August 07, 2014

University ready to welcome students

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill.  -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will welcome new and returning students to campus for the fall 2014 semester in true Saluki style with special events, fun activities and memorable traditions.  

Fall semester classes begin on Aug. 18 and students will move in during the preceding days.  Saluki Startup is an extended orientation for new students and all SIU students will enjoy a week of special back-to-school happenings during Week of Welcome, or WOW, as it’s known around SIU. 

Media Advisory 

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the many events of Saluki Startup and Week of Welcome.  Find the complete event listings at and

Saluki Startup, designed specifically to help first-time students get acquainted with SIU and its people and services, is set for Aug. 14-16.  Students will get their new Dell tablets, learn to use them, discover campus services and where they are located, and receive help with technology and other needs.  They can dine with Interim Chancellor Paul Sarvela, participate in games and crafts at the Student Center’s Fun Night and enjoy rock wall climbing, basketball, glow-in-the-dark dodge ball and more at the Student Recreation Center’s Saluki Challenge Night.    

Saluki Basecamp, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Aug. 14-15 outside the Student Center, is a great way to get acquainted with the Saluki world.  Representatives from New Student Programs, Recreational Sports and Services, Dean of Student’s office, Student Programming Council, WIDB and other student life and campus units will be on hand for this event that includes face-painting and other fun festivities. 

New Student Convocation, set for 5 p.m. on Aug. 15 at Saluki Stadium, is one of the highlights of Saluki Startup.  The newest members of the Saluki family will participate in this formal welcome ceremony focusing on student success, scholarship, citizenship, diversity and leadership.  Family members are welcome to attend, too.  

Afterward, everyone will gather for a big class photo.  Then participants can enjoy the Southern Social and Saluki Pride Pep Rally, meeting faculty and staff and enjoying a big celebration that includes the Marching Salukis, cheerleaders, Saluki Shakers, athletic teams and the beloved SIU “Dawg” mascots. 

A trio of noteworthy events will take place Aug. 16.  Students will want to check out the Saluki Success Day workshops from 1 to 4 p.m. at Morris Library.  Then head over to Old Main Mall at 6:30 p.m. for Playfair, world’s biggest ice-breaking, get-acquainted activity.  Wrap up the evening with the traditional Dawg’s Night Out, a time of free food, games and popular activities beginning at 8 p.m. at the Student Center. 

Week of Welcome activities continue for all students through Aug. 23.  The traditional Watermelon Fest, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Aug. 17 at Old Main Mall, offers students and their visitors the opportunity to enjoy a slice of cold watermelon with the chancellor, faculty, staff and other students.  Various activities, including a watermelon-eating contest, are on tap there. 

Find more information, and the complete schedule of events for Saluki Startup at  Details about Week of Welcome are available at  Or, contact New Student Orientation at or by calling 618/453-1000.