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Students reflect on activities as “Welcome Weekend” concludes

| Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Welcome Weekend drew to a close Monday, concluding orientation activities for incoming first-year and transfer students.

Junior Prathm Juneja, student government chief of staff, said he thought this year’s Welcome Weekend staff and student government volunteers did a great job of creating an “all-inclusive” environment for new students.

“I think what we did best was trying to establish a welcoming, incoming connection individually to really show that student government really cares about our students,” he said. “Everyone here can be really connected and it should be an opportunity for everyone to get to know each other.”

Freshman Carmen Bolivar, also a resident of Lewis Hall, said moving into her dorm helped her feel welcomed during her first few days at Notre Dame. Her older brother knew a sophomore Welcome Weekend ambassador in Lewis, who she met during the weekend.

“I think just seeing her and starting to meet everyone in Lewis was super fun,” Bolivar said. “I think just having that as my first experience coming into Notre Dame really made me feel more in the family and really connected to everyone.”

Freshman Carina Walton-Roberts, a resident of Lewis Hall, said her favorite event was the class photo.

“I liked Domerfest but I think the most fun would probably be the class picture that we took,” she said. “They took it from the football field and we stood like the band does in the ND shape.”

Sophomore Dea Meissner, said she and other transfer students were divided into small groups which allowed them to get to know other students. Meissner said it was especially helpful for those who were not Gateway students — students who enroll at Holy Cross College during their first year of studies and transfer to Notre Dame during their sophomore year.

“I think they did a good job of breaking people into small groups because I think the hardest part is no one knows each other or you’re in a situation where half of the people are Gateway and you’re not Gateway,” she said.

Sophomore Kyla Kosidowski, a Gateway transfer student, said each small group was led by upperclassmen who had transferred to Notre Dame in previous years.

“They were really willing to help us with anything we needed, and … they were just more than happy to help us with anything that we had questions on,” she said. “So that’s been nice, [having] a support system from people who’ve already been through the same thing we have.”

Junior Margaret Meserve, Cavanaugh Hall’s Welcome Weekend co-captain, said it was rewarding to see the event come together this weekend.

“  … You go into things like this with a little bit of anxiety because it’s kind of your baby,” she said. “We’ve been working on it since the spring so I think we started in April. It’s a long time of planning … but it really just ended up being a success so I think it went really well.”

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