Those first four days of freshman year were the best, no classes, meeting new people and exploring the university that would be called “home” for the next four years. The First Year Institute (FYI), a four-day program that allows first-years to get acquainted with the university, is undergoing some drastic changes this fall.
The FYI will not continue this fall as it did last year. Instead, Miami University will be hosting Welcome Week.
“The name ‘Welcome Week’ is more transparent,” said Director of New Student Programs, Elizabeth Buffy Stoll. “It’s a concept that a lot of schools use. You know what it means.”
Stoll is in charge of the planning and preparation for Welcome Week. Instead of hosting a four-day program for first-years, Welcome Week will be a 10-day long program that will include the activities from move-in-day, all the way until Mega Fair.
“I think it’ll be nice for first-year students especially because it will give an opportunity to meet new people,” Caitlin McGillicuddy, a current first-year student, said.
The first four days will be almost identical to those in the past with events such as convocation and the party at Yager Stadium still taking place, according to Stoll.
Many of the facilities on campus will be hosting their own welcoming events as part of the program. King Library, the Recreational Center and the Student Health Center are just a few places among many that will be putting on events according to Stoll.
Welcome Week isn’t just for first-year students, although that is the target audience according to Stoll. Second-year students are also encouraged to attend events throughout Welcome Week as all first-year and second-year students will be given calendars of when and where each event will be taking place.
Ultimately, Stoll said she hopes second-years will be able to find their niche and activities to get involved in.
“Having second-year students getting involved with Welcome Week is a great idea,” Kourtni Battig, a current first-year, said. “I definitely plan on going to some of the events because I think as an upcoming second-year, I know what I want to get involved in now.”
The incoming first-years will read The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba, a current sophomore at Dartmouth University. The book is about a boy who grows up in an impoverished town of Malawi where there is no electricity. Kamkwamba produced energy for the town using wind in this inspiring story, and it should be a novel the first year class will enjoy reading explained Stoll.
Although Kamkwamba will not be coming to Miami to speak at convocation, international students will talk to the first-year students about their experiences at Miami and how coming from a foreign country has impacted them.
After, the class will be broken off into groups where they will have a book discussion.