First year students experience Slippery Rock WOW tradition

Published by adviser, Author: Janelle Wilson - Campus Life Contributor, Date: August 29, 2013
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Slippery Rock University welcomed incoming freshman and transfer students to the university’s annual “Weekend of Welcome” spanning from Friday, August 23 to Sunday, August 25. Students were welcome to attend a variety of activities before classes started on Monday, August 26.

WOW was steered in a modern direction, making social media an integral part of this year’s events. On Slippery Rock’s student page, participants in WOW were encouraged to use the hashtag #sruWOW on their Instagram photos. The hashtag gathered over 100 posts from students capturing events from move-in day, the pep rally, the “Welcome to SRU” party and the bonfire. The posts also included flashbacks to past WOWs, as well as scenic shots of the campus. Instagram users also utilized the site’s video service to post 15-second clips of the pep rally and the barbeque.

The Weekend of Welcome began on Friday, and after settling into their dorms and attending meetings in their residence halls, students reported to the football stadium at 8 p.m. to attend the SRU Pride Rock Rally.  The rally (sponsored by Association of Resident Hall Students and the SRU Green and White Society) opened with the SRU marching band and cheerleaders performing and singing along to “Hey Baby” by Alabama. Students were lined up on the football field in rows and joined hands as they ran through the rows in reverse. Then they were organized into groups based on their birthdates and after getting familiar with each other, they participated in activities centralized on getting to know one another.

SRU also welcomed students that came from different states and countries. SRU greeted freshman from all parts of the country as well as students outside of the United States. Students were asked to stand if they had come to Slippery Rock from anywhere other than the U.S. and upon standing were greeted with a round of applause. International students came from Canada, Sweden, Germany, the Czech Republic, South Korea, Japan, Australia and various locations in Africa.

After the rally, freshmen such as public health major Adam Engler, 18, originally from Philadelphia, discussed their expectations for the year ahead.

“WOW weekend made it easier to get adjusted to college life,” Engler said. “The pep rally really has me excited for the year ahead.”

Among many other reasons, Engler also said he was drawn to Slippery Rock University because of its beautiful campus.

Freshman criminology major Savannah Walker, 18, from New Bethlehem, PA, said she was torn between Slippery Rock and IUP when it came to picking which school she wanted to attend. In the end the ARC determined her choice.

“Slippery Rock has a beautiful rec center, and that’s something that IUP didn’t have. When I visited Slippery Rock, it just felt like home to me, and so I ended up coming here.”

Walker’s friend from orientation, freshman Tyler Coleman, 18, a forensic chemistry major from Annapolis, MD., said he really enjoyed the campus as well.

“I chose Slippery Rock because I wanted to get as far away from home as possible,” he joked, “but so far, Welcome Weekend has been very… welcoming!”

On Saturday, students were invited to attend WOW workshops and the book rush at the bookstore. A barbeque picnic was also offered in the quad for students. In the evening, the WOW “Welcome to SRU” party was held in the ARC and offered various activities such as bungee jumping, basketball, cornhole and bingo.

Freshmen then closed out their day by making s’mores at the Welcome Bonfire that was held at the fire pit behind Building F.

Freshman chemistry major Caityln Beltz, 18, originally from Avon, OH said the turn out to the bonfire was great.

“There were lots of people there,” Beltz said. “When you go to college, you expect to be thrown into school work, but you don’t expect to meet so many new people and have so many cool experiences. I’m so excited for the year ahead.”

Sunday’s activities began with a voluntary Community Clean-Up that began at 10 a.m. and closed at noon. Volunteers were able to get community service hours and were provided lunch for their service. The activities closed that evening with floor meetings for resident hall students at 7 p.m. which concluded 2013’s WOW weekend.

Though WOW weekend had to come to a close, students like Beltz agreed they were anxious to see what would be in store for them during their academic careers at SRU.

“Even though WOW weekend was a blast, I’m ready for school to start,” she said.

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