The Maneater

Briefing: Welcome Week ushers in new and returning tigers for fall semester

Both enrollment and retention rates are up as well as the number of returning students living on campus.

MU’s newest freshman class painted the “M” on Faurot Field during Welcome Week. courtesy of Katrina Boles via @MizzouAdmissions

A previous version sourced credit for the photo. Changes have been made to reflect the source as @MizzouAdmissions. The Maneater regrets this error.

A previous version sourced for the photo. Changes have been made to reflect the source as @MizzouAdmissions. The Maneater regrets this error.

Students are back on campus and they are as busy as can be. Welcome Week traditions and new events ushered in both returning students and MU’s class of 2022. Here’s a review of the biggest news headlines this past week.


Though various student groups moved in on other days, Aug. 15 served as MU’s official move-in day for those living on campus. This year, students were required to check in at the Hearnes Center prior to arriving at their designated hall to unload.

Upon arrival, new residents were met by teams of volunteers to assist in taking their belongings to their rooms. Chancellor Alexander Cartwright and new provost Latha Ramchand served alongside roughly 900 other participants there to help.

This year all 21 residence halls are in use, reopening five that were left vacant in 2017. Occupancy is at 93.4 percent for the fall semester, an increase from 77 percent in 2017.

Additionally, on-campus housing is becoming an increasingly popular option for returning students. The university reported that it witnessed a 29 percent increase in the number of upperclassmen choosing to live on campus after their freshman year.

Welcome Events

This year, MU’s Welcome Week expanded to host 200 events put on by the 120 students serving as Welcome Week leaders. Incoming, transferring and returning students were all invited to traditions new and old to ease their transition into the new semester.

Returning events included the Midnight BBQ, Painting the M, Tiger Walk and Step Forward Day. Additionally, the coordinators provided new opportunities for students to get to know one another during their last week of summer.

First Roar, a new event the night of move-in, invited incoming students to learn about MU traditions as well as hear from various speakers. These included Chancellor Cartwright, MSA president Julia Wopata and MU athletic coaches, among other guests. Participants also received T-shirts and took a class photo.

The newly instated neighborhoods hosted RHA-sponsored Block Parties following the end of First Roar. Here all students were welcomed to spend the evening at various neighboring residence halls.

The Welcome Week concert this year featured American Authors Saturday night at Carnahan Quad.

Not all events and activities remained on MU’s campus. On Thursday and Saturday free shuttles ran from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. to and from Walmart, Kohl’s, Target and the Columbia Mall.


Classes began Monday, allowing MU to release the official report of enrollment and retention on campus for the new semester.

The freshman class, consisting of 4,696 students, saw a 13.1 percent increase compared to 2018. This increase is the largest to occur at the university in 10 years.

The MU News Bureau also announced a retention rate of 87.3 percent, the highest in MU history. The retention rate measures the number of students from the freshman class of 2017-18 who enrolled again this fall.

Additionally, 1,000 students transferred to campus for the semester, increasing by nearly 5 percent since last year.

Diversity continues to increase at MU as well; the university reported minority enrollment had seen a jump by 29.7 percent in the freshman class.

Cartwright’s Message

Chancellor Cartwright also released a welcome message to students in the form of a video and written tips to his website and student emails on Monday.

His suggestions include checking emails, getting involved and finding time to relax. During his video address, he urges students to realize the opportunities for friendship with not only their peers, but faculty, staff and all of the people on campus who have their “best interests at heart.”

Edited by Stephi Smith |

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