What to expect
at Welcome Weekend

If you'd like to hear more about what to expect during Welcome Weekend or why you won't want to miss it, listen in here:

Prefer to read rather than listen? Here's a transcript of our conversation.

Jon:                  Welcome and thanks for listening. I am Jon Sampson, Vice President for Student Life, and I'm here with Kyra Pappas our Director of Student Leadership and Multicultural Programs.

Kyra:                Hey.

Jon:                  So today we want to talk a little bit about Welcome Weekend. Specifically what to expect and why it matters.

Kyra:                The amazingness of Welcome Weekend that you should be there for.

Jon:                  Yes, absolutely. First let's just talk a little about what it looks like. The schedule is online at WPULife.com/Welcome. You can look at everything there, but generally we just want to let you know a little bit about what to expect. On that first day as you come in, if you're living on campus you'll have a chance, starting at 8:00 AM through 10:30, to check in, move in. There will be some paperwork stuff. If you need anything taken care of there'll be people available to help. This will be a chance for you to show up, get things into your room, start getting settled. Commuters also can come in starting at 10:00, and do check in, take care of anything that you still need to take care of. Anything from financial aid, the registrar, academic advising, pickup a mailbox key. There's just great options.

Kyra:                Those are good things. Also, there will be breakfast there so you don't need to worry about stopping off at McDonald's or Burger King. You can come right in, we'll have coffee, donuts, all sorts of goodies there for you and your family. So be ready for that.

Jon:                  The rest of the day is really a chance to get an idea of what to expect at Warner Pacific, and to really kick off your year just ready and prepared. There will be a kick off lunch where you'll be able to hear and meet some of the people on campus. Then there will be a number of different sessions that'll just help you know what kind of resources and how you can get involved. These are really great short sessions that will help you really learn and get to know people.

Kyra:                You'll have representatives from your student leadership groups there who are trying to help you know how to find your people's on campus. What we try to talk about is your people's, those are going to be your friends and your support who are going to be there to help make sure that you're eating throughout the day, making sure you're getting to class on time, and then also making sure that you're having fun, because we know as much college is about learning and finding out who you are, it's also about having an enjoyable experience.

Jon:                  Here's the other thing. If you have family or guests who are coming there'll be stuff for them to do this entire first day as well.

Kyra:                All day long.

Jon:                  There'll be sessions that they'll go to with you. They will also have sessions while you're meeting your learning community, which is a great thing that you'll be able to do all the first semester and throughout the first year, they'll have some stuff specifically for them. Then I think it's great that dinner on the first night is a chance to also meet some faculty, some of our staff, some of their families will be there. You can be there with your family and guests, and you'll be able to meet some of our faculty and their family and guests. So that's a great opportunity.

Kyra:                It's also a time that we're really trying to make sure that your families and your support, who are going to be back at home and supporting you through your college experience, know that you are in an absolutely amazing place. So families who are listening to this, we'll be giving you information on how to support your student while they're here over the course of their four years, and also giving you some contact information so that you know who to contact to help if your student is having any problems with studying, if they need to get involved with stuff, but we want to make sure that you know who the resources are here on campus.

Jon:                  Then after the dinner is a one of a kind only at Warner Pacific moment.

Kyra:                After. Yes.

Jon:                  If you have never been to a university where the President dresses up in Medieval attire and knights every incoming student, you have been missing out. You have the opportunity here at Warner Pacific.

Kyra:                Yeah. We do it. There will be the annual traditional knighting ceremony only present at Warner Pacific University. Families are welcome to be there. This is really the induction into our Warner community, but it's also a way for you to envision what is it going to look like for you to graduate in four years. It's just really this celebration, this commencement into the Warner community that will be capped off in four years as you walk across that stage with your diploma.

Jon:                  Absolutely. And at that point there will be a family farewell moment. So a chance to say goodbye to family and guests, and really send off, if you're family, send off your student in a way that really celebrates them, and wishes them well for the year. After that-

Kyra:                Another one-of-a-kind event will be happening.

Jon:                  You get to have some Italian sodas, maybe some ice cream. I don't know if I'm promising things that aren't existing in this, I'll just say Italian.

Kyra:                There will be ice cream.

Jon:                  There will be?

Kyra:                There will be.

Jon:                  So ice cream, and just a chance to have kind of a dance off. We're going to have some people teaching some various dance styles, and just hang out at the end of the day on the lawn.

Kyra:                Exactly. It's a fun way for you to meet new people. Again, even though it's later in the evening, commuters are supposed to be there and we want you there here in our community.

