Move-In Weekend 2010

Often when you think you’re at the end of something, you’re at the beginning of something else.

– Mr. Rogers

Ah – it’s that time of year again.  It is a time when new textbooks and notebooks are being purchased.  It’s when classes are being added and dropped from schedules.  It’s when local businesses are suddenly out of supplies such as twin-XL sheets and alarm clocks.  Most importantly, it’s when Elon students are re-uniting with friends while a new set of Elon students are looking to connect with classmates.  It is the start of a new school year!

Last Thursday began the Isabella Cannon International Centre’s International Student Orientation program.  These few days allowed our international students to move-in to their dorms a few days earlier than the rest of the incoming students.  Activities during the international orientation included campus tours, question-and-answer sessions for parents, information about banking, information about immigration issues, and opportunities to socialize with other international students. I am quite pleased to say that we have an amazing group of international students!  In addition to coming from a variety of different countries (United Kingdom, China, Tunisia, Lebanon, Panama, Saudi Arabia, and many more!), the students are all so unique in their experiences.  It has truly been a pleasure to get to know them in this process and I can only imagine what incredible things they will do here in their time as students!

Move-In weekend.  Quite possibly the most chaotic, but energetic time on Elon University’s campus and this past weekend proved to be no exception.  The Elon community saw a record number of new students arrive on campus on Friday, with over 1,400 students (freshman and transfer) getting ready to start their university careers .  As you can imagine, it was quite hectic here and in the neighboring area; however, Elon’s New Student Orientation office did a wonderful job in helping these new students with their move.  To see what it was like, I would encourage you to visit Elon’s official photo gallery of Move-In Day photos.

There’s more to just International Student Orientation and New Student Orientation/ Move-In Day however.  Activities for the weekend included New Student Convocation, “Catch the Fire” social events in the different residential areas, “Dramatic Dialogue” discussions, a hypnotist, and much more!  The weekend’s activities will conclude this evening and lead right into the start of classes tomorrow.

And thus that leads me back to the beginning of my blog post for today.  For those of you familiar with the beloved Mr. Rogers, you may have heard him say this quote or read it in one of his books.  For those unfamiliar, Mr. Rogers was the host of a children’s television show that many of my peers grew up on, listening to his wisdom and learning from each episode.  I thought this quote would be most appropriate for all of our students at Elon, but particularly those who are new to our community.  For many of them, it is a time when there are so many changes going on which can often be overwhelming and confusing.  Homesickness can often start to creep in during some moments.  However (and I still remind myself of this with each and every school year!), it is important to know that each year, each month, each day, and each moment of our lives brings about new opportunities.  This new school year is no exception – for all of our enrolling students, I wish you the best in this coming year and I look forward to seeing your faces around campus!


International Student Orientation vs. New Student Orientation

As August is fast approaching, I wanted to be sure that everyone was aware of the Orientation options a student coming to Elon from outside the U.S. has as an enrolling student.  There are two Orientation events: “International Student Orientation” and the “New Student Orientation”.    These two events can often be confusing as both include the word “Orientation” and thus many students are unsure which orientation to attend.

International Student Orientation begins in August 26 and ends on August 27 this year.  The International Student Orientation is only for students who are coming to Elon on a student visa and/or students who reside outside the United States.  Students who are participating in International Student Orientation are allowed to arrive and move-in to their dorm rooms a few days earlier.  The International Student Orientation is designed to assist with the transition to the campus from an international perspective.  A sample of last year’s schedule

A student moving into their new dorm!

includes information sessions about banking, campus safety, housing information, immigration issues, and class registration combined with opportunities to go shopping, eat meals with your fellow international students, and just begin to get acquainted to the university.  It is also helpful to review the International Student Handbook for more information on packing, getting here, visas, transportation, cell phones, banking, etc.

Any student on a visa is required to attend the International Student Orientation while any student not on a visa has the option to attend.  Would I attend if I was in your position?  I would definitely consider it – you have the opportunity to meet other incoming students with international backgrounds and get adjusted to living here a few days in advance of the rest of the incoming new students.  Besides – free food is always a great perk!

