By Kaitlyn McCarthy
Starting off a new school year can create new experiences for students. After a long absence, Youngstown State University once again hosted Welcome Week activities for incoming students.
These events began Sunday, Aug. 29 and will conclude with a foam party and lawn games Friday, Sept. 3.
Welcome Week offered events tailored to fit everybody’s interests. Each day of the week, there was a new event students can join.
“I am really excited for the outdoor movie and the tailgate. I love being outside, so I’ll probably check out a lot [of it],” freshman exploratory major Alexis Bella said.
Welcome Week events help students connect with one another to ensure a smooth transition from home to campus life.
Allie Adler, graduate assistant for the Office of Housing and Residence life, helped create the week’s events and expressed her excitement for the upcoming events. Adler also mentioned even though you should have fun, academics are important.
“Have fun, enjoy [college]. You know, go to class. But, also, embrace the college campus events, the experience,” she said.
Welcome Week is just one of many events helping students feel more comfortable about moving in. Many university employees’ top priority was move-in day.
Olivia Cupp, director of Housing and Residence Life, explained how her job helps students transition to their new life in Youngstown.
“We, right from the get-go, are a really welcoming group of people. … We have move-in tents set up at each of our three main residence halls,” Cupp said. “I feel like we have been very intentional about making it [a] very calm process and very organized for our residence.”
Although precautions were still in place to help prevent the spread of COVID-19, students still voiced concerns about the virus and the impact it will make on the school year.
“What made me most nervous about going to YSU this year was how unpredictable this year might be,” Caleb Ellison, a sophomore telecommunication studies major said. “With the new Delta COVID-19 variant starting to pick up, there is an uncertainty of what might happen this year, which makes me nervous.”
Student and Housing and Residence Life employee Elie Louisa explained the COVID-19 move-in policy.
“Most people have already done their COVID test and their check in is way ahead of time,” he said.
On YSU’s housing website, a move-in guide was posted to show students what to do before coming to campus. Returning and new students signed up and scheduled their time prior to coming to campus.
Students not yet tested for COVID-19 were handed a rapid test before the student left their car and tested themselves through the guidance of an app. This eliminated any exposure of the virus to other students and faculty members.
Still, students’ concerns seemed to persevere — though double or even triple rooms are standard, single rooms sold out this year.
“We sold out of all of our singles. That tells me that … those are in high demand because of COVID,” Cupp said.
Around 600 students are moving to YSU campus for the fall.
Between the events at Welcome Week and support on move-in days, YSU hopes both freshmen and returning students will feel comfortable about starting the fall 2021 semester.