The start of the fall semester at North Carolina Central University is just a couple of weeks away. Classes begin on Aug. 20, but for first-year students the transition to college life starts with the official Move-In Day on Saturday, Aug. 11.
Long a tradition at NCCU, Move-In Day brings more than 100 volunteers, including faculty, staff and returning students, to help new students move into their home away from home. This year, 1,200 first-year students will move in on Saturday. In addition to lifting boxes and carrying suitcases, volunteers will also be on hand to help students register to vote. Voter registration will take place from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the W.G. Pearson Cafeteria.
After moving in, the students participate in a week of events collectively known as Week of Welcome or WOW. Led by the Office of Student Affairs and Enrollment Management, Week of Welcome acquaints students with NCCU and Durham through a mixture of social and academic programs.
This year’s Week of Welcome will open with a TweetUp – a real-world social gathering for people who know each other through Twitter. Students attending the event will wear badges with their Twitter names.
“The first six weeks of the semester can make or break a student’s year,” said Jason Cottrell, associate director of New Student Services. “If we set the right tone for the Class of 2016, we set the tone for their entire college career.” The goal, Cottrell said, is to help students get involved, develop deep integration and become fully engaged.
That starts with setting clear academic expectations for students. Through the Eagle Reading Experience, students learn about the exchange of ideas and information that is common in a college classroom. Incoming freshmen were provided copies of the book “Hero,” by Perry Moore, and will participate in faculty-led discussion groups.
For life outside of the classroom, the Student Government Association will host Training Day. The event is an opportunity for students to meet their student leadership and learn more about the more than 100 student organizations on campus. “We want students to feel that they are part of the NCCU culture,” said Cottrell, “and develop a greater respect for the communities in which they belong.”
For female students, the Women’s Center, led by Chimi Boyd-Keyes, will host iLEAD, a women’s empowerment group. “Our goal is to help each female student mark her journey as an Eagle woman,” said Boyd-Keyes. “To connect to other women, network and establish how they want to be viewed on the campus.
An ice cream social for the LGBTQI (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Questioning/Queer and Intersex) community, will allow students to identify safe allies on campus. Through the Safe Zone program, faculty and staff members have been trained to serve as allies to LGBTQI students. “Safe Zone and the NCCU Allies help to educate the university community on issues related to sexual orientation,” said Tia Marie Doxey, director of Student Life Assessment, “thereby creating a safe and welcoming environment for all people.”
"Keeping it Real” a peer theatre production, will examine issues of alcohol and substance abuse, dating, sex, decision-making, life balance and more. The production blends comedy, music and audience participation.
Students will also take part in a financial literacy workshop, “High Roller: Don’t Go for Broke,” and a community service fair and CPR certification. Worship services, a skate jam, the Class of 2016 photo and an address by university leadership will round out a week full of events.
The incoming class of 1,420 students is slightly larger than last year’s 1,250, although official numbers will not be available until September. The students have an average GPA of 3.2 and SAT score of 894.3. Both numbers are consistent with the higher admission requirements the university implemented a few years ago.
Continuing students will begin moving in on Aug. 16.
For a full list of Week of Welcome events, contact Jason Cottrell at 919-530-6336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.