New Student Orientation begins on the afternoon/evening of August 27.  (August 27 is the Move-In Day for the entire new student population.) This orientation program is designed to assist the ENTIRE freshman class and with their transition to campus.  Every new student is required to participate in New Student Orientation and each student will be in a small group of about 12-15 other new students.  There will be a variety of activities  to become acclimated to campus with the other 1,300+ new students.  You can find more information about this orientation by visiting the New Student Orientation website including a schedule, directions, etc.

Most importantly, as you are getting ready to move to Elon, feel free to ask lots of questions!  This is a HUGE time for transition and we are here to assist you with this process.  Never hesitate to contact myself or any of the offices (Academic Advising, Bursar’s, etc.) should you need assistance.  Everyone is looking forward to greeting you here upon your arrival and we want do to make this process as “painless” as possible for you and your family!

Move-In Day 2009

It finally arrived….the day when close to 1,300 new students began their university careers.  It has been exciting to see familiar faces on campus, especially since we have been working with these student for the past year or so!  

 To further help the freshman class become acclimated to Elon’s community, I offer up these helpful (and some just humourous) tidbits of advice from my own Move-In Day/ Freshman Year experience:

  • Be friendly and open to meeting new people.  You will meet so many people in the next day, the next week, the next year, and the next four years.  You may be fortunate to meet a lifelong friend your first week of school or you may meet that person in your senior year!
  • Wear sneakers or other rubber-soled shoes when it rains on campus.  We have thousands of bricks on campus walkways – and each one gets slick when it rains.  Unless you want to slip on the bricks, I would avoid flip-flops!  Take it from someone who knows… 🙂
  • Take advantage of the Organization Fair on September 11.  One of the best things that I did my first week of school was to join a few clubs and organizations.  Not only was I able to get involved with things I was interested in (soccer and service), but I also met some great people.
  • Go to the College Coffee and/or College Chapel.  Yes, this does mean that you have to be out of bed by 10:00 a.m. on either a Tuesday or Thursday, but you can do it.  You’ll be glad that you did  – besides, I know for a fact that you have nothing else to do on Tuesdays and Thursdays between 9:40 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. because there are no classes at that time.
  • Be sure to do the following in your first year at Elon (in no particular order):  go to Fall and Spring Convocations, eat at Sidetrack’s, ride the Danieley tram, participate in Discover NC, go with friends to Cookout for a milkshake, learn how to pronounce the following words:  Colclough and Danieley, make Elon’s E-Net your home page, stop by your professor’s office at least once just to chat, form an intramural team with a humorous name, participate in Sportsfest, learn the difference between Phoenix Cash and Meal Dollars, trip on a brick, and learn to manage your time.
  • Have a strong fall semester at Elon.  Classes only get more challenging as you get older.  Be serious about your studies because if you start with a low grade point average, it will be tough to bring it up!

Those are my tips for now and I hope you enjoy them!  Welcome to the Elon community and I look forward to seeing you on campus!

Laboring on Labor Day

Happy Monday to everyone!

It is officially ‘Labor Day’ here in the U.S. where most people in this country traditionally have the day off – but not at Elon! We are still open for business (which is a good thing because I have a number of different things that I need to take care of before I leave for Asia!) However, before I talk more about that, I will provide you with a recap of the weekend events here at Elon.
Friday was Move-In Day (as you can tell from my last post) which meant that Saturday was the official welcome to the university for our new students. New Student Convocation is a wonderful ceremony where new students and their parents are welcomed by people such as Dr. Lambert, the President of the Student Government, a parent of a currently enrolled student, and many more. Most importantly, it marks the start of a student’s experience at this university and this is demonstrated by a ‘gift’ that Elon gives each student. To symbolize the start of a new chapter of their life, Elon gives each student an acorn at New Student Convocation. This is one of Elon University’s traditions and there is a similar tradition when a student graduates from Elon University. I will leave that to you to figure out what the ‘gift’ is when a student graduates…(think acorn and growth!)
Saturday was also the home opener for the Elon University football team! Saturday’s weather was probably not the most ideal weather for a football game (sticky & humid with temperatures in the high 80s), the Phoenix were able to start the game right on time – despite a heavy downpour only an hour before game time! Here are some pictures from the game:
Rhodes Stadium before kick-off



Go Phoenix!
The crowd for the game was over 10,000!

