New BU students to join community volunteer effort

For immediate release: Aug. 20, 2009

BLOOMSBURG — More than 300 of Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania's incoming freshmen and transfer students have registered for volunteer opportunities offered with Welcome Weekend 2009.

According to Kristin Austin, coordinator of new student orientation, the volunteer efforts will help BU's newest students feel an immediate connection to the town and campus.

"The goal is for the students to continue to serve as volunteers while they are working toward their degrees," she said, adding the effort, "Building a Better Community," is co-sponsored by the SOLVE and civic engagement offices.

Among the locations where students will volunteer Friday, Aug. 28, from 1:30 to 4 p.m. are the Women's Center, Loyalton of Bloomsburg, Balanced Care at Bloomsburg, BU Catholic Campus Ministries, Bloomsburg Health Care, the Ronald McDonald House in Danville and Orangeville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Orientation events are designed to acquaint new students with the campus, their majors and the Town of Bloomsburg. Approximately 2,015 freshmen, including those who were enrolled in classes during the summer, and more than 400 transfer students are expected at BU this fall, according to admissions director Chris Keller.

Some events during Welcome Weekend, which runs from Thursday through Sunday, Aug. 27 to 30, will focus on environmental issues, Austin said. The new students will learn about campus conservation and recycling efforts during two Sunday sessions of the "Growing Greener Initiative," presented by members of Help Our Planet Earth (HOPE) and the Campus Green Initiative committee.

New students will move into campus residence halls Wednesday and Thursday, Aug. 26 and 27. To accommodate move-in, Second Street traffic is expected to be one-way, downhill, Wednesday, Aug. 26, from 3 to 9:30 p.m. and Thursday, Aug. 27, from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Orientation activities will begin Thursday with a pep rally preceding the Huskies first football game of the season versus Ashland University, with kickoff at 6 p.m. in Redman Stadium.

Daytime events on Friday, Aug. 28, will stress academics, beginning with the new student convocation, when BU President David Soltz and faculty will officially welcome students. Following the convocation, students will discuss their summer reading assignment, "The Freedom Writers Diary," and meet faculty and other students at lunchtime barbecues hosted by each of the four colleges — Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology. Other Friday activities include mandatory fire safety meetings for residence hall students and the Town of Bloomsburg Scavenger Hunt.

New students may register to vote on Saturday, Aug. 29, at "A Vote is a Voice," sponsored by BU's chapter of Democracy Matters. Sessions will focus on student standards and conduct and services available through the Student Health Center.

The main event Sunday, Aug. 30, is the activities fair on lawn of Schuylkill Hall when representatives of student clubs, organizations and intramural sports will share information with the newcomers. Also planned are BU Bucks and Bingo and Protestant and Catholic worship services.

Classes begin for all BU students Monday, Aug. 31.

Bloomsburg University is one of 14 universities in the Pennsylvania State System of Higher Education. The university serves approximately 8,000 students, offering comprehensive programs of study in the colleges of Education, Business, Liberal Arts and Science and Technology.