Aug 162009
 
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Thousands of CSU’s newest Rams made their home at the university officially Thursday night during the annual Ram Welcome Experience CSU! event.

The carnival along with rides, games, inflatable obstacle courses and free food from local restaurants around Fort Collins created an atmosphere where new students were welcomed to campus and made their first steps toward graduation event coordinators said.

According to the Ram Welcome Web site, this event “is a campus-wide collaboration co-coordinated by the Office of the Vice President for Student Affairs and Orientation and Transition Programs in the Center for Advising and Student Achievement.”

It is designed to assist incoming students with the transition into CSU and provides a place to get to know other students, faculty and CSU staff, according to the Web site, and event officials agreed.

“The purpose (of Ram Welcome) is to create a positive welcoming environment for the new students,” Sonja Jensen said, director of Greek Life and carnival co-chair. “What we’re doing here is welcoming them to campus with fun things going on that will help acclimate them while their families are still here.”

At 7:45 p.m. freshmen began streaming in from meetings in the residence halls with their families, resident assistants and new friends. While Jensen and other event coordinators said they could not confirm attendance numbers Thursday evening, upperclassmen and the incoming freshmen packed the West Lawn.

“(Ram Welcome) is a good opportunity for new students like myself to meet new people and feel a part of the campus community,” Ashley Berginder, a freshmen undeclared major from Colorado, said. “It’s a great feeling and it’s awesome to see everyone coming together.”

Although Berginder is reluctant to be away from her family, she is excited for the independence she will gain in college. She hoped that the event will help her build lasting relationships with other students around her.

Jensen said that Ram Welcome is the first step towards the success and graduation of the new students.

“(Ram Welcome) is a tradition that has been created. Students start with Ram Welcome and end with graduation,” Jensen said. “I think it helps builds connections and community on campus and by building those, the students will be more satisfied and we hope that will lead them to be more successful and happy.”

Maria Lamden, a junior economics major, has participated in this event for three years now and has no desire of stopping.

“It’s a great time to hang out and enjoy yourself. Every year seems to get better and there are always a ton of people here,” Lamden said with a sno-cone in hand.

Ram Welcome runs through Sunday, Aug. 23 and offers a variety of activities for students to participate in. For more information visit: www.ramwelcome.colostate.edu.

Staff writer Justyna Tomtas can be reached at news@collegian.com.

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