Summer is officially over and it’s time to hit the books again. Starting off the new school year, Welcome Weekend brought many events for new and returning students. Freshmen and commuters were on deck for festivities that took place August 21st through the 23rd. Some of the highlights were: Casino Night, Color War, Dinner with the President, Eagle Walk, and the annual bonfire.

Welcome Weekend is mandatory for all incoming freshmen and is encouraged for commuters. The three-day event is a way for new students to meet friends, their New Student Ambassador’s and learn their way around campus.

“The overall goal of Welcome Weekend is to promote Benedictine to the incoming freshmen class as well as transfers and to get them to meet new friends,” said Brittney Marshall, Coordinator of Enrollment Events.

Morgan Jones, a sophomore and New Student Ambassador at BenU, mentioned how her favorite part of Welcome Weekend was getting to know everyone.

“We got to know the freshmen. We had a speed round of what’s your name, what’s your favorite color and I got to know like half the class,” said Jones.

Parents were also a big part of Welcome Weekend and were invited to all events. After their son or daughter’s official move-in, they were invited to have lunch in Krasa Center. To get parents involved, Marshall says there is a parent orientation that breakdowns any questions they may have dealing with financial, academic, or even regarding campus security.

“They get their questions answered and it is truly beneficial to them. It relaxes them to know that their kid is going to a safe school,” added Marshall.

There was not a BenFest concert this year, and the lack of a band playing music has noticeable. In past years, BenU students rocked the night away with bands such as Neon Trees, Phillip Philips and Plain White T’s.

“There are all kinds of different things going on like renovations and making things nicer and better for everyone whether it be getting new furniture, or adding BenUnion…concerts are a lot of money to put on,” said Marshall.

The incoming freshman’s responses towards not having a concert were overall positive.

“There are so many activities going on for welcome weekend I don’t think not having a concert is a big deal,” said Kelsie Winger, Student Ambassador.

One of the liveliest activities was the Color War. Students met by Jaeger Hall in white t-shirts and were given bottles of paint. Lines of paint were seen thrown from one student to another and their once white shirts were rainbow in color at the end of the event. Other activities for students were a skating rink, hula-hoops, Jenga, and a competition of inflatable basketball.

By the end of the night, new students that had not known each other before Welcome Weekend were exchanging phone numbers and taking selfies.

For some freshmen, college may be intimidating, but Marshall gave incoming freshmen advice.

“Just get out there, make friends, and really use Welcome Weekend to branch out…this is the time that you’re going to make those friendships and make those lasting bonds,” expressed Marshall.