WOW 2022: Starting The Year On The Right Foot 

By: Stephanie Huynh and Brandon Clark

Photo by: Michael Dunn, Photographer

University departments and various student organizations helped to create yet another successful Week of Welcome and Beyond with activities galore, free food, and even a surprise visit from singer/songwriter Cupid.

Week of Welcome, commonly known as “WOW,” is known for providing new and returning students with plenty of guidance, new opportunities to explore all that the campus has to offer, and lots of free JagSwag and other materials for success.

The Marx Library distributed care packages, Academic Advising and Transfer Services hosted a free Kona Ice event and Second Year Experience informational, and Jaguar Productions and Spectrum co-hosted Drag Queen Bingo – just to name a few!

There was also a surprise appearance from DJ Cupid, creator of the Cupid Shuffle, at this year’s Convocation. The “Cupid Shuttle” JagTran that sparked the conversation between DJ Cupid and our university made for a great background for people to take photos with him.

When freshman Michael Bowdoin was asked to share his Week of Welcome experience, he only had positive things to say.

“I enjoyed the t-shirts and how wonderful all of the people were,” said Bowdoin. “I met a lot of friendly people and learned a lot about South.”

The Office of Multicultural Affairs (OMSA) hosted a Chill & Grill in the Student Center Ballroom. Hotdogs, refreshments, and pastries were served to guests while the Office of Multicultural Affairs introduced themselves and their partnered organizations, including Women of Excellence, Abeneefoo Kuo Honor Society, Black Student Union, Muslim Student Association, and Spectrum. 

Jarmora Valrie, director of OMSA, told The Vanguard that OMSA put on this event “so students can get a sense of belonging, a sense of purpose, and a sense of just meeting new people and new opportunities to connect in different organizations.”

This holds true for most, if not all, of the events that departments and student organizations on campus have put together. Student engagement experienced a serious decline, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Now that classes have resumed being held in person, there’s a push for students to get involved on campus and interact with others to get the full university experience.