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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

800 New Students Get Welcomed

A student rifles through a course selection book at the information table in the Science Center Tuesday, as opening Week activities begin a day behind schedule
A student rifles through a course selection book at the information table in the Science Center Tuesday, as opening Week activities begin a day behind schedule

As the masses file back into the daily grind that is life here on campus, UMass Boston’s Opening Week hopes to dissipate the confusion. Free food, entertainment, and information are the main courses for this week’s festivities. While most returning students have a good grasp of campus functions; there are roughly 800 new UMass students who have little to no grasp on the daily workings of campus life. Whether its working with the WISE system or figuring out the make shift “Where’s Waldo” that is the classroom numbering of Wheatley Hall, info tables in various positions will help the new students find there way. As the focus of the Welcome Week is information, the Opening Week Committee has put together Info tables in the Campus Center UL and 2nd floor, McCormack 1st floor, Science 2nd floor, and Wheatley 2nd floor. These tables will be manned by volunteer faculty as well as students. “They’ll be the same information tables as we’ve had in the past so they, [new students], have the help they need in navigating the campus,” said Assistant Dean of Student Affairs Joyce Morgan. Information may be the centerpiece of Opening Week, but its not the only show in town. Bagels, as well as cider and hot chocolate, will be provided by Sodexho in the McCormack building. The University Jazz Band will perform on the first floor of the McCormack building and open houses are slated to be held in the greenhouse, Harbor Art Gallery, the Beacon

Fitness Center and the WUMB. Opening Week organizers further hope to familiarize students with the kiosks set up around campus that allow access to the UMass system. With sole access to the UMass system the kiosks may be used by students to add classes or check schedules.

“The staff at those tables will be working to ensure they know how to use all the kiosks and all the services that we recommend to students since we’ve gone so much online with all that information…so it stays current,” says Morgan. The Athletics department has also helped in welcoming back the UMass community by sponsoring various carnival-like games that promise to be a fun exciting break from the boredom of finding classes and buying books. According to committee members, the process of coordinating an event like Opening Week isn’t a simple task considering the limited amount of free time students have on campus. “This time around we had a committee of about eight people brainstorming to come up with new ideas for Opening Week Spring 2005,” said Opening Week Committee member Michael Todorsky, associate to the Vice Chancellor for Enrollment Management. With a larger planning operation than in previous semesters in place to create an atmosphere of comfort during the traditionally confusing initial week of classes, this year’s opening week activities hope to ease new students into a more comfortable feel for the campus while providing a slight break from the grind for the returning UMass faithful.