As the end of the 2017-18 academic year approaches, members of the Ohio University community have been developing plans to kick off the 2018-19 academic year, including a new and expanded approach to welcoming OHIO’s newest Bobcats to the Athens Campus.
The OHIO committee charged with planning the University’s fall semester welcome festivities is pleased to unveil “Ready. Set. OHIO!” A new initiative encompassing the many phases of transitioning from an admitted student to officially becoming a Bobcat, “Ready. Set. OHIO!” begins with Bobcat Student Orientation (June 4-30) and culminates with a newly expanded Welcome Week, scheduled for Aug. 23 when fall move-in begins through OHIO’s first home football game on Sept. 1.
“I’m excited to see members of our Bobcat family come together to develop a broad plan that both welcomes our newest students to our community while preparing them academically and socially for the journey they are about to embark upon,” said Ohio University President M. Duane Nellis. “Student success is our first and foremost priority, and I encourage all members of our community to support and participate in these activities and to play a role in putting our students on the path to success.”
OHIO’s Welcome Week Committee is co-chaired by Interim Assistant Dean of Students Judy Piercy and Director of Undergraduate Orientation Programs Cimmeron O’Connor and is composed of staff throughout the Athens Campus. The committee developed the following goals for “Ready. Set. OHIO!”:
- Increase participation in Welcome Week events
- Foster Bobcat Pride in OHIO’s first-year and transfer students
- Increase first-year students’ belonging, connectedness and engagement in both Ohio University and the Athens community
- Provide opportunities for students to become acclimated to the campus, its facilities and resources
- Celebrate first-year students’ transition to college
“Our Welcome Week Committee is taking a very comprehensive and thoughtful approach in developing a campus-wide plan for bringing our new students into the Bobcat family, starting with the decision to expand our welcome festivities from one weekend to a full week,” explained Piercy. “In developing the ‘Ready. Set. OHIO!’ idea, we settled on a theme that resonates with both students and employees in leading up to the start of fall semester. It’s a theme that will also incorporate our community partners, including the Athens Uptown Business Association whose members are excited to be a part of welcoming the newest members of our community.”
Ohio University faculty and staff are encouraged to support and participate in the “Ready. Set. OHIO!” process and Welcome Week festivities in the following ways:
- Submit Welcome Week events to be included in the official Welcome Week calendar to Cimmeron O’Connor at firstname.lastname@example.org. The calendar will be available online, and a printed version of the calendar will be provided to first-year students at move-in. The deadline to submit events to be included in the calendar is Sunday, April 1.
- Be mindful of when you are planning programs and events during Welcome Week and avoid scheduling events that will prevent students from participating in Welcome Week events that are designed specifically to assist new students in successfully transitioning to Ohio University.
- Use the “Ready. Set. OHIO!” phrase lockup, which will be provided in the coming weeks, and #ReadySetOHIO social media hashtag when promoting Welcome Week events to create a unified voice and brand.
“The ‘Ready. Set. OHIO!’ theme is also being utilized by Undergraduate Admissions in its communication with incoming students,” said O’Connor. “Our hope is that when fall semester 2018 kicks off on Aug. 27, every member of the OHIO community – from our new faculty and staff to our new first-year, transfer, international and commuter students – will feel both prepared and excited for the academic year that lies ahead.”
OHIO’s Welcome Week Committee will be launching a new “Ready. Set. OHIO!” website in early May. The website will include links to OHIO’s Arrival Guide, fall move-in schedule, the official Welcome Week schedule and other information that will be useful to both students and employees, including guidance on parking during fall move-in.