NYU Revamps 2018 Welcome Week

Natalie Chinn
The 2018 NYU Welcome Week poster.

The seven-day extravaganza featuring flagship events like the Reality Show, Mystery Concert and Club Fest is NYU’s way of easing in its newest class of students. Often panning out to be one of the most memorable weeks of the year, word from the Welcome Week planning committee says the Class of 2022 can expect the week of fun to be bigger, better and twice as long.

Kicking off on Aug. 26, this year’s comic book-themed Welcome Programs will commence with Welcome Week, a week-long extravaganza of over 500 events catered to first-year and transfer students. These events range from walking tours of Brooklyn to formal mixers. Welcome Week will conclude with a giant first-year formal in Kimmel Center for University Life. With the theme of comics in mind, the dance was named Incredi Ball. Fall Welcome, formerly called Welcome Back Week, will follow Welcome Week with fun events and programs for all students, new and returning. It will start on Sept. 4 and end on Oct. 5 — a whole two weeks longer than previous years.

Katie Peurrung
In a week, moving bins will line the sidewalks outside of the residence halls as new and returning students move back onto campus.

Extending Fall Welcome was a decision made by the Welcome Week Planning Committee to create a smoother transition into the academic year. In the past, Fall Welcome workshops surrounding topics, such as tips for off-campus living, internship preparation and study abroad options, were conducted in the beginning of September. However, members of the planning committee decided that these workshops could be more beneficial to students if they took place later in the semester.

“For the first few weeks, I think it’s hard to lead events and workshops that are around topics that students may not even know they need help with yet,” Center for Student Life Assistant Director Eena Singh told WSN. “The first two weeks, students are just busy with getting into the swing of things.”

According to Singh, who oversees the student planning committee, all of the changes in this year’s programming stem from student feedback. For popular events last year, the team is adding additional sessions. “Bob Ross is a clear example,” Singh said in reference to last year’s painting event which centered around the television-famous landscape painter. “We had one event of that last year, and we’re doing two events this year, based on the fact that we hit capacity.”

Welcome Week Chair Kat Facchini, a senior in Gallatin, is proud of the changes the team made to the NYU Mobile app, which provides students a detailed schedule of Welcome Week and Fall Welcome events. Now, students will be able to conveniently view their orientation schedule and Welcome Week events in the same place.

“This is a really big step in the right direction,” Facchini said.

Katie Peurrung
The Kimmel Center for University Life sits mostly empty during the summer months.

Facchini and her 15 fellow captains and chairs have been working tirelessly since January to plan this Welcome Week. Some of their responsibilities include overseeing large-scale event planning, working on vendor relations, generating hype on social media and training the 300-plus Welcome Week Leaders. CAS senior and Welcome Week Chair Joey Santore can’t wait for students to see all of their hard work pay off.

“I’m excited to see the events we worked on come to fruition,” Santore said.

Out of all the events the committee planned, Facchini and Santore are most excited for a big event in Brooklyn at the Tandon School of Engineering campus, which will feature games and music.

“Tandon is a really great facility, and so many incoming students go there, but we don’t necessarily always have events that cater to them; they always have to come on the train to Washington Square Park to go to all the events,” Facchini said. “In the past, we have had an event called Brooklyn Bash. Last year, it kind of went on hiatus, so we jumped on the opportunity this year to have a larger scale event.”

Bringing students over to Brooklyn is one of the ways Welcome Week is approaching NYU’s million dollar question: how do we unite a university that has no campus?

“I think Welcome Week has the possibility of creating a cohesive feeling for students, so they don’t feel like they’re in their individual schools, they feel like they’re in one university,” Singh said.

In order to make Welcome Week feel like an all-university event, Singh said she made sure to design events that are inclusive for all the different groups and schools at NYU.

“One of my main focuses has been figuring really how to do very intentional and mindful collaborations throughout NYU,” Singh said. “Our counterparts are amazing, and all of the different schools that put on orientation during the week. It’s really about finding a way to align what we’re all doing and being a huge support system for each other.”

After months of organizing, Welcome Week is finally here. All of the students and staff involved in its planning process have been waiting for this moment.

“I’m just so excited for students to finally get here,” Singh said. “We want to welcome you to this amazing university, and we just want you to feel like this is your home.”

 

A version of this article appeared in the Sunday, Aug. 26 print edition. Email Natalie Chinn at [email protected]

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