ROCK SPRINGS – The Fall 2015 semester kicks off Saturday, Aug. 22, at Western Wyoming Community College, when new and returning students move back onto campus for the start of another exciting and successful academic year. Saturday marks the start of Welcome Week, when students move back into their residences, make new friends and reconnect with old ones, attend orientation sessions, picnics, pool parties, and movie nights, and generally get their college groove back.
“Welcome Week is a time when our students really build up their enthusiasm for the new semester and just for being in college,” said lead organizer Mark Rembacz, WWCC Director of Student Engagement and Completion. “For our students to be successful socially and academically, they need to have that opportunity to make friends, to connect with faculty and staff, and to discover those groups and activities that are going to help them tailor a college experience that meets their individual goals and expectations. Welcome Week is a fun way for us to help them do that.”
Nor is Welcome Week strictly for residential students. Campus activities are open to all Western students, whether they live on or off campus. Rembacz said it is especially important for students living off campus to connect to their peers socially in the first few weeks, since those support systems will help them to succeed throughout the semester.
“We really encourage our students who live locally to participate as their schedules allow,” Rembacz said. “In addition to the picnics, pep rallies, sporting events, and other general activities, we do have some events tailored specifically to our students who live locally. There is a reception for our Western After Hours evening students on Monday evening at 5:30 p.m. in Wind River Hall. There is a Children’s Center 40th Anniversary reception on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m. And we have movies running on campus almost every night. There is something of interest for every student at Western during Welcome Week, and we hope to see everyone here.”
“Fun” is probably the best definition of what’s waiting for Western students in the next week. Move-In Day begins at 7:30 a.m. on Saturday and wraps up at 2 p.m. It will be followed by a session for parents at 2:30 p.m. and a Mustang Pep Rally at 3:30 p.m. in the Residence Hall Drive. The Mustang Women’s Soccer Team plays at 4 p.m. at the Rock Springs Junior High, and Western will run a fan bus from campus down to the field. The busy day will conclude with a Welcome Back Dance in the Wind River Commons from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m.
On Sunday, students and their families will enjoy free breakfast at Mitchell’s Dining Hall from 9 – 10 a.m., followed by an outdoor student activity led by Student Ambassadors at 10 a.m. and the Battle of the Building Olympics in the Auxiliary Gymnasium (by the Aquatic Center) from 1 – 5 p.m. The evening will conclude with a screening of Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson’s earthquake blockbuster “San Andreas” at 10 p.m. in the WWCC Theatre.
Western After Hours students are invited to a reception in Wind River Hall at 5:30 p.m. to mark the beginning of Western’s new evening course program. Supported in part by a $25,000 grant from Sweetwater County BOCES, Western After Hours offers students a structured schedule of evening, face-to-face courses that will fulfill general-education requirements for their degree. Enrollment has been strong for the program’s first semester, and Western officials will welcome new and returning students who are taking Western After Hours courses.
On Monday evening, the Student Support and Disability Counseling Center will host the Lola-No-Booza Concert, featuring the band New Soul Brigade, at 7:30 p.m. near Wind River Hall. And, at 10 p.m., “Avengers: Age of Ultron” will screen in the WWCC Theatre.
On Tuesday, Aug. 25, there will be a student carnival from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. outside of Mitchell’s Dining Hall. Attractions include an inflatable “mechanical” bull, a dunk tank, and many other games and activities. There will also be a picnic from 11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m. and a pool party in the Aquatic Center from 6 – 9 p.m.
The Children’s Center 40th Anniversary Reception will be held at the Center from 4:30 – 6 p.m. and will include a “Trip Through Time” that looks back at the Center’s 40 years of operation. The evening will conclude with a screening of the film “Pitch Perfect 2” at 10 p.m. in the WWCC Theatre.
Classes begin Wednesday, Aug. 26, but the fun continues with Casino Night games in the Atrium from 7 – 10 p.m.
On Thursday, Mustang Volleyball begins the home season in the Holiday Inn Classic. They play Salt Lake Community College at 7 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 27, Western Nebraska Community College at 7 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 28, Snow College at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 29, and Iowa Western Community College at 5 p.m. that night.
“Jurassic World” will screen at 10 p.m. on Thursday night in the WWCC Theatre. On Friday night, students can play laser tag from 10 p.m. – 1 a.m. in the WWCC Atrium.
Welcome Week formally concludes on Saturday with the two Mustang volleyball games. Students may also sign up for a day-long whitewater rafting trip on the Snake River. Seats on this trip may be limited and early sign-up is recommended.