Between finding classes, buying books, meeting new people and making a new home in unfamiliar surroundings, the first week at college can usually be described as confusing, exciting and stressful.
To keep this experience from being overwhelming, Fort Hays State University offers AugustFest, a three-week series of activities and events, Aug. 18-Sept. 8, designed to help students adjust to college life at FHSU and kick off the beginning of a new academic year.
AugustFest 2005 begins Thursday, Aug. 18, when the campus residence halls open and students may begin moving in. Students who move in between the hours of 10:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. will receive a free Tiger Tag for their vehicles. Kool-Aid will be provided by the Intramurals & Recreation Department from 11 a.m.-2 p.m.
Students can go to the Wellness Center in Cunningham Hall, room 132, where they can receive free fitness assessments from 3-5 p.m. A barbecue sponsored by Christian Challenge at the Custer Hall gazebo will begin at 6 p.m. Students can enjoy food, music and games. To wrap up the move-in day, comedian Troy Thirdgill will perform at 8 p.m. in Wiest Hall.
New Student Orientation is scheduled for Friday, Aug. 19, at Beach/Schmidt Performing Arts Center in Sheridan Hall. Registration begins at 8:30 a.m. and activities will conclude at 2:30 p.m. Orientation gives new students a preview of the college experience and provides opportunities to become familiar with university services and policies.
Because the orientation is designed to help students adjust to their new environment and the changes they will experience, it will include several guest speakers, including motivational speaker and FHSU graduate Bill Cordes and FHSU faculty member Dr. Chapman Rackaway, assistant professor of political science.
Following the morning's sessions, the students will have lunch at the Memorial Union then attend departmental socials, at which they will have the opportunity to meet with faculty and colleagues from their major departments.
Tiger Challenge Day begins at 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 20, on the grassland northeast of Gross Memorial Coliseum. The event, sponsored by Christian Challenge, gives students yet another chance to meet new people, this time through a multitude of races and contests. Entry fee is $1 per person. Teams of five people will compete for a grand prize.
If the day proves too hot, students can cool off at the Hays Aquatic Park, where they are invited to swim for free from noon-4 p.m., sponsored by the University Activities Board. TigerCard, the FHSU student identification, will be required for admission to the park.
The Catholic Campus Center, Sixth and Park Street, will host a Catholic Disciples' Cookout at 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 21, for some great food and a chance to mingle.
Classes begin Monday, Aug. 22. Students can take a break between classes by walking over to the Memorial Union, where art prints and posters will be on sale in the Sunset Lounge from 9 a.m.-7 p.m.
From 5-7 p.m., the campus Quad will be the center of action. The annual Back-to-School Picnic will provide a free meal for students with meal plans. All students, faculty, staff and visitors are welcome to attend. Individuals without meal plans will be charged $3.50.
The UAB will present live music by The Blue Healers. Novelty activities such as free wacky 3D photos, ladder golf and a scavenger hunt will be available. Washers will be hosted by Tiger Wild. The picnic is a chance for students to visit various campus organizations' booths to find out how they can become involved at FHSU and to visit the booths of area University Card merchants.
The UAB will host a social beginning at 7:30 p.m. at Lewis Field on Tuesday, Aug. 23. A free drive-in movie will follow at 9 p.m., also at Lewis Field. Students are encouraged to bring their own lawn chairs and blankets. The film is yet to be announced.
On Wednesday, Aug. 24, the Drug and Alcohol Awareness Network will host a Root Beer Kegger from 6-8 p.m. in the McMindes Hall living room. Students are encouraged to attend to learn about the laws and consequences when faced with alcohol-related decisions.
Thursday, Aug. 25, features the beginning of Sorority Formal Recruitment, which will continue through the weekend. Ladies interested in formal recruitment must meet at 5:15 p.m. in the Pioneer Room, located in the Memorial Union. Recruitment ends with a bid day on Monday, Aug. 29, in the Memorial Union's Sunset Lounge.
An ice cream social and open house, hosted by the Baptist Student Organization, will be held at the Kukkabah Koffee House, 407 Elm St., at 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 29.
Also on Friday will be the Hays Arts Council's Fall Gallery Walk from 7-9 p.m. Dozens of locations from campus to downtown Hays will provide an art and cultural experience.
Students and community members are encouraged to start at the Moss-Thorns Gallery of Art, Rarick Hall, room 102, where they will be given a map to the other gallery locations.
FHSU's Intramural Department will offer signup opportunities beginning the first day of school in Cunningham Hall, room 128, for students to get involved in a variety of classes, including aerobics, kickboxing, yoga and general and cardio-vascular fitness.
Other programs include Fit-for-Life, a series that begins Sunday, Aug. 21, and involves personalizing each individual's fitness plan, setting weekly goals and awarding prizes. The Fantasy Football Draft will begin Friday, Aug. 26, and Football Pick'em and the first-ever Nascar Pick'em are due on Friday as well. Interested individuals can contact the Intramural Office at 628-4373.
AugustFest activities intensify on Saturday, Aug. 27, as the FHSU Tigers kick off their first home football game of the season by taking on the Emporia State Hornets. Fans can enjoy pre-game activities at the annual TailGreat outside Lewis Field stadium in the parking lot, where there is sure to be food, fun and a lot of Tiger pride. Kickoff is scheduled for 7 p.m.
The Sternberg Museum of Natural History will host a free-admission night for all students, faculty and staff from 5-7 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 30.
Volleyball fans can catch the Tigers' first home match against Newman University on Wednesday, Aug. 31, at 7 p.m. in Gross Memorial Coliseum.
Although the three-week festival is called AugustFest, the fun will continue into September, beginning with the annual Fun Run on Saturday, Sept. 3. Registration is from 8-8:45 a.m. at the bridge on the east side of Gross Coliseum. The run starts at 9 a.m. Alumni may participate free of charge, but a $10 fee applies to all other participants. Runners choose between a two and a four-mile course. Each participant will get a T-shirt.
Tuesday, Sept. 6, brings a Washers Tourney at 5 p.m. in the Quad. The Intramurals Office is sponsoring the tournament. Anyone who wishes to participate can register upon arrival.
For those looking to become involved in the community, the Campus-Community Service Fair is a great opportunity for students, faculty and staff to meet and connect with community organizations and agencies. Sponsored by the Center for Civic Leadership, the Service Fair will be Thursday, Sept. 8, from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Fort Hays Ballroom of the Memorial Union.