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Preparing to WOW students

June 7, 2021

As new Huskies attend orientation during the summer months, staff throughout NIU are busy planning activities for Week of Welcome (WOW), scheduled for Wednesday, Aug. 18 through Sunday, Aug.22. This annual event is an extension of the orientation experience and provides opportunities for new Huskies to connect with their peers while becoming acquainted with campus and its resources prior to the start of fall classes.

“Week of Welcome is a great opportunity for our new students to learn about important campus resources and discover what it means to be part of our pack and celebrate Huskie Pride,” said Jenna Pracht, director of the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs. “These highly engaging events focus primarily on helping new students build a stronger connection to the campus community and adequately preparing them for the start of the fall semester.”

The Office of Orientation and First Year Programs and other partners within the Office of Undergraduate Studies collaborate with the Division of Student Affairs, NIU Athletics and Academic Diversity, Equity and Inclusion to plan fun events and learning experiences that create a positive environment for students and help them successfully start the academic year.

“As we continue to plan events, we are considering how to offer intentional opportunities to include our returning students,” said Melanie Griegoliet, assistant director of the Office of Orientation and First Year Programs. “It is important to incorporate programming that allows returning students to introduce themselves to our new students, to truly welcome everyone to the NIU community.”

Throughout the week, students can:

  • Celebrate Huskie Pride during a welcome event at Huskie Stadium.
  • Participate in outdoor activities at the east lagoon, including canoeing, kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding.
  • Experience the Holmes Student Center during Welcome Holmes, an all-night event featuring a variety of activities taking place in spaces throughout the student center.
  • Explore DeKalb by taking a community bus tour.
  • Discover recreation programing and NIU sports clubs during Rec Fest.
  • Attend evening events, featuring activities like a campfire at the West Lagoon.
  • Connect with their academic colleges prior to the start of classes.
  • Develop a sense of belonging at the double feature outdoor movie, hosted by the Cultural Resource Centers.
  • Learn about engagement opportunities at the Involvement Fair.

Students are not the only ones encouraged to show their Huskie Pride during WOW. Faculty and staff are invited to volunteer throughout the week to help welcome all new and returning students to campus.

“If even for just one day, or for one event, we would be grateful to have as many NIU community members volunteer on campus to ignite our Huskie Pride and overall energy, so both new and returning students are excited to make their mark or return to their home away from home,” said Pracht.

Faculty and staff who are available and interested in volunteering can complete this survey to receive more information about volunteer opportunities later this summer.