When students start the fall semester at OSU Institute of Technology in September, they will have an array of events and activities to welcome them back to campus.
The semester kicks off with an event aimed to cool students off after the first day of classes on Sept. 1 with the return of an inflatable water slide as well as games of slip and slide kickball from 4 to 8 p.m. on the lawn of Alexander Hall. The Residence Hall Association will also host a cookout that night for students.
The majority of campus activities will take place the week of Sept. 14 once classes are in full swing.
“We had to be strategic on when to plan our welcome events because the students move in and start school, but then there’s Labor Day weekend right after that,” said Bruce Force, director of Student Life.
There is at least one event planned every day that third week of September starting with an indoor movie night on Monday, Sept. 14 in Wilson Commons.
Tuesday, Sept. 15 marks the first Clubs & Community Fair from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union where representatives from campus student clubs can meet and recruit new students.
“We’re trying to get the clubs out front so the students see what they offer,” Force said.
The community is also encouraged to participate at the event.
“We’re also inviting businesses and organizations from the community to take part in the fair and introduce themselves to students so they know what’s available in Okmulgee and are more likely to shop in town,” said Activities Coordinator Kristyn Diggins.
The free Welcome Back Lunch, a first-of-semester tradition, returns on Wednesday, Sept. 16, outside the Student Union with several games to play including volleyball, horseshoes, corn hole and roping as well as the inaugural Spikeball tournament, a game that combines elements of volleyball along with a small trampoline.
“The welcome back lunch is popular but we try to change it up with different food, or have it outside, or have live music or offer outdoor games,” Diggins said.
On Thursday, Sept. 17, the gym in Covelle Hall will be transformed into a laser tag course from noon to 6 p.m., complete with lasers, black lights and obstacles created by event company The Smith Agency from Michigan.
That evening students, faculty and staff are invited to show off their performance skills at the first Lip Sync Battle at 7 p.m., in the auditorium of Covelle Hall.
The welcome week ends with a Game Night hosted by the Network Gaming Executives student club at 7 p.m., on Friday, Sept. 18, in the School of Information Technologies building.
Other events happening during September include a fishing tournament, home run derby, softball intramural games, Community Service Day, a museum trip, American Red Cross blood drive and voter registration drive as well as free massages, free movie nights and a free bowling night.
Force and Diggins said they wanted to offer as many activities as possible during September to get students involved on campus and get them interacting with each other.
“It gets them making friends and meeting friends,” Force said. “They make connections, and it helps with retention.”