Going Virtual: Welcome Week 2020 — Thinking Outside the Box to Create Connections
Mar Sedji and Alaina Mejia have been working all summer to create a virtual Welcome Week experience that will help incoming first-year STUdents make connections with their peers and the university community.
Sedji, the Welcome Week Chair, and Meija, the Welcome Week Coordinator, have had to think outside of the box for this year’s event and have come up with creative ways to include staple activities like the talent show, Commencement, and comedy night.
“We’re working on virtual versions of our usual comedy night and motivational speaker events, which will be pretty cool to do online,” Sedji said. “We’re also moving our talent show to a virtual format so we can make this Welcome Week resemble the ones we’ve had in the past.”
Incoming STUdents will have opportunities to interact with their peers and upper-years as one group and in smaller groups in synchronous and asynchronous formats.
“Welcome Week has always sought to support students in making connections and this is especially important this year,” Mejia said.
“Welcome Week has always been where you learn what kind of community STU is and where you fit into it, so I think now more than ever it’s important for us to host this event,” Sedji added.
Sedji and Alaina have fond memories of their experiences during Welcome Week, which is what inspired them to take on leadership roles in planning the event.
“Welcome Week is such a fun event. It allowed me to meet a lot of my current friends and make connections,” Sedji said.
“Over the past three years I’ve been a part of Welcome Week as an incoming STUdent, a Residence Advisor, and a Residence Coordinator and I couldn’t think of a better way to kick off my final year at STU than getting a chance to introduce new STUdents to our community,” Mejia added.
While this year will be a virtual experience, the goal remains the same—to create excitement for STUdents beginning their time at STU and to provide a welcoming environment to help ease the transition into university life.
“Everything about STU will be available online this year, including clubs, societies, and other events, so this Welcome Week is just the beginning to another great year,” Mejia said.