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Welcome Weekend to introduce class of 2022 to campus

| Friday, August 17, 2018

Before classes begin next week, students from across campus are preparing to welcome the approximately 2,000 first-year students who make up the class of 2022 during Welcome Weekend.

The four-day event for first-year students and their parents is hosted by the Division of Student Affairs and the First Year of Studies. A large part of the weekend is directed by students themselves, as part of either the Orientation Steering Committee (OSC) or Welcome Weekend hall staff members.

This year, the ND mobile app will include a new Welcome Weekend module. Brandon Davis, a junior on the Orientation Steering Committee, has been working to design the module alongside senior Bethany Boggess and graduate student Taylor Rongaus. In the past, Welcome Weekend has featured a separate app to help students and parents navigate the weekend. The new in-app module is intended to further enhance the experience, Davis said.

“Features include campus maps, a scheduling tool for the weekend’s events, detailed information on move-in and embedding external widgets to improve the in-app experience,” Davis said in an email. “We hope that the range of features makes information more accessible and year-by-year we decrease our quantity of printed materials, aiming for a paperless Welcome Weekend years down the line.”

In addition to designing the module with Davis, Boggess has been working with University administration and residence halls. The Orientation Steering Committee acts as a mediator to ensure that all events — both those for all students and those for individual dorms — are coordinated.

“Over the summer, I’ve spent some time getting to know our new Program Director and working with her and our incredible graduate student interns to ensure that Welcome Weekend 2018 goes off without a hitch,” Boggess said in an email. “The Orientation Steering Committee spends a lot of time over the summer working with student leaders in the residence halls to set a schedule for the weekend.”

Senior Natalie Moulton has helped coordinate Welcome Weekend activities since her sophomore year and said she is excited to take on a new role as a member of OSC.

“I really loved my Welcome Weekend experience, and I wanted to be able to help provide that to others,” Moulton said in an email. “I was a Captain last year, and Ambassador the previous year, so I have experience on the other side, and understand some of the support that may be needed.”

“The other side,” Moulton said, refers to members of residence hall staff, including junior Will Connolly of St. Edward’s Hall.

As his dorm’s Welcome Weekend Captain, Connolly said he recognizes how important the weekend can be for incoming students and their families.

“The captains do their best to help everything run smoothly,” Connolly said in an email. “The first week at Notre Dame is such a formative experience and the Welcome Weekend Hall Staff plays a big role in making sure each student is as comfortable as they can be for their move in.”

Connolly said he is excited to embrace a new group of first-year students into the St. Edward’s community, particularly with the help of their rector, Fr. Ralph Haag.

“I really enjoy the camaraderie that [Hagg] has fostered in [St. Edward’s] and orientation jumped out to me as a time to welcome in the next group of Stedsmen,” Connolly said. “[St. Edwards’s] has all sorts of traditions to introduce our first years to campus but we also host different activities with other halls each year. I’m most excited for our Friday night campus walk to the cemetery with our Rector.”

Terese Schomogyi, junior and one of Ryan Hall’s Dorm Captains, was also inspired to work Welcome Weekend to continue the strong sense of community she feels on campus.  

“I hope I can share with the first years that, even if it doesn’t feel like it at first, ND is a home, and the awesome women and men on the Welcome Weekend teams around them want to be their mentors and friends,” Schomogyi said in an email. “I want this weekend to be a time for our newest students to recognize friendly faces, plant their feet on this campus, and feel like they have support going into their first steps of college life.”

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