Incoming freshmen and returning college students are typically overwhelmed as the beginning of the school year approaches. Finding classes, buying books and adjusting to college life takes its toll.
Fort Hays State University's AugustFest 2002 aims to ease this transition with a series of events and activities in the first three weeks of classes to welcome all new and returning students, faculty and staff.
AugustFest, which runs from Aug. 21-Sept. 7, is coordinated by the efforts of University Activities Board, Student Government Association, Greek Life, Residential Life, Athletic Department, Alumni Association, Student Affairs, Hays Chamber of Commerce and various student organizations.
"The first two weeks of the semester can be challenging and are critical in determining the success of students throughout their academic career, so a series of programs and activities have been planned to help students adjust to university life and to become a part of the campus community," said Dr. Diane Pfeifer, assistant vice president for student affairs.
The first week of AugustFest kicks off at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 21, with the opening of the residence halls to incoming students. Free Tiger tags will be placed on incoming students' vehicles by university faculty and administration. The Athletic Department will provide Tiger Ice water bottles and the Residence Hall Association will have additional refreshments at each of the residence halls.
All incoming freshmen and transfer students will participate in the new student orientation program on Thursday, Aug. 22. Beginning at 8:30 a.m., new students will attend four, 35-minute breakout sessions titled academic life, building a support network, getting a life and technology. Following the sessions will be lunch with faculty within each department.
Informational sessions and tours will take place between 10:30-3:30 p.m. at which students can find their classrooms and tour the library and computer labs. Orientation activities will conclude with an open-house at Cunningham Hall recreational facilities from 7-9 p.m.
Rounding out the first week of AugustFest is a back-to-school street dance from 6-11 p.m., Friday, Aug. 23, in downtown Hays with live music provided by Anthony and the Anamals.
Monday, Aug. 26, classes begin. To celebrate FHSU's Centennial, at 4:30 p.m. all new freshmen will receive a chance to be a part of history with the first annual freshman class photo. Freshmen will receive beanies from the President's Office and will meet in the Fort Hays Ballroom in the Memorial Union.
Following the Centennial event, from 5-7 p.m. is the annual back-to-school picnic in the Quad. The picnic will be free for students with a meal plan and $2.50 for all others. The public is invited. The University Activities Board will sponsor live music by the Blue Healers, a classic rock and blues band, and many other campus organizations will provide informational booths for students.
At 7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 27, Keith Nord, former Minnesota Vikings football player, will give a presentation on, "Ensuring Success in Your College Years" in Felten-Start Theatre in Malloy Hall.
Finishing out the second week of AugustFest will be a Chinese Opera, Old House Under the Elms, in the Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center at 8 p.m., Wednesday, Aug. 28, and a drive-in movie, "Spiderman," at 9 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium on Thursday, Aug. 29.
All weekends of AugustFest allow students the chance to get to know the Hays area through a variety of activities. FHSU students will receive free admission with student I.D. to the Hays Aquatic Park on Saturday, Aug. 24, and free admission to the Sternberg Museum of Natural History on Friday, Aug. 30.
Kicking off the third week of the fest, FHSU's Intramural Office will sponsor Lawn Game Olympics, which will include hula-hoop golf, the longest golf drive competition and closest pin chip competition, from 5-8 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 3, on the intramural fields south of Cunningham Hall.
Ending the third and final week of AugustFest 2002 will be the first FHSU football game of the season and the first home volleyball game. FHSU's football team will be on the road Thursday, Sept. 5, at Emporia State University and TigerWild, a student organization dedicated to promoting school pride by supporting all athletic events, will travel to support the Tigers. Friday, Sept. 6, and Saturday, Sept. 7, the FHSU volleyball team will host the annual FHSU Invitational. The Lady Tigers will play at 1 and 7 p.m. on Friday and at 12:30 and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday at Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Although the three consecutive weeks of AugustFest 2002 end on Saturday, Sept. 7, the culminating event will be FHSU's home opener football game and TailGreat on Saturday, Sept. 14. The FHSU Tigers will take on the Washburn Ichabods at 7 p.m. at Lewis Field Stadium. TailGreat will run from 5-7 p.m. in the parking lot of Lewis Field. A meal will be served in the stadium and will be free for students who have meal plans and $3.50 for all others. Rolling Thunder Sound System will provide music. Also featured will be a hospitality tent and a dance on the field with live music following the game.
For more information on AugustFest 2002 activities, contact the FHSU Office of Student Affairs at (785) 628-5824 or visit the Web site, www.fhsu.edu/AugustFest/.