The 3-by-5 wooden catapult, which was designed and assembled by Chipola Science Club, lobbed balloons as far as 30 yards away. “It was a lot of fun, and it raised money for the club,” says Bryan Craven, director of public relations. The Science Club raised $100, charging a buck a throw.
Six professors and former
college president, Dr. Dale O'Daniel, volunteered to be targets. And while
students missed most of the time, they loved having the chance to nail the
Contact Craven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Last year, Florida College's 460 students came to four blood drives hosted by public relations and student services. The Red Cross ditched the usual bloodmobiles and set up beds in the student center, typically a place where students go to play pool, ping pong, and watch TV. The more accessible approach worked, as the total number of pints collected throughout the year equaled enrollment. “The students are all very excited about donating blood,” says Cathi Likins, a secretary in student services. “They see this as one way to give back to the community they live in. This is how they do their part.”
But students' commitment to service and involvement doesn't stop there. Seventy-five percent of students also participated in community service projects such as Adopt-a-Road, and Paint with Pride (a service that paints the houses of elderly and handicap citizens), and volunteered at Shriners Hospital.
When the students aren't spending their spare time volunteering, they get involved on campus. This year the “Footlighters,” the school’s music and drama team, put on four productions: a murder mystery dinner theater, a madrigal dinner, ”You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown,” and “Pirates of Penzance.”
One hundred fifty students were involved as chorus members, backstage crews, waiters, actors and singers. “We have a very musically oriented student body, so many get involved because they enjoy what’s going on,” says Ralph Walker, public relations director. “Because we're a religious institution, many of the students like to sing, and they’ve had experience with dramas through their churches.” —CA
Contact Walker at email@example.com.
When the ship docked in Belize, students split into groups and went snorkeling to San Pedro Island, tubing through caves, and hiking through the rainforests. Later, after docking in Key West, students got some time explore and shop on the island.
After the long and hard journey, the ship docked in Miami, and the students “set sail” for a spring semester of normal classes. “The trip was a great way to culminate classroom knowledge and experiential learning into one vibrant week of activity,” says Stephanie Arsht, coordinator for leadership development and service learning. “The students, faculty, and staff are able to immerse into another culture, bond, and learn together as a collective group.” —EG
Contact Arsht at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit Academic Adventure at www.lynnuniversity.edu/belize/010603.htm.
Eckerd College freshmen get their feet wet in the academic side of the pool with a three-week orientation program, “Autumn Term.” Each freshman enrolls in one academic project during which they get a realistic sense of the demands of college-level writing, reading, discussion, and time management. Faculty members advise or mentor each freshman, then continue to aid the students throughout the first year.
“Our orientation is unique in several ways: it’s three weeks in length rather than a couple of days, faculty are involved as specially trained mentors, and only freshmen are on campus,” says Richard Hallin, dean of admissions. “This way, freshmen enjoy activities and build relationships with other new students before returning students can influence their time and decisions.”
Broward Community College kicks off the new semester by taking the ears and taste buds of incoming freshmen on a politically correct journey around the world. “Asian and Pacific Islander Day” includes Chinese dragon dancers with a sample of delicious food from the Far East. Students eat their way through “African Day,” "Caribbean Day,” "South American Day,” and to complete the tour, “USA Day,” which includes a watermelon-eating contest, a dunk tank, hamburgers, fried chicken, and potato salad.
“Our international spin on the traditional welcome week incorporates diversity and education,” says Taneisha Robinson, Student Government secretary.
At the rate Southeastern College is going, its “Big Seven” welcome week will be known as the “Big Seventeen.” Each year, the school’s student development department adds more events to the week’s lineup. Events this year included a giant water fight, a “Late Night” program hosted by Dr. Mike Rakes, vice president of student development, and a “Saturday Night Live” show that poked fun at the school, questioning strangers with “Do you know where Southeastern College is?” The final day opened with a performance by solo artist Geoff Moore, followed by carnival activities, dinner, a concert featuring two local bands, and fireworks.
“It’s our goal to provide ample fellowship opportunities for friendships to be forged but also to showcase the joys of college life and similar exciting activities to come throughout the semester,” says Duane Aagaard, activities director. “Here at Southeastern, boredom isn’t allowed.”
At the University of West Florida, rolling out the welcome mats each year is commonplace. UWF’s welcome-week activities include a happy hour, a flip-flop blowout, a flamingo fiesta, and a tubing trip. To top it off, UWF Retention Committee members made T-shirts which feature a smiley face with a Greek helmet logo. Staff wear the T-shirts and give them out to activity participants. “I still see ‘Welcome Week’ T-shirts from two years ago floating around,” says Jim Hurd, university commons director. —AS
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