Students welcomed back with food, music and fun


Michael Santone

Liberal arts major Aber Mudhish hands out a hot dog to eager students during Welcome Week on Aug. 28.

By Dan Hardin, Staff Writer

Music, food, fun and festivities filled Campus Center Plaza during the second annual “Welcome Week” designed to give new and returning students students a lighthearted chance to prepare for the upcoming semester.

Each day, over the course of the four-day ASU and Student Life sponsored event, featured a different theme that culminated with the giveaway of a Kindle Fire to the student who most closely guessed how many Jolly Ranchers were crammed into an empty five-gallon Alhambra water jug.

The event was a total of 10 hours divided over the course of 4 days, from Aug. 27 thru 30.

“Each day we did a little something different to make the campus feel festive. Monday, we gave away pencils, pens and notebooks to students that did not come prepared,” CCC Student Activities Coordinator Joel Nickelson-Shanks said. “We also gave away free hot chocolate and donuts. Monday, we tried to set the tone for the rest of the week. We wanted everyone to feel welcomed and supported,”

He said Tuesday served as a resource fair, so students could get to know what services are available to them on campus and through the Student Life office.

Students also had the opportunity to speak with staff concerning personal needs which allowed them to make nurturing and supportive contacts aimed at helping adjust to college life.

Wednesday, the ASU hosted a food pantry distribution service. Canned food along with donated Food Pantry items were distributed as free groceries to all students with food insecurities.

Organizers aimed to let the students know that they are appreciated and supported no matter their background.

In an attempt to forge a better relationship between students and campus police, Thursday was deemed pizza with a police officer and offered free slices provided by police.

“I only wish we could have given out more food,” Nickelson-Shanks said. “Next year we will try to have more.”

Historically, “Welcome Week” is an opportunity for students to acquire pens, paper and other miscellaneous school supplies.

Administrative members and staff were on hand to demonstrate solidarity and support for “Welcome Week,” to help familiarize new and returning students to not only programs and services, but also with the people who will help them navigate the corresponding departments.

Representatives from the Extended Opportunities Programs & Services (EOPS), Disabled Students’ Programs and Services (DSPS), Student Services and Financial Aid Office were on hand for the meet and greet.

The club “Christians On Campus” also tabled the event and was represented by Don Mangold.

He said his organization was happy to be on campus assisting students with learning about Christ and his work at the cross.

“We are here to promote inclusiveness for all students,” Mangold said. “The club will meet on Wednesdays from 12:30 –1:30 p.m. starting Sept. 5 in GE-305.”

Second year Culinary Arts student Joe Dixon said, “I feel welcome and safe. Being in an atmosphere where you do not have to worry about any hurt, harm or danger is a friendly, warm and hospitable feeling.”