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Eastern presents a warm ‘Warrior Welcome’

Published on September 01, 2020

Eastern presents a warm ‘Warrior Welcome’

New students meet with SOCs during Warrior Welcome

New students meet with SOCs during Warrior Welcome

New students meet with SOCs during Warrior Welcome

Student Orientation Counselor (SOC) Jeniel Edmonds stands at the entrance of an academic building, ready to lead new students on a tour.

While taking all precautions during COVID-19 to safely move in more than 1,800 resident students on Aug. 23-25, Eastern Connecticut State University rolled out “Warrior Welcome” to more than 850 new members of the Class of 2024, as well as other returning students. 

The Student Activities Office presented a wide range of activities, designed to help new students become familiar with Eastern while learning strategies for ensuring their academic and social success. New students met other incoming students and current student leaders; interacted with Eastern faculty and staff; and became familiar with on-campus services and resources.  

The Student Activities Office offered most Warrior Welcome programs virtually due to the continuing COVID-19 pandemic. “This digital format may have actually increased engagement by making the programs more accessible for students who would have struggled getting to campus for sessions and events during the three days,” said Casey Kensey, director of new Student and family programs.  

“We also offered our new students some optional in-person activities that encouraged them to connect with other students and student leaders such as outdoor fitness classes, meeting a Student Orientation Counselor and the option of viewing our keynote speaker in the Student Center,” said Kensey, “socially distanced of course. Even though things looked a little different this year, I hope our new students felt welcome at Eastern and will continue to participate in activities and programs that will connect them to the Eastern community.”  

After new students moved into their residence halls, they also took self-guided tours of downtown Willimantic. Through in-person and virtual set-ups in the Betty R. Tipton Room, they heard from leadership trainer Michael Miller who presented “Getting What You Want.”   

Later students engaged in late night activities, including a virtual escape; virtual Speed Sketch Caricatures of themselves;  a virtual performance by John Rush the Human I-pod; and the drive-in movie, “Jumanji the Next Level,” on the Webb Hall Lawn.   

Students also learned about Eastern’s culture of respect and the importance of civility, inclusion and minimizing risky behaviors. Towards that end, the University provided virtual presentations on sexual harassment and one titled “What Do I Do Now? Creating a Campus Culture of Respect and Inclusion.” Zumba fitness and bodyweight classes at the Mansfield Athletic Complex addressed the notion of good health.   

Mind reader Eric Dittleman, who combines amazing mind-reading with stand-up and improv comedy, entertained the students virtually with his skill of telepathy. In 2012, Dittleman blew audiences away as the first-ever mind reader on NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” where he was a season 7 Top Ten finalist and judges’ favorite.  

Written by Dwight Bachman

Categories: Student Activities