By Joseph Pratt
Shawnee State University (SSU) will have its classrooms and lecture halls filled on Monday, but the campus welcomes students back the entirety of this weekend, during the annual Weekend of Welcome, which was kicked off Friday with freshman move-in.
Nearly 500 students were accompanied by family members, as they unloaded cars and unpacked for their first year at college.
The Weekend of Welcome is designed as an activity-packed three-day event to help students build connections that will last them a lifetime, starting their college experiences off on a positive start. The activities range everything from support services and college preparation to a carnival of events, allowing students the opportunity to have fun while becoming prepared for school.
Arielle Jones, incoming freshman, had her mother helping her move into her dorm on Friday morning. Both were excited for this new chapter for Jones and look forward to exploring the area. Jones will begin classes on Monday, in which will go towards her degree in psychology.
“I want to become a therapist and help people with their problems,” Jones said. “I want to help those who are in need and give advice to the best of my abilities.”
Jones said she chose Shawnee because of the affordable prices and the campus.
“I am looking forward to keeping up with stuff, being as responsible as I can without my mom being here, and to just be as steady as possible,” Jones said. “I think I’m going to love it here; the view is nice and the campus is great.”
Jones’ mother said she feels good about the entire move and is looking forward to hearing about her daughter’s stories.
“I had not come down to see the campus before today, because I gave Arielle room to travel with her friends and see it for herself,” Shawn Carson, mother of Arielle Jones, said. “Now that I am here, I am pleased with her decision. Everyone is welcoming and is very nice. I was a little worried about leaving her here, but I feel really good about it now.”
Kalif Stewart, incoming freshman, moved to campus with an entire family of support backing him. Stewart will begin classes on Monday as well, in which will go towards a degree in marketing.
“I’ve known what I wanted to do since I was in the seventh grade,” Stewart said. “I chose it because it is something I like to do. I like to advertise different stuff.”
Stewart said he is excited about the whole college experience and cannot wait to start.
His mother, Carol Stewart, was helping him move into his dorm, proudly wearing a t-shirt that exclaimed she was a Shawnee mom.
“I am so glad he has made it this far and I only hope he has a very successful and happy stay here,” Carol Stewart said. “I feel good about it. I thought I was going to get emotional, but it is good for him, so I am nothing but happy.”
Newly hired SSU President Rick Kurtz was in and out throughout the day, checking on things and watching students get acquainted with each other, as well as the university. The president said he is very involved in student life and even attends some of the freshman orientations to met some of his new students.
“Move-in Day on a college campus is always exciting,”Kurtz said. “We are welcoming nearly 500 new residential students today and we’ll welcome back returning residential students on Sunday. I’m looking forward to getting to know these students and all those who will begin classes on Monday as our fall semester begins.”
Reach Joseph Pratt at 740-353-3101, ext. 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.
A group of students at a service tent during move-in day