Cal Poly’s 2017 Week of Welcome Set for Sept. 10-17

Activities for 60th Anniversary to Include Volunteer Service Around San Luis Obispo County

SAN LUIS OBISPO — About 6,000 freshmen and transfer students are expected to kick off Cal Poly’s 2017-18 academic year by participating in the university’s Week of Welcome — known as WOW — from Sunday to Sunday, Sept. 10-17. 

The students will begin moving into campus residence halls Thursday, Sept. 7. The main freshman move-in for campus residence halls runs Friday and Saturday Sept. 8-9.

WOW opens with The Big Fall Welcome at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 10, in Spanos Stadium and serves as the kick off and convocation for new students. The program will feature Cal Poly President Jeffery D. Armstrong, ASI President Riley Nilson, keynote speaker and leadership trainer Paul “The Ripples Guy” Wesselmann, special guests and others. 

Additional events and entertainment include the long-running WOW-a-rama, billed as a fun and exciting way to meet and interact with new students; comedy and magic shows; on-campus activities; and special group events planned by WOW leaders. 

A large portion of the week is spent educating new students on making healthy transitions to college life. Students attend programs that cover topics such as alcohol and drug abuse, sexual assault awareness and prevention, mental health and well-being, academics and more. 

In addition, groups participate in community outreach and volunteer at nonprofit organizations in San Luis Obispo County. Up to 55 groups are expected to volunteer more than 1,700 hours to 20 nonprofits. 

“Volunteering and giving back to the community is a key part of the WOW experience,” said Erin Greenlee, Orientation Board member and 2017 computer science graduate. “Most of us joined this program because we wanted to give back to the campus and the community; it’s at the core of our values for WOW.” 

This year, WOW is celebrating its 60-year anniversary with an alumni gala and celebration over Labor Day weekend. 

“It’s exciting to see how WOW has grown and evolved throughout the years,” said Andrene Kaiwi-Lenting, director of New Student and Transition Programs, “It’s incredible to be able to celebrate our success while looking forward to the future to make our programs better and more accessible for the students we serve.” 

For the second year, WOW programming will extend into the start of the school year. Fall classes begin Thursday, Sept. 14. WOW programing will pause for students and their orientation leaders to attend classes and then will resume Friday evening and continue through the weekend. 

Nearly 900 Cal Poly students complete a 10-week training course during spring quarter to become an orientation leader for WOW. Every new student is assigned to one of about 400 groups headed by these volunteer student orientation leaders. Participation is WOW is mandatory for all new students. 

WOW is the third New Student and Transition Programs flagship program that includes Open House in April and Student Life Orientation Days in summer. 

For more information about the Week of Welcome, including schedule and information, download the Cal Poly Now mobile app and search for the Week of Welcome guide, or visit the New Student and Transition Programs website at: 

Contact: Nate Alcorn

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