Students Celebrate Start of New Academic Year with Welcome Week Festivities
Students from Muir College show their school spirit as they compete for the “Golden Shoe” during the UnOlympics. Photos/Erik Jepsen
The Triton spirit was felt throughout UC San Diego’s annual “Welcome Week” tradition. The Unolympics, Welcome Week dance, Students Services Fair and the Triton Power Hour were just a few of the week’s events, all designed to foster UC San Diego’s school spirit and sense of community for both new and returning students.
For Laura Allen, the week gave her the chance to meet new friends and explore the UC San Diego campus. “I am really excited to start the school year,” Allen said. The freshman from Massachusetts said she felt welcomed the minute she came to campus. “The people are really nice here,” she said. “I feel like everyone has been so accepting, which is a relief because I came here from across the country.”
Students in the UnOlympics compete in a balloon relay. The UnOlympics is UC San Diego’s longest-running tradition.
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One of the events Allen attended included the Triton Power Hour, where students won prizes, learned about UC San Diego’s athletics and practiced the Triton cheer. King Triton roused the crowd at the Pep Rally when he descended from the ceiling of the RIMAC Arena in a “Mission: Impossible” inspired entrance.
King Triton was joined on the stage by Chancellor Marye Anne Fox, who encouraged students to take pride in being a Triton. “Welcome to UC San Diego, one of the best places on earth,” Fox said. “Here, you will learn what you care about, learn to be a leader and what kind of person you will be.”
Following the Triton Power Hour, students got to check out campus resources at the Student Services Fair on RIMAC Walk. The event, one of the year’s largest on-campus resource fairs, gave students the opportunity to scope out academic majors, recreation clubs, athletics and several campus service departments. In addition, students got to snack on free goodies from Papa John’s, Krispy Kreme and UC San Diego’s own eatery, Home Plate. Chancellor Fox also greeted students with cinnamon-walnut and chocolate baked goods.
Quinton Dolci, co-captain of UC San Diego’s rugby team, took advantage of the event to recruit potential team members. “We’re always looking for new players,” Dolci said. “We’re here to recruit students who can help us be more competitive, but we also want to share how the sport helps build camaraderie among the players.”
Volunteer50 kicked off this year with the 2011 Volunteer50 Beach Clean-up program during the Meet-the-Beach event. Students and other members of the campus community, armed with litter pickers, plastic gloves, shovels, brooms, buckets and rakes, cleared off sand from walkways and stairs, helped with landscaping and picked up litter on the beach.
Other events throughout the week included the Cross Cultural Center Block Party, the Unolympics, and Triton Voices, a multimedia presentation to students that chronicled UC San Diego’s history of diversity and community.
During the Unolympics, all six colleges participated in zany competitions that ranged from an obstacle course to a balloon relay and a dance routine. The Unolympics, the longest running tradition at UC San Diego, is dominated by freshmen, but any UC San Diego student can compete. This year’s winner was Thurgood Marshall College (TMC) who took home the coveted “Golden Shoe” trophy. This was the second year Thurgood Marshall won the competition in the Unolympics’ 29-year history. “TMC has never been more determined to keep the shoe 20 feet from the Thurgood Marshall’s statue,” said Marshall’s Provost, Allan Havis.
The week capped off with the Meet-the-Beach party and beach cleanup Saturday. Meet-the-Beach, the culminating event of Welcome Week, gives students a free fun day in the sun at the La Jolla shores. The event included free surf lessons, kayak paddling, pier tours, tide pool tours, beach games, dj music, free lunch and even lots of giveaways.
In addition, Volunteer50 kicked off this year with the 2011 Volunteer50 Beach Clean-up program during the Meet-the-Beach event. Students and other members of the campus community, armed with litter pickers, plastic gloves, shovels, brooms, buckets and rakes, cleared off sand from walkways and stairs, helped with landscaping and picked up litter on the beach.
For new students like Eleanor Roosevelt College freshman Akila Kadambi, the week presented a plethora of opportunities to have fun and make connections. “The energy has been great,” Kadambi said. “Everyone has been relaxed and friendly. It’s only been one week and I’ve already met so many people. It’s exciting.”