Student Life welcomes newcomers with ‘Super’ theme

Student Life welcomes newcomers with Super theme

Even without the powers of the Man of Steel, the Student Life Office believes we can all “B. Super!” this year.

The superhero-inspired theme of the Weeks of Welcome initiative will manifest itself in slightly different ways during its six weeks, beginning with orientation.

Weeks of Welcome, or WOW, is a campus tradition of acclimating new and transfer students to their campus, city and peers. It kicks off on Aug. 19 and ends Sept. 28.

“It’s really designed to welcome new students and to really connect them with the college so they can see all the great things at Buffalo State,” interim director of student life Sarah Velez said.

Students will obtain information and tools that will help them to “B. Knowledgeable”, “B. Connected”, “B. Creative”, “B. Healthy” and “B. Proud.”

Students will get to know one another and have a rundown of SUNY Buffalo State. There will also be opportunities to participate in extra activities sponsored by the Volunteer and Service-Learning Center and the Career Development Center.

The VSLC will host their annual volunteer fair on Sept. 11, National Day of Service, from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the quad between E. H. Butler Library and Campbell Student Union. The fair enables students to meet with community volunteer organizations, speak with representatives and learn more about the needs of each organization.

“I think it can help new students connect with the area they will be living in for the next four years,” VSLC associate Aurora Schul said. “It’s more than just campus life.”

Schul hopes to have at least 10 organizations involved, and each will provide small volunteer opportunities. Each project ranges from five minutes to two hours.

To explore outside of campus boundaries and dive even deeper into the Buffalo experience, incomers can go on local Student Life excursions. Past outings have included Darien Lake, the local Underground Railroad site and a Buffalo Bisons game. A sports-themed venture takes place every year.

The newness and excitement of the upcoming semester can unfortunately become tainted with financial burden. Although our tuition is one of the most economic, other living expenses come into play.

The Career Development Center understands and is helping to connect students with employers through their Part-Time Job Luau Aug. 29.

“When students get here and get settled, the next thing is ‘Now how do I pay for all this?’” student employment coordinator Lynn Rogers said.

Employers at the luau understand that students are just that — students. They will try to be flexible and work around class schedules.

In addition to on-campus employers, students can expect to see many off-campus employers.

Last year, attendees included Geico, DialAmerica, FedEx and the Boys & Girls Clubs of the Northtowns.

“So many students don’t know the area and think they can easily get on-campus jobs, but they’re hard to find,” Rogers said.

Student Life, VSLC and CDC are each trying to make the transition to Buffalo State as easy as possible. Whether the student is a freshman, transfer, resident or commuter, the college campus is meant to be a haven for them. The nature of the institution is to focus on academics, but there are people working to make it more than that.

“What they will get out of it is really the community; the home away from home,” Velez said.

The hope is that over the course of WOW, new students will come to greater identify with their school, themselves and the community. But they are not the only ones invited to take part in the action.

“Current students are encouraged to attend as well,” Velez said. “New students connect through returning students.”

WOW is designed to set the mood for the year. The messages should not fizzle out after the first six weeks.

With campus events taking place throughout the year, students are able to stay connected, stay proud and stay super.

Samantha Wulff can be reached by email at [email protected].