Welcome week gets new students off to a good start

Nora G. Hertel

Every year, Lawrence’s incoming freshmen have a week on campus to adapt to their new social and academic lives. Welcome Week serves to kindle class solidarity and present the best sides of the university. The team of volunteer facilitators changes from year to year, but the schedule usually remains the same.
This past week the freshmen participated in their first academic rites in the matriculation handshake and president’s welcome, lunch with their advisors, placement exams, and studio meetings.
Whether students are gung-ho, apathetic, or scared about their new intellectual pursuits, Lawrence introduces them to the faculty who will help them along their way. Welcome Week isn’t all business. When students were not exploring the college and conservatory they had a chance to see the other sides of Lawrence.
The Welcome Week schedule featured Lawrence students in musical and athletic performances. The welcome concert served to present the talent to which the freshmen can aspire.
LU Live provided another musical forum with students competing in a variety of genres and styles. Freshmen were also encouraged to attend Lawrence’s volleyball triangular and the men’s soccer game against UW-Oshkosh.
One of the main goals of the week is to introduce freshmen to each other and to other members of the Lawrence community. Activities like Playfair and the activity fair, hall dinners and various luncheons all encourage students to meet and mingle.
Whether a student approaches the planned socializing with enthusiasm or cynicism chances are they will meet someone who shares their feeling. Playfair is an intense activity involving much physical and verbal interaction.
Playfair has something of a reputation around campus. One anonymous freshman said she didn’t attend because upperclassmen told her it wasn’t worth it. Another freshman, Liam O’Brien said, “I didn’t like it . I don’t like big crowds of touchy feely people.”
Welcome Week is about using different schemes to bring new students together. Freshmen meet the people they will live with though dorm activities and the people they will study with at department meetings. Activities like Playfair work to bring students together who may not meet through housing or academic circumstances.
Welcome Week is a tradition at Lawrence. As new freshmen cliques formed and shifted throughout last week, the committee’s efforts were validated. Even though students seemed indifferent to the formal ceremonies and silly mixers of their first week, they will use these first introductions to successfully launch into their academic career and social life.