Welcome Week wraps up with Tiger Walk, freshmen and transfer students find footing at MU

Welcome Week featured over 200 events, including the Midnight BBQ, Paint the M and a Timeflies Concert.
Truman the Tiger cheers with the Alumni Association Student Board members on the Columns in preparation for Tiger Walk on August 18, 2019.

This year, Welcome Week returned to offer over 200 events to new, transferring and returning students alike. With activities ranging from social events to open houses to athletic activities, Welcome Week aimed to support students as they settle in and prepare for the start of the academic year, according to the New Student Programs website.

After over 1,000 volunteers helped students move into their residence halls on Wednesday, Aug. 14, the week’s activities kicked off with First Roar.

First Roar, a spirit rally for new students, is a returning event that was featured for the first time last year. Other events coming back from previous years include the Midnight BBQ, Paint the M and Residential Life Block Parties.

Students found their way around the campus and its facilities with activities such as a Botanic Garden Tour, a Discover MizzouRec event and a Campus History/Traditions Tour. Additionally, students could venture out into Columbia with events like the Coffee Walk, the Missio Dei Ice Cream Walk and the Shakespeare’s Pizza Party.

Various academic open houses, events hosted by social justice centers and involvement and resource fairs allowed students to learn about ways to further participate in the MU community.

There were also several free entertainment events. This year’s Welcome Week Concert featured pop-rap group Timeflies. Also, movies including “How to Train Your Dragon 3 (The Hidden World),” “5 Feet Apart,” “Godzilla: King of the Monsters,” “Shazam!” and “Aladdin” were shown in Jesse Wrench Auditorium and Jesse Hall.

Additionally, Welcome Week groups met throughout the week. In these meetings, 120 returning students served as Welcome Week leaders and offered advice and support for the incoming students in their group.

One of the last few events of the week was Tiger Walk, a tradition in which incoming students run through the Columns toward Jesse Hall to symbolize the beginning of their journey at MU.

Freshman biology and music major Paige Spencer appreciates that Tiger Walk is a tradition unique to MU.

“Since it involves the Columns, not every school gets to do that,” Spencer said. “I feel like it’s a really unique way to get everybody together, get everybody to mingle and do something fun and just hang out with each other. You’re always going to remember it.”

Junior international student and journalism major Eva Qian has participated in several Welcome Week activities, but she was most excited for Tiger Walk.

“It means a lot,” Qian said. “It’s not just sitting and chatting with others. It’s a symbol, and I’m imagining two years later when I graduate from this university and pass the columns again how happy I will be.”

As a whole, Qian said that Welcome Week has helped her prepare for the rest of her time at MU.

“It’s challenging to study in a totally different country, and the Welcome Week helped me a lot to adjust myself to the environment,” Qian said. “Several days earlier, I was still suffering from jetlag. Now I overcame most of the problems, and I’m ready for the courses.”

Both Spencer and Qian noted that Welcome Week helped them to meet new people.

“I’m actually from out of state, so I didn’t know anybody coming here,” Spencer said. “So, it’s been really helpful to get to meet people through this, because otherwise you would just be meeting people in your classes, which can be kind of hard, especially if you’re introverted or don’t like going out and meeting people.”

Edited by Zoia Morrow | zmorrow@themaneater.com

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