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Orientation Activities to Welcome New Freshmen

RELEASED: Aug. 26, 2005

CUBEfest 2004
Photo by Rick Mickelson, TLTDC

EAU CLAIRE — The school year will be under way Sept. 1 for the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire's more than 2,000 new freshmen. The new students are invited to attend the second phase of their orientation to the university, which began during Summer Orientation when they registered for classes.

"We know once first-year students move into the residence halls next Thursday, or as commuter students get ready to start classes, they will have many questions. Phase two is designed to help answer those questions, increase students' sense of comfort and belonging and help them feel confidence as they start classes," said Jacqueline Bonneville, coordinator of new student orientation.

A welcome picnic featuring Live Band Karaoke will begin at 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 1 on the Campus Mall, followed by Convocation at 7:30 p.m. in Zorn Arena.

The Convocation speaker is Paul Wesselman, head of Stone Soup Seminars, a speaking and training company in Madison. Wesselman is known for his weekly e-mail eRipples, which offers inspiration and practical motivation to people around the country. He holds degrees in psychology and higher education and his adventures include having been a paperboy, Eagle Scout, lifeguard, summer camp counselor, support group facilitator, residence hall manager, volunteer coordinator, radio talk show host and his college mascot.

"He's a very motivational speaker, very energetic, and will help set the tone for our new freshman class," Bonneville said.

A Student Senate Ice Cream Social will follow in the campus mall, weather permitting.

On Friday, Sept. 2, the new students will meet in small groups with a staff member and student mentor from 10 to 11:30 a.m. For most students this will be part of their First Year Experience, which includes specially designed credit courses for new students.

"This is where they will begin to connect with the students in their group and the instructor as they learn about the academic side of UW-Eau Claire," Bonneville said. "They will also have a chance to learn about the many support services available at the university while eating lunch on the mall, which will be the site of a Student Services Fair.

In the afternoon, they will meet with faculty and other students in their major, or if they haven't yet declared a major, they will meet with an undeclared adviser. Then they will walk through their class schedule with help from continuing students so they will know their way around the buildings on the first day of class.

CUBEfest, 10 days of events and activities to welcome and integrate first-year students to the academic community, begins at 5 p.m. Friday night with a picnic in the backyard of the Towers Residence Hall. Other CUBEfest activities include special entertainers and concerts, dances, films, fitness activities, athletic events, canoeing, and in-hall activities. CUBEfest is coordinated by Housing and Residence Life at UW-Eau Claire.

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NW

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