Universities and colleges within the Utah System of Higher Education (USHE) have been back to school for a few weeks, or are just returning this week. Each institution has worked hard to offer a variety of back-to-school events for their returning and new students. From a “Blood Battle” where a couple of institutions compete among each other for the highest number of pints of blood donated to the American Red Cross, to carnivals, block parties, food trucks, meet-and-greets, and mural paintings, the school year is off to a great start.
To kick off the first school days, SUU started their 2015 Welcome Back Week on Aug 24 with the annual Paint the Town Red, which brings students and the entire community together for concerts, food trucks and an opportunity to literally paint the town red which is part of a large mural that will be housed on University Blvd. (Instagram Photo). The event also hosted a club fair, featuring all of SUU’s 160+ clubs for students to join such as Dumbledore’s Army, Volleyball Club, or Jokes Inc.
To start off the school year, DSU’s Student Association hosted their Week of Welcome, August 24-28 where students received free breakfast on their way to classes, and had to opportunity to participate in a carnival filled with fun and games and watch a hypnotist work their magic on select students. Students could also join in planting trees around campus as part of a service project.
A week before school started, DSU President Richard B. Williams and his spouse Kristin, hosted a barbeque for all campus employees and their families- their own school year kickoff to commend everyone on their hard work.
The U kicked-off the school year starting the weekend of Aug 22 with their fourth annual New Student Welcome ceremony with U President David W. Pershing as one of the speakers. This event is geared towards helping first-year students understand what it means to become part of the U; it was followed by a picnic and faculty/staff and student meet and greet.
For the third year, freshmen students (the class of 2019) gathered on the football field to form the block U as their class photo was taken. The U’s Sustainability Office opened their farmer’s market, a student job a volunteer fair was available to students, and an Arts Bash took place which is the largest arts celebration on the University of Utah campus, to name a few events.
UVU started their semester the last week in Aug, and President Matthew S. Holland spent the first day of school out on campus meeting and greeting students in between classes. UVU holds a freshman convocation on the first night of school and it is a commemorative-style event that encourages students to bring their families to help celebrate the beginning of their college experience. Students take the UVCommit pledge stating they commit to stay and graduate. Following the convocation, a free barbecue dinner and after-party are held in the courtyard for all new freshman and their families.
New students and transfer students were invited to attend the “Experience Weber” which is an overnight adventure at Causey reservoir on Aug 27 and a “Late Night Weber” party on Aug 28. These events were hosted by WSU’s Outdoor Program, and is intended to help students meet new friends, see what the mountains of Utah have to offer, get to know student ambassadors, and ultimately experience Weber State to the fullest. The trip included paddle boarding, kayaking and meals, along with the overnight stay.
In addition, the Wildcat block party will officially kick off the school year on Sept 4. The block party allows the entire campus to celebrate the many services, majors, departments, activities and organizations they have.
USU’s Week of Welcome kicked off Sept 1 starting with the American Red Cross Blood Battle, where USU competes with BYU, UVU, Westminster, WSU, and DSU in getting the highest number of pints of blood donated in one week. In addition, their welcome week will include food trucks, BBQ’s, an 80’s themed dance, and an opening social, hosted by the Student Alumni Association. They also have a Returning to Math workshop, for those who haven’t taken a math class in a while and want a smooth transition back.
SLCC’s Welcome Week is geared towards all new and returning students to explore SLCC’s resources and is held during the first three weeks of fall semester at the Jordan campus, South City, and Taylorsville Redwood campus (their semester started Aug 24). Games, raffles, prizes, and food are offered to all students who participate. They even have the “Tim Montana and the Shrednecks” band playing at the events. The Career and Student Employment Services is also hosting a Career “Expresso” Yourself event where students can meet with employment and career advisors while enjoying a cup of coffee, hot chocolate, and donuts. The SLCC chapter of Latinos in Action hosted a 5K run for scholarships on August 29, and all proceeds went to funding future scholarships to underrepresented students.
Snow college’s fall semester started Aug 19 and kicked off the beginning of the semester with back to school events hosted by their student life center. Students were able to attend a foam dance, a beach bash, a job fair, and a club rush where they could learn about the different campus clubs.