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Campus welcomes new students

Nicole Michels | Thursday, August 16, 2012

While freshman orientation staffs waited expectantly for the first cars to pull up in front of their dorms Friday morning, families of new students began to explore Notre Dame’s campus.

Friday marked the first day of “Frosh-O,” a weekend packed with events meant to welcome freshmen to their new “home under the dome.”

Freshman Bernie Floeder of Shoreview, Minn., said he is excited to move into Fisher Hall and begin his life at Notre Dame.

“Notre Dame was by and far the school that I was most interested in,” Floeder said. “When I visited here, it seemed like this was the place – excellent academics, people ready to help you and a great campus.”

Junior Sarah Fleming, Badin Hall’s freshman orientation commissioner, said her staff is anxious to welcome the Class of 2016 to campus by easing them into life at Notre Dame.

“Our staff is super excited to meet the new Badin Hall freshmen,” Fleming said. “We’ve been waiting for this since April. All summer our staff has been working … to coordinate things … we have our dorm all decorated and the music blaring outside.”

Fleming said the weekend is structured so that the freshmen would first bond with their hallmates and then with other classmates around campus.

“We planned it so that Friday events would be Badin only, so that the girls would build relationships with one another,” Fleming said. “Saturday and Sunday the events are with the rest of campus, but then Sunday after the final goodbyes to their parents we have a lot of events planned one after another because some girls might find it difficult to say goodbye to their guardians.”

Freshman Andrew Petrisin, who hails from McKinney, Tex., said he decided to attend Notre Dame after a visit to campus last fall.

“I came here for the Michigan State football game and immediately fell in love with the whole place,” Petrisin said. “This was always the No. 1 choice.”

Freshman Katie Kaes of Cincinnati, Ohio, said she was familiar with the University before coming to campus, but she is excited to make Notre Dame her home.

“I’ve been around Notre Dame my whole life, and I’ve loved it my whole life,” Kaes said. “When my sister got there I just learned more about it, and really wanted to go here … I’m so excited to meet my roommates and to get to know more about Notre Dame than what I’ve already experienced.”

After visiting Notre Dame during Reilly Weekend, freshman Steven Doyle said he knew this was an amazing place.

“All the people in Alumni Hall have been really welcoming,” Doyle said. “Everyone’s been really helpful here. I’m looking forward to having a great time.”

Junior Pat Raycroft, freshman orientation commissioner for Zahm House, said he planned his weekend in the same way. First, the staff would help their freshmen build a sense of brotherhood, and then they would encourage new residents to connect to the rest of Notre Dame’s community.

“The biggest thing we want our freshmen to take out of the weekend is brotherhood – that they have guys around them in their house that are willing to do anything for them,” Raycroft said. “We tried to strike a balance between interhall and intrahall stuff so that they would not only get a good orientation to Notre Dame, but a good orientation to Zahm.”

Junior Maggie Wieland, Cavanaugh Hall freshman orientation co-commissioner, said the overall goal is to welcome the Class of 2016 to the Notre Dame family from the first moment they step onto campus.

“All of the planning, all of the craziness – it’s all for them,” Wieland said. “We want to make sure that they love it here as much as we do.”