Kicking Off Week of Welcome

The University of South Florida launches its annual Week of Welcome with a campus-wide celebration.


By Jenna Withrow and Daylina Miller News Writers


TAMPA, Fla. (August 18, 2010) – The lists have been checked – and double checked. The boxes have been packed – and unpacked. Room keys have been distributed, roommates have been introduced, and goodbyes have been said.


So, what’s a new college student supposed to do once they have moved in? Celebrate!


The University of South Florida kicked off the annual Week of Welcome (WOW) with a bang, as new and returning students flooded the Marshall Student Center on August 18. The eleven-day celebration is one of the largest and most comprehensive welcome experiences in the state of Florida – and is packed with free food, activities, performances, and more.


The purpose of WOW is to encourage all USF students to actively participate in campus life by exposing them to opportunities for involvement and interaction. For new students in unfamiliar surroundings, WOW helps them feel at home and comfortable.


“All of the events are based with the intention of trying to get our students acclimated to campus, making sure that they know where they’re going and what they’re doing. And if they don’t know something, we show them the resources they can use to find the answers to their questions,” said WOW Peer Advisor Leader Nicole John.


International student Ashkan Madavi attended the WOW Kick-Off event with his new roommate Ratmir Rafikov. After only a few hours together, the students say they have become friends, bonding over their shared Iranian nationality.


“This Kick-Off gets everyone involved socially and people are very friendly to each other,” Madavi said. “USF is a great place. The atmosphere is amazing.”


After five years, WOW has grown from approximately 25 events to more than 110. There is plenty of free food and fun activities. From rappelling off the side of a building with USF Army ROTC to learning to dance the Merengue to taste-testing local pizza vendors, there is something for everyone.


“Because WOW has grown so much over the last several years, returning students look forward to it as  much – if not more so – then our new students. Returning students know about the energy of WOW. They know about all of the great ‘can’t-miss’ events,” said New Student Connections director Keri Riegler.


For more information on Week of Welcome and to see a list of all the great events USF has in store for students, visit the WOW website.


Jenna Withrow covers student activities and events at USF. She can be reached at 813-974-4014.


Daylina Miller covers student activities and trends and can be reached at 813-500-8754.