Students have descended on the OSU Institute of Technology campus for the fall semester, and the Office of Student Life wants new and returning students to not only have fun, but also learn about the campus and the community.
Welcome Week is Monday, Sept. 10, through Friday, Sept. 14, with activities and events held every day across campus.
“The purpose of Welcome Week is to extend a warm welcome to those students who are choosing to call OSUIT their second home while attending school,” said Kamie Rash, interim director of Student Life. “This will create opportunities for students to get to know one another, and create opportunities that will enhance the overall college experience for each student.”
On Monday the Student Life Club and Organization Fair will be from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in the Student Union.
“The student clubs will have all their booths set up so they can recruit new members,” said Rash. “It’s a chance for anyone who wants to get more involved to see what’s out there and available to them while here at OSUIT. Being a part of an organization on campus just makes the college experience richer. I highly recommend getting involved in some way.”
Monday evening Covelle Hall will host an open mic night at 6 p.m. followed by a performance at 7 p.m., by comedian Aaron Kominos-Smith, who performs at colleges and comedy clubs across the country.
“Comedy always lightens the mood. A new school, new people and unfamiliar territory can get stressful for some,” she said. “My hope is that this will create opportunities for students to open up a little bit and make some friends.”
On Monday customers at the Lokal, 212 E. 6th St., will get their coffee handed to them in special OSUIT travel mugs. They can even get their drinks topped off with orange cream.
El Don’s, Tavern 56 and the Orpheum on the Square will also have specials during Welcome Week for anyone with an OSUIT ID.
A new event and a returning favorite are scheduled for Tuesday. From 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., the new TED Talk Tuesday series kicks off in the Student Union.
Once a month, students are invited to eat lunch and watch a TED Talk video covering topics like leadership, career success, professional development and social skills. Following the video presentation, there will be a discussion about points brought up in the presentation.
“This is going to create a chance for students to learn something new, learn differing viewpoints on a wide array of topics, and how to respect others and their viewpoints,” Rash said. “September’s topic will surround the idea of being in a new place and how to feel comfortable in pursuing a new opportunity. It takes a lot for students to leave their safety net of home only to come to a place where they’ve got to figure it out all over again.”
Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. in Covelle Hall will be Grocery BINGO, a Welcome Week favorite.
“Students are going to be able to play a simple game and stock up their dorm room. The prizes are anything from paper goods to food to games and gift cards,” she said. “It’s crazy how simple it is and how successful it is year after year. We’ve even been asked to hold it several times throughout the semester. It was a huge hit last year and I am looking forward to Student Life hosting it again this year.”
Wednesday there will be an OBI Blood Drive from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and then in the evening from 6 to 8 p.m., at Covelle Hall, some games and activities aimed at getting the blood pumping— Knockerball and Wipeout.
Knockerball, which has become a campus favorite, is making its Welcome Week debut. The Oklahoma National Guard is also bringing the inflatable game Wipeout, where six people each stand on their own pedestal around a circle and dodge the bar spinning from the center of the circle. The last person standing wins the round.
The first free movie night of the semester is Thursday at 7:15 p.m. at the Orpheum in downtown Okmulgee.
There’s also a voter registration drive Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., in the Student Union.
Rash said there’s something for everyone to enjoy at Welcome Week this year.
“There’s certainly a lot more to college than just attending classes and we want to positively influence students with extracurricular opportunities,” she said.