Welcome Weekend for new students at Fairmont State University and Pierpont Community & Technical College begins on Thursday, Aug. 16. The program is designed to provide incoming freshmen with the information they need to start their college experience moving in the right direction. Classes for the fall 2012 semester begin Monday, Aug. 20 (Saturday classes begin on Saturday, Aug. 18).
The Office of Student Affairs has organized a number of events for students with the theme “The Journey Begins.” Welcome Weekend, which takes place Thursday, Aug 16, through Sunday, Aug. 19, includes activities to transition new students and their families to campus life and to introduce them to the people and resources available to support them.
Fairmont State and Pierpont Freshmen who attend all Welcome Weekend activities will be entered in Grand Prize Drawings that will take place during the “Passport to Success” event at the Ruth Ann Musick Library at 1 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 19. Prizes include $500 in textbooks from the Bound for Success Bookstore on campus, a semester of free tuition valued at the in-state rate, an Apple iPad and an e-reader.
One of the unique aspects of the Fairmont State and Pierpont experience is a program that trains peer counselors called Freshman Counselors. Wearing bright T-shirts and badges so they are easy to find, the Freshman Counselors help new students move their belongings into the residence halls, offer tips and strategies for being successful and stick with them to offer guidance through the first few weeks of classes.
Laurie Johnston, Director of Student Activities, said volunteer efforts from peer counselors are to credit for the success of Welcome Weekend for the past two decades.
“These exceptional upper classmen peer counselors bring their own memories and challenges of their freshmen year experiences to play as they welcome the new students to campus each year,” Johnston said. “While we do have professional staff working with the freshmen throughout the four days before school begins, it truly is the guidance, new friendship, advice and leadership that the freshmen counselors provide to the freshmen that make the beginning of the first year experience at FSU and Pierpont so successful.”
Move In Day for all new freshmen who live in the main campus residence halls will be from 2:30 to 6 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 16. Those who live in Pence Hall or Prichard Hall will begin moving in at 2:30 p.m. Those who live in Morrow Hall or Bryant Place will begin moving in at 4:30 p.m.
From 4 to 7 p.m. on Aug. 16, there will be a Community Resource Fair in the second floor Main Street area of the Falcon Center. The event will feature information booths set up by area businesses, banks, service agencies and a sampling of campus organizations.
Several meetings and social events also are planned for Aug. 16. A Parents’ Information Meeting is scheduled for 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym. A General Meeting is scheduled for 8 to 8:30 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym. The General Meeting will be an opportunity for all new freshmen to meet, and it will be their first opportunity to obtain raffle tickets for a Grand Prize Drawing on Sunday, Aug. 19. A Playfair Icebreaker will be from 8:30 to 10 p.m. in Falcon Center Gym 2, followed by an Ice Cream and Pizza Social at 10 p.m. in the second floor Main Street area of the Falcon Center.
Events on Friday, Aug. 17, will begin with breakfast at 8 a.m. in Colebank Hall Gym. Students are asked to bring a printed copy of their fall class schedule to the Friday events.
One of the highlights of Welcome Weekend is the FSU Convocation, which takes place from 9 to 10 a.m. in Colebank Hall Gym. During this traditional ceremony, faculty, staff and administrators officially welcome all new freshmen to Fairmont State. Freshmen will recite the Academic Pledge.
Dr. Maria Rose, Fairmont State University President, said the ceremony is a perfect opportunity to make a lasting impression on new students.
“Convocation is not only a ceremony to formally welcome new students to campus, it is also an opportunity to inspire and motivate them with the significance of the academic journey they are beginning. When new students see faculty and administrators participate in the processional in their academic regalia, they have an impression of the grand tradition of higher education,” Rose said.
After the Convocation, students who have questions or need to speak with the Financial Aid or Business Office will remain in Colebank Hall Gym for assistance. At the same time, students will be divided into groups by their majors and will attend Part 1 of their Departmental Orientations from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. At this time, freshmen will be able to finalize their registration, ask questions about classes or expectations and meet faculty and staff. A special session has been planned for students who are undecided about their major.
Students and faculty members will have an opportunity to meet and mingle at a picnic on the Falcon Center lawn from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m. (The rain location will be Falcon Center Gym 2.) Following the picnic, freshmen requiring additional time or assistance from their departmental or faculty advisors will attend Part 2 of their Departmental Orientations until about 3:45 p.m. An Honors Caucus for all new Honors students is scheduled from 1:30 to 3 p.m. in Room 236 Wallman Hall. Students who don’t require additional time with faculty will be offered a Campus Tour, departing from Colebank Hall Gym at 1:30 p.m. Campus Tours will be offered again from Colebank Hall Gym at 4 p.m. Dinner will be from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. in the Falcon Center Dining Hall.
Students who live in the campus residence halls will have Wing Meetings at 7 p.m., and then the freshmen will gather again for a Music Video Dance Party from 8 to 11 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym.
Events on Saturday, Aug. 18, begin at 11 a.m. with brunch in the Falcon Center Dining Hall. All new PROMISE Scholars are asked to attend a presentation from 11:30 a.m. to noon in a reserved seating area of the Dining Hall.
At 12:30 p.m., there will be a General Meeting including Student Government Nominations in Colebank Hall Gym. Freshmen will be able to nominate their fellow students for open Student Government positions designated for freshmen. From 1 to 2 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym, students will participate in an interactive, on-campus presentation called the Monster College Advantage. The presentation is designed to help students recognize that the choices they make during their first year in college can have a major impact on future opportunities.
At 2 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym, students will meet and will be divided into peer mentoring groups with Freshman Counselors for peer mentoring sessions, which will be from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. Counselors will provide tips for how to succeed as “The Journey Begins.” Sessions will include hands-on guidance on how to navigate the FSU web site and use technology tools and advice on how to be more successful in class and where to go for help such as tutoring, counseling and advising. There will be special peer mentoring groups for transfer students and non-traditional students.
From 3:30 to 4:30 p.m., FSU School Pride Showcases will take place in Colebank Hall Gym. Students will learn FSU facts and history, as well as the alma mater. All participants will receive a free T-shirt. Dinner will follow from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. in the Falcon Center Dining Hall.
The rest of the evening will feature fun and games, such as Intramural Games in Falcon Center Gyms 1 and 2 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. and a performance by Hypnotist Tom Deluca from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in Colebank Hall Gym. Students can hang out in the Falcon Center from 8:30 to 10 p.m. for a pool party, Far Out Photos, video games and refreshments.
Events for Sunday, Aug. 19, kick off at 10 a.m. with an International Student Orientation in Multi-Media Room B of the Ruth Ann Musick Library. Brunch will be served in the Falcon Center Dining Hall at 11 a.m.
Open to all FSU and Pierpont students, the Ruth Ann Musick Library will host “Passport to Success” beginning at 1 p.m. Students will be able to explore the Library; hear live music from the band Eighties Enough; enjoy refreshments, including snow cones and cotton candy provided by Everlasting Covenant Church; and meet the incredibly friendly and resourceful Library staff. Fighting Falcons athletes will be on hand to help with games. The Grand Prize Drawings for freshmen will take place during this event. Students must be present to win.