Welcome Week ushers in a new semester

Valley College welcomes students with fun games and activities.

By Aimee Martinez, Valley Life Editor

Photo by Mickie Shaw/The Valley Star

For the first four days of the new semester, Valley College welcomed new and returning students with free food, games, live music and a student panel.

For each day of Welcome Week, from August 26 to the 29, various planned events served to usher in the fall semester. These events provided opportunities for new students to get to know the campus, its resources, clubs and the ASU.

On day one, free ice cream helped students cool off in the Student Union Plaza. On day two, new students were invited to participate in a student panel in the Skybox Conference Room. The panel; led by Valley success coach Kristene Anassian; was an opportunity for students to hear the experiences of people like Student Ambassador Pat Cruz.

“It was nice to get input from their experiences,” said freshman Mervin Martinez, currently majoring in Fire Technology. “There were a lot of aspects that I could relate to. [Cruz] brought a lot of his personal struggles.”

After the panel, the ASU held a mixer where students helped themselves to refreshments, then mingled with each other and the ASU members present. The event was aimed at making students more aware of what the ASU means, what it has to offer and to encourage participation. Some of the student government positions needing to be filled are the ICC representative, commissioner of campus and environmental concerns, commissioner of fine arts, commissioner of social media, as well as four more commissioner positions.

Day three greeted students with the sound of pop songs and the smell of hot dogs. Students stood in line in the Student Union Plaza to fill out surveys that would grant them their meal ticket. Once obtained, beef, bacon-wrapped and veggie hot dogs were available to be ordered from caterers Bombdiggity Hot Dogs. Songs like “Love is a Battlefield” by Pat Benatar and “Feel it Still” by Portugal the Man were sung by the cover band Sidetracs. Students appreciated the familiar tunes and gathered around to listen.

Several clubs such as the Black Scholars, Eco Advocates, and Gender and Sexuality Alliance were present. These clubs had set up booths, hoping to attract new members. President and founder of the Anime and Manga club, Karina Ochoa, said she hoped to bring in students who are shy about anime and introduce them to others who share the same joy in it. At the time of this report, the sign in sheet for the club had reached three pages, full of signatures.

“The turnout has been very good,” said vice president of the STEM club Chris Wheeler. “It’s more than we expected.”

The new Student Health Center provider, Valley Community Healthcare, was also present to promote their services. Finally, the last day of Welcome Week concluded in a carnival with an array of games and prizes to be won.

“Every year we want to improve and have the events be more engaging,” said Student Engagement Coordinator Raquel Sanchez. “We just always want to make it fun for students, instead of the traditional workshop.”