As many VCU students and faculty countdown to their return to the University, incoming freshmen might be wondering; what should we really be excited for?
Welcome Week is exactly that- a week-long welcome to the University filled with opportunities to become a part of VCU, explore everything the University offers and get empowered to build your future as a Ram. Welcome Week events can lead to winning great prizes. As you attend various Welcome Week events, you will collect raffle tickets. There are five types of Welcome Week events that are color-coded for your convenience. To be eligible to win the grand prize, a free semester of in-state tuition, you must collect 10 tickets (two of each color). Prizes will be distributed at the Student Organizations and Volunteer Opportunities Fair on Aug. 26 from 3-6 p.m. in the Stuart C. Siegel Center. So where should you start to collect all those tickets?
With over 190 events to pick and choose from, here are just 20 events that the class of 2020 won’t want to miss during Welcome Week 2016:
1.Throwback Night, Aug. 20, 8-11 p.m. Join us in the Commonwealth Ballroom for a throwback time machine dance party, Bingo and novelty items!
2. New Student VIP Shopping Event, Aug. 21, noon-3 p.m. This red ticket event is sponsored by New Student and Family Programs, RamTech and VCU Campus Services. Barnes & Noble at VCU, located at 1111 W Broad St., will host a VIP shopping experience that will include a walk down the red carpet. Bring something to snap some photos with your friends, sample products, pick up your textbooks or find your favorite drink from the Barnes & Noble Starbucks.
3. Break Point Games Lounge Extravaganza, Aug. 21, noon-10 p.m. Break Point Games Lounge is home to all things entertainment. Located in room 022 of the University Student Commons, Break Point Games Lounge features pool, video games, card/board games and foosball; and during this event you can play them all for free!
4. Playfair, Aug. 21, 7-9 p.m. Playfair is a program that welcomes new students to campus and offers a unique teambuilding experience. Start building relationships with other VCU Rams. Freshmen residents that attend will also receive their VCU Residential Life and Housing T-shirts.
5. Love ‘n’ Liquor – New locations! Please check Guidebook! https://guidebook.com/guide/70727/ If you are an on-campus first-year student, your RA will inform you which Love ‘n’ Liquor session to go to. This hour-long interactive session uses clickers and comedy to explore the truth about alcohol and sex.
6. Class Schedule Tours and Ice Cream Social, Aug. 22, 11 a.m.- 3 p.m. Not positive where you need to go on your first day of class? You can bring your class schedule to Hibbs Hall and an orientation leader will show you the way. Enjoy some ice cream when you stop by!
7. Library Fest, Aug. 22, 2-4 p.m. Learn about and see the wonders of Cabell Library in this blue-ticket event that will feature free food, fun and a chance to win a GoPro Camera or Beats headphones. Tables will also be set up throughout the library with information about co-sponsors and other campus units.
8. Major Mixers. Several different majors will be hosting major mixers throughout the week. These mixers will allow you to meet faculty, staff and other students. You will also have the chance to ask questions and gather more information about your major. Depending on your major, food, t-shirts and prizes might also be offered! Check your Welcome Week schedule book or look on the Guidebook app to see when your major mixer is.
9. Entertainment Night, Aug. 22, 7-11 p.m. Join us in the Commonwealth Ballroom for a hypnotist, novelties, food and a DJ.
10. New Student Convocation, Aug. 23, 4-5 p.m. Convocation, held each year in the Siegel Center, is your formal welcome to VCU and the official beginning of the school year for all new students. You won’t want to miss this event because the official class of 2020 group photo will follow immediately after!
11. Ram Spirit Walk, Aug. 23, 5-5:30 p.m. Following New Student Convocation, the Ram Spirit Walk welcomes and celebrates your entrance to the University with a pep rally and marching band-led walk from the Siegel Center to Monroe Park.
12. Monroe Park Campus Block Party, Aug. 23, 5:30-8 p.m. Join us for a meal, meet new people and listen to a local DJ all at the Monroe Park Campus Block Party. First-year students should bring their VCU Card with them.
13. Water Wars/Rec Sports Night, Aug. 24, 5-10 p.m. VCU students are invited to the Cary St. Field and Gym to celebrate the beginning of a new academic year. From 5-7 p.m. the annual Water Wars will take place on Cary St. Field. Don’t miss out on the dunk tank, water balloons, slip ‘n’ slide and water slide! Free Water Wars t-shirts go out to the first 100 attendees and free ice cream for the first 500. Beginning at 6 p.m., Cary Street Gym and Field will be filled with awesome activities, games, demos, giveaways and more. Grab your “RecPassport” and have it stamped at various stations for great prizes.
14. MPC SGA Presents: Tiki Hut, Aug. 25, 3-6 p.m. The Monroe Park Campus Student Government Association presents Tiki Hut on the Commons Plaza (rain location: Richmond Salons). Tiki Hut will feature catered food and smoothies, photo booths, limbo, giant jenga, tie-dye and more.
15. Bike and Computer Registrations. Taking a few minutes now to register your bike and/or computer will save you the headache if your belongings go missing during the school year. Registering your items helps with investigations. Officers will be onsite to register your items. Registration takes place at various times and days throughout the week. Check your Welcome Week book or look on the Guidebook app to see all sessions.
16. SOVO Fair, Aug. 26, 3-6 p.m. The Siegel Center will be transformed into your one-stop-shop for all things related to student organizations and volunteer opportunities. Meet members of different clubs and organizations, ask questions and win prizes! Bring all of your Welcome Week raffle tickets to be entered into big prize drawings.
17. Movies in the Commons Theater. The Activities Programming Board will be showing Zootopia, Captain America: Civil War, Allegiant: Part One and Mad Max: Fury Road. Each movie is free and offers free popcorn and giveaways. Check your Welcome Week schedule book or look on the Guidebook app to see all showtimes.
18. First-Gen Fridays Kick Off, Aug. 26, 3-4 p.m. If you’re the first in your family to go to college, the Division of Strategic Enrollment Management presents the inaugural meeting for First-Gens. This is an opportunity to meet other first-generation college students and learn about services designed to enhance your success.
19. Food-Truck-A-Palooza, Aug. 27, 1-4 p.m. Diverse food trucks from all around Richmond will be in Floyd Avenue Circle for three hours of food, music and games! Stop by tables outside of the University Student Commons for free $1 vouchers to use at any of the food trucks. Tickets are limited so arrive early!
20. Get Involved Sessions. Get Involved sessions will be at various times and days throughout the week and are the best way to learn more about VCU organizations. With sessions ranging from student media, to sports clubs, to fraternities and sororities- there’s a session for you. Check your Welcome Week schedule book or look on the Guidebook app to see when all Get Involved sessions are.
For even more Welcome Week 2016 information, like VCU Welcome Week 2016 on Facebook, follow @VCUWelcomeWeek on Twitter or visit http://www.welcomeweek.vcu.edu. The complete Welcome Week event schedule can be found on Guidebook; an app for Android and iOS devices that will allow you to plan your Welcome Week experience, personalize your schedule, browse events and view maps right from your phone or tablet.