Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Serving the campus of the University of Alabama since 1894

The Crimson White

Week of Welcome acclimates students

Drew Hoover

The University’s Week of Welcome kicked off Aug. 13 with a family dinner at Burke and Lakeside Dining Halls. The final event for Week of Welcome, the Meet the Deans BBQ, will be held Friday.

The culminating event will last from 5 – 7 p.m. at the outdoor soccer stadium. Students will receive free Full Moon barbecue, and they will also have the opportunity to mingle with the deans of their respective colleges. They are invited to stay for the Alabama vs. Samford women’s soccer game, which begins at 7 p.m.

“We hope that Week of Welcome allowed students to become more familiar with the campus,” Kelli Knox-Hall, chair of the planning committee for this year’s Week of Welcome, said. “The goal of WOW was to encourage students to meet new people and help them feel like more a part of the Capstone before classes began.”

Composing the itinerary, she said, is an in-depth procedure.

“[Planning Week of Welcome] is a year-long process,” she said. “We essentially start planning as soon as the previous years’ events are finished.”

After the week concludes, the WOW planning committee conducts a survey, and based on the feedback from that survey, tweak old events or add new events to better accommodate students’ needs, Knox-Hall said.

Students said this year’s events were a success.

“Week of Welcome has helped me meet hundreds of new people and introduced me to the campus through many creative and exciting events,” said David Burkhalter, a freshman majoring in engineering.

Burkhalter said he attended Plaza Live Sunday night.

“There was a good turnout despite the rain,” he said. “Plaza Live was a fun and relaxed experience. The whole week has been awesome.”

The Homegrown Alabama Farmers’ Market falls within Week of Welcome as well, as it is held every Thursday on the lawn of Canterbury Episcopal Church on the University’s campus.

“Homegrown Alabama is a student-led organization that seeks to increase awareness of the value of local produce by fostering partnerships between local farmers, the University of Alabama and surrounding communities,” according to its website,

Although it is not on the WOW schedule, the Farmers’ Market serves to help freshmen become more acclimated to campus and the student-led opportunities it affords.

“We are trying to become more integrated in the community,” said Erica Smith, a junior majoring in interdisciplinary studies who is also the Homegrown Alabama market manager. “The goal of Homegrown Alabama is to educate the community about the value of local produce and to encourage relationships between producers and consumers.”

Today, Homegrown Alabama features locally-grown produce such as flowers, honey, herbs and baked goods. The Farmer’s Market also offers local musicians the opportunity to play on Canterbury’s lawn.

Caleb Goertz, a sophomore transfer student majoring in communicative disorders, said Week of Welcome has been a great experience.

“WOW has opened my eyes to a lot of things on campus that I didn’t even know existed,” he said. “It has also given me the opportunity to meet new people and make connections that I will use throughout the year.”

Kristen Robinson, the University’s marketing coordinator and a member of the Week of Welcome planning committee, said she’s pleased with this year’s Week of Welcome.

The event has grown substantially since its early days as Bama Blast – a shorter, less extravagant event intended to welcome new students – Robinson said, but the true success of Week of Welcome is that it shares the culture and tradition of the Capstone with a new generation of students.

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