Jon:                  This is a chance ... One of the things, especially if you live nearby, it's tempting to head out, go home. I know some of us love meeting new people and get energy from it. Others go oh my gosh all these people. Everyone is new at this moment. This is the moment where everyone is feeling like you're feeling. So this is the point to just be there, be present, connect.

Kyra:                I have a joke where, even if you're an introvert and you feel like you need to be alone at the end of the day, you can be alone together with other people. We'll have space for you to sit off to the side. We'll have some activities that if you want to do that are a little bit more low key then dancing. Totally be there and be willing to participate.

Jon:                  Sunday is also a really great and important day, so it's really important for you to be there. There's information that you don't want to miss. We'll kick off with there'll be breakfast, we'll also have community worship. Another Warner tradition, you'll get to help plant a tree that will be on campus forever, or at least forever.

Kyra:                As long as the weather permits.

Jon:                  Then we'll have a presence barbecue where Dr. Cook will share some of her vision, and you'll get to meet some of the administrators on campus. Then just a lot of great chances to think about who we are as an institution, what we value. You'll get introduced to some of those throughout the day. Then that evening there's some really great pieces as well. If you live on campus there'll be a meeting, and also if you live off campus there's going to be a time where you get to connect with other commuters, and really learn what it takes and how to succeed as a commuter on campus.

Kyra:                On Sunday we're really talking about who are we as a community and how do we get involved in creating the community that we are at Warner. We really, really believe that you as the student set the culture, create the culture, and create the environment that's here at Warner. So we want to make sure that you know what you're coming into, and then also how you can actively participate, and actively engage in the transformation of who we are as an institution. So we'll be talking about how do we honor and respect each other, what does it look like to engage creatively in activism, and then even who are we as learning community. We really want you to be there and be present while we're there. On top of that, you get to meet new people, and you get to get free food. Who doesn't love free food on a Sunday?

Jon:                  Absolutely. Kyra, after all of that what happens then?

Kyra:                After all of that we will be showing Black Panther on the lawn with free goodies that'll be there. So this is a great time for you to grab a blanket, come out onto the lawn, and enjoy the summer evening while watching Black Panther.

Jon:                  Outdoor movies are amazing, so that's great.

Kyra:                They are fantastic.

Jon:                  That's just a brief overview, and there's stuff happening throughout the week. You'll be able to get lots of information on that as well. Ways to connect, ways to plugin, ways to get to know other people. Just as we wrap this up, feel free to continue to look at the schedule online, but as we wrap this up let's just talk about why this matter. We've talked about what it is, but Kyra maybe could you share a little bit about why coming to Welcome Weekend is important?

Kyra:                Well if I can share a little bit of my experience. I was not a fan of Welcome Weekend when I was a college student. I was like, this is ridiculous, I don't need to be there. Once I got there onto campus it was amazing, and it helped really set the foundation for a good college experience for me. I was able to meet friends who were my support throughout the year. I was a residential student, so I was able to get to know my roommate, my RA, and really figure out how are we creating community through the year.

Kyra:                Also, I was able to meet faculty members, and explore different ways that I could engage and be supported throughout the academic year. I also just got to have fun. I think sometimes we approach college and we're so nervous to step into, because we want to perform well, we don't want to fail classes, and we want to do the best that we possibly can. This is a weekend that reminds you that you are still a student, that you're still human, and that you need to have a fun experience while you're here in college as well.

Kyra:                So I really see Welcome Weekend as a transformational space, as a fun space, and a place that is really, really essential to you as a student as you're preparing for your next four years, or three years, or two years of college. Even if you're a transfer student, this is a great place to meet friends, to meet support. Our entire staff is going to be there, so you'll even get plugged in with the staff members who are going to be doing your tutoring, who are going to be working the lunch line, who are going to be the coffee shop, who are going to be making sure that your service hours are in place. All of us will be there, and we are so excited to meet you, and help kick start your school year that weekend.

Jon:                  You know, throughout Student Life our goal is to help, and throughout our campus, we want to make sure that you have ways to get connected, that you feel supported in the ways that you need support or want support, and that we can really help you think about and prepare for what's next, because while you're starting college we also want this to be something that's not just about getting to graduation, but thinking about the life that you want to live, the things you want to do, the person you want to be following college and for years and years after. There are ways to really make that happening during your time here.

Jon:                  Thank you for listening. If you have any questions as you think about Welcome Weekend, let us know. There are contact forms on the website. You can get in touch with your admission counselor. There are so many ways to get connected, and we want to help you if you have any questions. We will see you in a few weeks.

Kyra:                See y'all.