Getting ready for a play…

But despite the Phoenix effort, the Richmond Spiders prevailed over us, 28-10. However, it was a good evening with friends and most importantly, it was great to see such a strong turnout for the team! To read more about this game, as well as our other athletic teams, visit the Elon Phoenix website.
And that brings us to today (Monday) which means that my countdown to my travels in Asia is at 1 day! Well – maybe two…I will be in Los Angeles for a one-day orientation. I am definitely looking forward to traveling, especially because I have never been to Asia before. I also figured out how to post blogs using my cell phone and it is my plan to continue to update this blog as often as I can. I will not be able to post any pictures (unfortunately) so I will just bombard you with those when I return later in the month of September. And since I am leaving tomorrow, it means that I have 1,001 things to take care of before I leave – and thus I bid you farewell until I am either out in CA or in Asia!
Next stop: Los Angeles, CA

Move-In Day Madness…Well, Not Really

Well, it is officially 4:28 p.m. according to my computer which means that the 2008 Freshmen Move-In Day is almost over. Here is an overview of today…

By 7:45 a.m. this morning, there was already a line of cars waiting to unload and begin the move-in process – although we didn’t officially begin unloading cars until 8:00 a.m.! All and all, the day seemed to move quickly and efficiently. Cars were unloaded, boxes were carried up flights of stairs, and rooms were set-up – all in a matter of minutes! Kudos to the Elon Orientation Leaders, volunteer “O-Team”, and the Elon staff members who helped to direct traffic and coordinate the moving process. Honestly, with almost 1,300 freshmen trying to move in to our campus on the same day, the potential for chaos is very high! However, it seemed to flow very well!
Most importantly, it was great to (finally) have our incoming class on this campus. With many of these students, I have met them at their high schools, exchanged numerous emails with them, read their applications, chatted with them at Admissions events, etc. and thus it is wonderful to actually have them on campus after months of communication.
Although I am sure my pictures are highly entertaining, I majored in mathematics – and not in photography! That being said, if you are interested in seeing more photos (of a higher quality!), definitely check out more Move-In Day photos.
Tomorrow is the big football game against Richmond – Go Phoenix!
And last but not least (for your viewing enjoyment), I have included a photo of myself with Robin, the Coordinator of the Welcome Center, and the one and only Sammy the Squirrel. While Sammy is NOT the official mascot of Elon, he has gained popularity because of his numerous relatives that call this campus home! (Sammy is the mascot of Elon’s Summer School classes). Enjoy and happy weekend to you!

The Countdown Has Started…

… 0 days until International Student Orientation begins.
… 2 days until Freshman Move-In Day.
… 3 days until the Elon Phoenix take on the Richmond Spiders in football.
… 6 days until I leave for Los Angeles for Orientation for the 2008 CIS Asia tour!

It is August 27th and the 2008 – 2009 school year is about to get started. As I mentioned above, many of the incoming international students began their International Student Orientation. (Elon offers our international students the opportunity to move-in to their dorms earlier than the rest of the freshman class.) Despite torrential downpours and tornado warnings, our new students had the opportunity to meet each other and also get situated on Elon’s campus. It was great to see them (finally) on campus! By Friday, we are anticipating on having our 34 international students here and settled onto our campus.

Friday will be the busy day of this week – almost 1,300 freshman students will be moving onto campus. Minivans and cars will be unloaded by our Orientation Leaders and carried up multiple flights of stairs. Roommates will finally meet each other after months of ‘Facebooking’. Rooms will be arranged (and then re-arranged a week later). Books will be purchased, Phoenix Cards will be made, banking accounts will be set-up, and orientation groups will meet – all on Friday! It is an exciting time around Elon, and I think we are all just hoping that this rain that we are having (remnants of Tropical Storm Fay?) will be gone. Check the Elon weather to see how Friday looks (and think dry thoughts!)

As part of this weekend’s festivities, Elon will also be playing its first football game of the 2008 season against the University of Richmond Spiders – check back for an update on the game.

And finally, I will be heading out on my first international trip in less than a week! I will be a part of the 2008 CIS Asia tour and between September 3rd and September 20th, I will be visiting the following cities:

*Tokyo * Seoul * Beijing * Shanghai * Bangkok *
*Chiang Mai * Singapore * Taipei * Hong Kong*
So there is lots to do, but I am excited to visit these places for the very first time!