SF State welcomes freshmen
August 29, 2007 10:09 PM
The incoming freshman class was welcomed into the college community at SF State’s first annual Welcome Days on August 23 and 24.
Festivities included inspirational speeches by administrators and staff, educational skits, mini-classes, workshops and a social mixer game.
“When students feel isolated and lonely, they create prejudices,” said Stephanie Tait, who is part of Playfair, a teamwork seminar company at the event.
Tait said she led an estimated 1,000 students in a mixer game on Thursday with the goal of interrupting the student’s feelings of anxiety and fear.
Students are more likely to make judgments based on race, gender and sexual orientation when they are entering a new environment, said Tait. The exercise involved helping students to say to each other, “We’re more the same than different, I’m not going to judge you, I know you.”
Freshmen Laci Kringen and Linda Gorostieta, both of Santa Cruz, were giggling as they zigzagged around the quad in a human train, and stopped on Tait’s command to share embarrassing personal information with their new classmates.
Kringen and Gorostieta said they had a good time, but the whole thing was kind of weird.
In McKenna Theater, campus administrators and staff used statistics, skits, and short speeches to entertain and inform students on the campus resources concerning safety and wellness.
After a skit about students drinking in dorms, University Housing and Residential Services Director David Rourke stated that of 5000 students polled, 42 percent had not drank in the last four months, and of the others that had, most were not binge drinking.
“Getting wasted is not the norm,” said Rourke. “I’m not going to control your behavior, but I’ll hold you accountable.”
Student Health Center Director Kamal Harb used the topic of sex as a carrot-on-a-stick, dangling in front of student’s libidos and keeping them from leaving the theater.
After a skit on STDs, he informed students that, “condoms, in bags, are available at the student health center.”
SF State Alumnus and Director of the San Francisco Food Bank, Paul Ash, encouraged students to take on internships and volunteer. He said students help with all levels of his non-profit organization, from business to computers and inventory.
“When you graduate, you will be wanted, but it is important to have social participation on your resume (and to) donate time to a nonprofit organization,” said Ash.
While some students attended workshops and lectures, others, like
"I'm hoping that I can get out on my own and create a home away from here," Sullivan said.
Sullivan sat with her parents, John and Mary Ellen Sullivan, outside the residence halls as the evening wound down. She is the last of nine children that the Sullivans’ have sent to college.
“She didn’t know what to expect, but it’s a great place where she can come to blossom,” said John Sullivan.
Joey Greenwell, Director of the Office of Student Programs and Leadership Development, and the event's organizer said the goal is to give students resources and information so they may succeed academically.
“It's truly a university-wide event. The entire university has backed us up and put in a fine effort throughout the campus. It's been an opportunity for the university to come together," said Greenwell.
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