NYU’s annual Welcome Week, hosted a week before school starts in September, welcomes new students to campus with fanfare and hype. Boasting more than 400 events, this year’s Welcome Week featured programs like Bed, Bath and Beyond: After Dark; Drag Bingo; and the Star Ball to cap it all off. The diverse array of programs drew interest from all different students, but there was one thing they all had in common — passionate, excited Welcome Week Leaders making sure the event went as smoothly as possible. They might also have been dancing.
Upperclassmen who applied to be Welcome Week Leaders were divided into teams and underwent a three-day training process. As welcoming faces to students new to the school or to campus, the leaders had to be enthusiastic and above all knowledgeable and ready to answer any questions students may have, according to Welcome Week Leader and media team member Tisch sophomore Jacarrea Garraway.
“There was an initial training period of three days where we took crash courses designed to help us become more knowledgeable with NYU, various questions we might be asked during Welcome Week and the various students we may encounter,” Garraway said.
But the work doesn’t stop after training. Organizing and supporting students during events takes a lot of time, and Welcome Week leaders sacri ced their voices and sleep to make the week come together. For Stern junior Hector Galvan, who has been a leader two times, it was worth it.
“This experience really helps you grow and mature in ways you don’t really think you could,” Galvan said. “You dance your way through a couple weeks of no sleep and are happy to do it all the time.”
Steinhardt sophomore Victoria Paum was happy to do so because she wanted to give back after having a rough experience during her own Welcome Week.
“In all honesty, I had a really [bad] Welcome Week last year because I had broken up with my boyfriend of a year and best friend of four years during Welcome Week,” Paum said. “But I managed to drag myself to a pilates class, make some friends and feel better.”
Other leaders, like LS sophomore Stephanie Sison, also applied for the position to replicate their positive experiences for other new students. Sison said that she found Welcome Week Leaders inviting during her rst year and wanted to be that person for incoming first years.
“[Welcome Week Leaders] reminded me that college is an entirely new and exciting chapter,” Sison said. “I wanted to share my experience and advice with the incoming students and hopefully rid some of their fears.”
Through helping new students get acclimated and find communities at NYU, Welcome Week Leaders also found a family of their own. Garraway said that although it was a rewarding position all around, her favorite part of the experience was getting to know the other leaders.
Sison agreed. “I’ve truly met some of the most inspirational and dedicated people from not only my team, but from the entire Welcome Week staff,” she said.
A version of this article appeared in the Tuesday, Sept. 5 print edition. Email Kaitlyn Wang at [email protected]