Students kick off year with welcome home events

This year, approximately 700 freshman and 300 transfer students will join the Sharks for the 2015-2016 academic year. The year will kick off with a series of back to school events, including Week of Welcome—a week that celebrates the new academic year with activities for the NSU community, and the opportunity for students to win prizes, including a car and roundtrip flights.

WOW runs from Aug. 21 to Aug. 29 on NSU’s main campus, as well as the Miami, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Orlando, Tampa and Palm Beach regional campuses.

Parker Sheppard, sophomore exercise and sports science and pre-dental double major, said that last year’s Week of Welcome was a blast.

“It’s a major culture shock going from high school to college, but having the chance to put myself out there and relate with my new friends was incredible,” he said. “I’m excited about this year’s WOW and I can’t wait to kick off a new school year.”

Shannon Booker, assistant director of student activities, said that for this year’s WOW on the main campus, the events were created to be more engaging than in previous years. Aside from the week’s traditional Cirque du SEA Board, RecFest, Student Employment Fair, Greek BBQ and Sharkapalooza, this year will bring in more events.

Booker said that the Student Events and Activities Board is working with other departments to help create a smoother transition into the year and that they want both old and new students to enjoy campus life.

“Each year, we try to make the Week of Welcome bigger and better,” Booker said.

New events include a welcome back party, speed-friending, movie night, live music, food festival and a service day.

“The events last year really helped calm some of our nervousness [about starting college] because we were able to meet new people and see the different organizations and clubs, “ said Jenna Klingsick, sophomore marine biology major. “I hope more people will attend and enjoy the campus activities this year.”

The night of live music at NSU’s Flight Deck Pub, one of the newer events, was created to contribute to the overall experience of the Flight Deck and NSU life. Booker said that SEA Board hopes to make the Flight Deck more of an entertainment venue, rather than just a place to eat.

Daesha Roberts, SEA Board vice president of traditions, helped select the events based on student feedback. Booker said that Roberts and other SEA Board members talked to students and stayed updated on popular activities and trends to ensure that not only new students participated, but current students as well.

Students who attend will be asked to sign in with their shark cards so SEA Board can determine how many people attended the various events. Students who attend Sharkapalooza, NSU’s annual club and organization fair, will have the chance to win one of two grand prizes.

One student will win roundtrip flights for two to the destination of his or her choice in the continental United States, Canada or Mexico, plus a one night hotel stay. The trip must be taken by August 2016. Another student will receive a one-year lease for a new car from a Rick Case dealership.

The party continues after the Week of Welcome with more events, including the annual Labor Day pool party, Waterworks and the Undergraduate Student Success Fair.

Undergraduate Student Government Association Campus Entertainment Director Sarah Personelli, junior marketing major, said that this year’s Waterworks will include foam, a water balloon fight and a DJ from Triple P Entertainment.

“We want students to get the feel of a real college campus as soon as they get here,” Personelli said. “Last year’s attendance wasn’t what we expected and we want to make sure students can come out and really enjoy themselves this year.”

SGA will also reintroduce paint to the party, which wasn’t used at last year’s event because of an incident with paint ruining the DJ’s equipment in 2013. To help prevent another incident, SGA plans on having more security and organization at the event. A barrier will be placed between students and the DJ so they cannot get as close to the DJ as they were in previous years. Students will also be required to rinse off at a station before returning to their dorms.

“It took a lot of convincing of the rest of SGA and administrators to bring the paint back, but we agreed that because everyone had so much fun in the years when we did use paint, we just had to bring it back,” she said. “It’s the best way to start the year with a bang!”

Booker and Personelli said that SEA Board and SGA have many events planned for the rest of the year.

To see welcome back events for all of the campuses, visit



  • August 25
    • 8-10 p.m. Pitch Perfect 2 Movie Night
      NSU Soccer Complex
  • August 27
    • 11:30 a.m.- 1p.m. Chartwells Sharks Around the World Food Fest
      Alvin Sherman Library Quad
    • 4-6 p.m. Greek BBQ
      Alvin Sherman Library Quad
  • August 28
    • 6 -9 p.m. Sharkapalooza
      NSU Arena at the Don Taft University Center
  • August 29
    • 8 a.m. New Shark Service Day
      Meet at Shark Fountain
  • September 4
    • 9 p.m.- 1 a.m. Waterworks
      Alvin Sherman Library Quad
  • September 7
    • 4 – 8 p.m. Labor Day Pool Party
      RecPlex Pool
  • September 16
    • 11:30 a.m. – 1 p.m. Undergraduate Student Success Fair
      Carl DeSantis Building Atrium

Photo Credit: courtesy of the Office of Student Activities.

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