Aug 212011
 
Authors: Blair Carpenter

Upperclassmen and visitors could only watch as new students and their families invaded campus on Thursday morning. It was that time of year again: Ram Welcome.

Ram Welcome:  Experience CSU, is a yearly event put on by the Orientation and Transition Program (OTP).  

Starting the Thursday before classes start, Ram Welcome is designed to build onto summer orientation and provide a series of activities to help freshmen better adapt to campus, according to the OTP website.

The weekend involves a series of events that help new students better understand not only what it means to be a student at a four-year university, but also what it means to be a Ram.

After the chaos of moving into the residence halls on Thursday, students headed over to Moby Arena for Green Out, a welcoming pep rally where students wore matching green shirts.  

A carnival, free to students and Fort Collins citizens, followed on the intramural fields, complete with a band, food, rides and games where tickets won could be redeemed for CSU merchandise.

The carnival was a hit with students and parents alike, and the festivities lasted well into the night.

Friday started early for students, where each hall ate breakfast together at 8 a.m. then split into their respective colleges for informational sessions until lunch.

Following lunch was a street fair held under Clark B where students could learn about the different departments, clubs and possibly score free stuff.

“A lot of people don’t know about the Russian language [program] at CSU,” said Caleb Veach, a Russian Club representative who was at the Street Fair. “I found out about it from someone who went to Ram Welcome last year. When he came back from the Street Fair and told me about it, I went on the computer and signed up for Russian that night.”

The crown jewel of Friday, according to students, was Ramapalooza, a smorgasbord of dancing, movies, free food, free shows and activities.  Students waited in lines for caricatures, henna tattoos and elaborate balloon animals.

Saturday opened with We Are CSU, a new event at Ram Welcome this year. Students filed into Moby to attend a lecture by Juana Bordas, a Latina woman who discussed diversity.

With a little help from Lady Gaga, Juana encouraged CSU students to accept themselves, embrace diversity and become leaders.

“It kind of felt like when everyone walked in they were like, ‘oh no, another speech,’” said Tandena Nelson, a freshman fish, conservation and wildlife biology major. “But I thought she had some good things to say.”

After taking the annual class picture on the IM fields, Saturday afternoon was devoted to free time, where new students had the opportunity to connect with their dorm mates, hike to the A, attend free movies and buy books.

Target also had its annual student night, where a live DJ accompanied discounted merchandise for students.

Ram Welcome wrapped up on Sunday morning, when Ram Welcome leaders showed new students where their classes were.

As for next year’s participants, Amy Alas, a Ram Welcome leader and sophomore English major, said, “Be really open. Just because it’s not something you’re interested in doesn’t mean you should write it off.”

Collegian writer Blair Carpenter can be reached at news@collegian.com.

You know you’re a freshman when…

5. You carry around a purse.
4. You get dressed up for class.
3. You live in your last choice dorm.
2. You call buildings by the wrong nickname or acronym.
1. You need a map to navigate campus.

Adopted from The College Dorm Survival Guide: How to Survive and Thrive in Your New Home Away from Home by Julia DeVillers

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