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New students arrive for weekend of civic engagement and festivities

Incoming freshmen dance in a pit of foam at the dance party during Welcome Weekend (photo/onu.edu Welcome Weekend Photo Gallery)

Incoming freshmen dance in a pit of foam at the dance party during Welcome Weekend (photo/onu.edu Welcome Weekend Photo Gallery)

How did you manage your first day on campus as a college freshman? Were you worried you wouldn’t feel welcomed by your peers, campus, and community? Ohio Northern University’s Welcome Weekend guides incoming students through their first few days on campus. 

When I heard that my freshman peers and I would be greeted with celebration and civic ventures, I began to look forward to my first week on campus, even more so than before.  I didn’t expect to have so much fun on move-in weekend. I figured I would move some furniture, meet some neighbors, and experience a tedious weekend of finalizing everything before classes began on Monday.  The weekend was anything but tedious, to say the least.

The program consisted of formal and casual events intended to welcome students to their new home, and encourage conversation within the incoming class.  My personal favorite was the dance party, hosted by the student planning committee. 

The program also focused on civic engagement as a way of introducing us to the surrounding community.  Over forty small groups of freshmen and other members of the ONU community completed service projects in Ada on ACE Day in a variety of concentrations.  Groups consisting of students, faculty, staff, and alumni participated in projects such as the washing of emergency vehicles, the completion of yardwork for elderly residents of Ada, and more. 

My group collected food donations for the local food bank.  We were assigned a nearby neighborhood, where residents had previously been notified of the event.  I enjoyed the positive responses we received from people who answered their doors on this quiet Saturday morning.  Many invited us in for a beverage.  Family pets came to greet us.  These interactions with the people of the community made me and many of my peers feel at home in the village of Ada.

Welcome weekend was an encouraging experience and the perfect way to start my college career.  I look forward to the next four years here at ONU!