With Spring Welcome Week now being underway, the planning stages are over.
This year, the Department of Student Engagement looked toward clubs and organizations to help plan the events of Spring Welcome Week. Presidents of the University’s 61 clubs received emails the beginning of November asking for help planning events for the first week of the Spring semester, said Patrick Motter, assistant dean of the Student Engagement Department. Clubs got up to $500 to plan an event, money that came from a $7,000 budget for Welcome Week, Motter said.
The events of the week welcome back students from winter break with a cold-weather theme. Several dozen new students are arriving at Queens this semester, and they get a similar welcome that students starting in the fall receive.
“It’s important because it gets freshmen involved on campus and meeting people,” Rebecca McKenzie, a junior from Wilmington said. “I feel like we don’t often get to meet freshmen unless they’re in your class or you meet them at an event like the ones at Welcome Week.”
One Welcome Week theme is “Winter Wonderland” and with that a “snow day,” according to Motter. Since North Carolina does not get as much snow as other places, Queens planned to recreate a traditional winter for a day.
During Fall Welcome Week, the clubs and organizations fair got students out into the Queens community, and had a large turnout with up to 300 students attending the special events that week.
“I think it’s important to help the adjustment to campus,” Amanda Rafferty, a sophomore from New York, said. “To help freshmen and people in general meet as well as hopefully make them less homesick and feel like the school is their home.”
“We try to pack something in to get people out and kind of building those relationships and striking up new ones,” Motter said.
The focus of events this year has been to have less frequent events that are bigger and more impactful for the students. The goal for Spring Welcome Week has been to have more involvement from clubs and a large turnout for events.
“You come back and you just want something high-energy to pick them up again, and they’re connecting and grabbing and being a part of the Queens community right off the bat,” Motter said.