Oswego's opening activities to span full week

opening picnicThis year’s welcoming activities have expanded to a whole Opening Week, including old favorites like the Welcoming Torchlight Ceremony and new features like an environmental keynote talk.

The change to full week will provide continuous activities for incoming students and emphasize making positive choices, said Nate Emmons, who coordinates opening activities out of the Compass.

“We’ve told our students all summer about engagement, about being a community, about vitality,” Emmons said, referencing New Student Orientation sessions. “This tells the students at the beginning of the semester that yes, we mean what we say. I just think you have to re-roll out that red carpet again for opening.”

One big change is the Opening Picnic (pictured) and Welcoming Torchlight Ceremony moving to a Sunday, Aug. 24. With new students arriving that day and classes not beginning until Wednesday, Aug. 27, Emmons hopes students will stay on campus and start making connections.

The college seeks a large faculty and staff turnout for the 9 p.m. Torchlight Ceremony, preceded by an 8:30 performance of the Oswego State Jazz Ensemble and State Singers, at the Campus Center loop.

Environmental lifestyle expert Danny Seo will present an opening keynote at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 25, in the Campus Center arena. Seo is the author of best-selling books including Conscious Style Home: Eco-Friendly Living for the 21st Century and the Simply Green series, a CBS News environmental correspondent and an entrepreneur promoting eco-conscious living through the likes of JC Penney and Simmons. (Original speaker Ed Begley Jr. had to cancel due to a scheduling conflict.)

Students are encouraged to make a difference through Community Involvement Day, Sunday, Aug. 31. It expands the previous Project Serve to invite all students to participate in a few hours of volunteer activities at such sites as Fort Ontario, Camp Hollis and the Newman Center, as well as cleaning local parks, visiting local nursing homes and supporting a Special Olympics field day. It also includes an afternoon downtown scavenger hunt and ice cream social.

“We’re trying to get students more involved with the community, in terms of volunteer opportunities and the services that are available,” said Alyssa Amyotte, coordinator of service learning and community service. “When you’re a student here, you’re not only a member of the campus, but also of the city of Oswego community as well.”

As of last week, around 200 students had already signed up, with a bigger push expected once students return, she added.

“There are a lot of opportunities for students to be engaged, be involved and be social,” Emmons said. “I want a student to realize there are so many positive choices they can make on campus.”

These activities will include the traditional Student Involvement Fair, with dozens of representatives of campus organizations from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29, and auditions for various college music ensembles Wednesday and Friday.

Wednesday also will feature Monster.com’s “Ultimate Road Trip,” “showing how to make the most of students’ four years of college,” Emmons said.

Other events will include comedian Josh Sneed on Sunday, Aug. 24; the Jabali Afrika dance troupe from Kenya on Monday; comedian Michael Dean Ester on Tuesday; the Shaun Cassidy Fan Club Improv Comedy Troupe on Wednesday; “A Safe Date Is a Great Date” on Thursday; the SAPB Carnival on Friday; “Saturday Night Fever: Video Dance Party” on Saturday; and an outdoor movie double feature of “Ferris Buehler’s Day Off” and “Old School” on Sunday, Aug. 31.

For more information and a full schedule of events, visit www.oswego.edu/student/orientation/o_week_events.html.

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(Posted: Aug 18, 2008)

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