Drive-in at UMSL

UMSL will feature a drive-in movie screening in the Millennium Student Center Parking Lot D as part of Weeks of Welcome. (Photo by August Jennewein)

It used to be, the first week of school was critical in the world of college student services. You had five to seven days to win the new students over. If you didn’t, they could drop out after one semester.

This year, the University of Missouri–St. Louis has greatly expanded its welcome agenda. Starting mid-August UMSL’s welcome for more than 2,000 new and transfer students will last six weeks.

“The first six weeks are the most critical for students,” said Miriam Roccia, assistant dean of students. “These new students have to feel welcome and comfortable and they need to be able to build connections among themselves and with the university. We’ve scheduled three, four or five events every day for the first few weeks and then three, four or five events each week after that.”

All students, whether they’re living on campus or commuting back and forth to home, will receive the same level of attention, Roccia said. In order for UMSL’s 2013 Weeks of Welcome to succeed, faculty, staff and current students are being enlisted as volunteers. Anyone interested in volunteering should contact Megan Green, director of new student programs,

On Move-In Day Aug. 14 volunteers will be on hand to help unload cars and carry boxes to Oak Hall rooms.

There’s WOW Adventures on Aug. 15 to give students a chance to explore St. Louis and the MetroLink. A Cardinals game, the City Museum, the Loop and the Saint Louis Zoo are a few of the adventures scheduled. Faculty, staff and current student volunteers are signing up as tour guides for some of St. Louis’ top attractions.

New students and their families will fill the Millennium Student Center for the Welcome Picnic on Aug. 18. More than 1,500 people including faculty, staff and current students are expected to attend this annual event. New this year is a Serendipity Sendoff.

“Faculty, staff and current students will line the path up to the library offering good wishes to all the new students – good wishes for their upcoming year from their new Triton family,” Roccia said.

That first week is still very important and the University Program Board, an active student organization, has tied UMSL’s 50th Jubilee to each day of the first week’s events. Watch for the drive-in movie, more free food, a KaZual concert, pool party and men’s soccer.

Classes begin Aug. 19 and volunteers will be on hand all over campus to help new students find their way at the Help-a-Triton tables. Going forward, students will find several Triton Power Hour events, high-energy, impactful workshops on time management, credit cards 101, a study-smart boot camp and learning how to use academic success tools. Sororities and fraternities will begin their recruitment sessions, and events are scheduled for students trying to juggle school, work and parenthood.

Visit WOW for a complete list of activities and volunteer opportunities or call the Office of New Student Programs at 314-516-5291.

Maureen Zegel

Maureen Zegel