SPRINGFIELD, Ohio — For most students and their parents, the first day as a college freshman can be an emotional experience — the start of a new chapter for everyone involved. It can also be tiring as the newest members of a college community make a long trip to campus and then haul carloads of belongings into the residence halls.
Led by Wittenberg University President Mark Erickson, more than 100 Wittenberg faculty and staff members and nearly 100 orientation assistants — students hired to lead New Student Days activities to help first-year students become acclimated to campus — lent a helping hand during move-in day on Thursday, Aug. 18. Make that many hands, as parents and new students often only had to give directions after pulling in and then organize their rooms as university employees quickly converged on each arriving automobile and made the transition process that much easier.
"What a great way to demonstrate to our new students and parents that this is a special community where senior administrators, faculty, and staff are accessible and engaged in campus life," said Erickson, Wittenberg's 13th president, who started his new duties on July 1.
New Student Days continues this weekend with meetings with professors, a dance party, a casino night, presentations on campus living, icebreaker activities and a show with a hypnotist. On Saturday, new students will also sign the Honor Roll, a formal document that Wittenberg students sign to attest that they will abide by the universitys honor code, a policy of academic integrity.
Both the faculty and staff move-in day and the widely varied New Student Days activities are aimed at raising the comfort level of new students. As a small, closely-knit campus community, occasions like this offer Wittenbergs faculty and staff members the opportunity to roll out the welcome mat — in this case to more than 500 new students.
"Our new students and parents saw firsthand what it means to join the Wittenberg family," Erickson said.
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