Drexel University welcomed incoming students at Welcome Week 2016. The orientation ran from Sept. 10 through Sept. 18 and hosted a wide variety of educational and social events for the incoming freshmen to help them adjust to campus life one week before fall term classes began.
On the first day, a Saturday, there were Drexel-shuttle-serviced shopping trips to Ikea and Target, as well as several parent information sessions. There were also immunization clinics open for freshmen. The day concluded with a welcome barbecue at Lancaster Walk.
Sunday was all about meeting fellow Dragons and exploring Philadelphia. The morning started with a Class of 2016 brunch, followed by a kick-off event in the Pennsylvania Convention Center. The event was followed by a “Taste of Philly” dinner on Lancaster Walk and later by a s’mores event hosted by Drexel Hillel. The social events seemed to dominate the scene at Welcome Week, both this year and last.
Interactive digital media sophomore Brendan Luu reflected on his experience at Welcome Week 2015. “When I was a student last year I liked Welcome Week a lot because it gave me a chance to meet different groups of people and I kept seeing those groups of people over and over again throughout the week, and those are the people that I’m still friends with now,” he said.
The following days were stuffed with volunteer opportunities, organization open house events, information sessions and more. Lunches and dinners were scheduled by time and location according to residence halls and floor numbers to keep crowds moving and avoid long lines.
Welcome Week serves to let students adjust to campus and build their social circles prior to the start of classes, and freshman Anna Cushing in the graphic design program felt that this was the case for her.
“It was a nice week to ease into things since we didn’t start classes right away,” Cushing stated.
Cushing also explained that not all events were required — in fact, many overlapped with one another on the official schedule.
“Being at the Welcome Week events, it was nice that only a few events were required; the rest were optional. So it didn’t feel like I was forced to do anything, and it helped me do stuff with my friends, and to go out and make more friends,” she explained.
Many of the events focused on orientation to the college process and the ins and outs of the different schools. Paris Gramann, a sophomore entrepreneurship major, felt that the mix of social and orientation events were very beneficial to her.
“Welcome Week was good because while you’re learning about the procedures, about what’s going to happen in the next few years, you’re also meeting the circles you’ll be in in the next few years in your time here at Drexel,” Gramann stated.
This year’s Welcome Week marks Drexel’s second time holding the extended orientation. All students began classes on Sept. 19.