson or Sprigg, and east and west on Bertling or Independence instead of on New Madrid. According to Glaus, motorists should keep in mind that Broadway is currently under construction between Park and Houck Place.

Once students pick up their keys, they will be directed to their residence halls where they will move their belongings into their rooms. After students check in, they have a few hours to say goodbye to family and friends and, then, a series of scheduled activities are set up to help students acclimate to the on-campus living community.

With so many people and vehicles on Move-in Day, sometimes, things can get a little hectic, Skinner said. The Office of Residence Life will have staff throughout the residence halls ready to assists students and parents as they transition to on-campus living.

"I still recall how my mother felt when I moved into the residence halls, so I feel an obligation to help every parent I see with any question or concern they may have. After all, we must remember that this is just as significant a change for the parent as it is for the student," Skinner said.

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