Weeks of Welcome




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Brand-new University of Iowa students, arriving on campus to begin a new life, will find themselves in the midst of a two-week festival.

Called WOW! or Weeks of Welcome '98, the festival is marked by a full schedule of headline events and other activities taking place all over campus. It begins with fireworks Sunday, August 23, which can be viewed from the lawn of Hancher Auditorium, and it ends with the "Stepping Up Tailgate" before the first home football game Saturday, September 5. In between, new students can meet important UI personalities and win prizes at "Here at Last!" They'll attend an outdoor rock concert at "Groovin' on the Green" near Hancher Auditorium, hear an entertaining faculty lecture, enjoy an ice cream social, attend a hypnotist's performance, participate in "A Really Fun Run," and take part in a street dance. All events are alcohol-free.

There's a serious purpose behind the fun.

"There is a strong relationship between attitudes a new member of a community develops during an orientation process and subsequent organizational commitment," says Cathy Solow, director of orientation. "If we expect our newest members to embrace the values of The University of Iowa and, in turn, become responsible, respectful, and contributing members of our community, then the process of instilling commitment begins with words and actions on the part of current students, faculty, staff, and administrators."

For that reason, several events have been designed specifically to introduce students to the privileges, rights, and responsibilities associated with community membership. One such event is a luncheon for students, faculty, and staff Wednesday, September 2, called "Campus Colleagues Luncheon," where students will have the chance to make connections with faculty and staff in an informal setting. Students who choose to attend a community service fair on Monday, August 31, will learn how to give back to the community through various volunteer opportunities. Students also will participate in an art project, "Words on the Wind."

Many other activities are scheduled during the two-week period that are not part of Weeks of Welcome. Open houses, picnics, programs, and tours will be held in colleges, departments, and offices around campus for students interested in particular academic areas or University services. A full schedule of events will be distributed to new students when they arrive.

For students trying to overcome the adjustment blues, WOW! is heavily slanted toward fun, chances to make connections, and to meet new friends.

-Anne Tanner


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