August 09, 2017

SIU ready to welcome students

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Southern Illinois University Carbondale will launch the fall 2017 semester with a wide variety of special events and activities to welcome new and returning students.

Saluki Startup, a three-day series of transition programs for new students is set for Aug. 16-18 and the annual “Weeks of Welcome,” or WOW celebration, comprises nearly three weeks of activities for all students. The Weeks of Welcome run Aug. 19 to Sept. 9.

Guest speakers, festivals, a family carnival, fireworks, a scavenger hunt and assorted events with free food are just a few of the dozens of activities students can enjoy.

The semester starts Aug. 21, although classes are cancelled that day due to the total solar eclipse.

Students can download the “MySIU” app, available for Android and iOS through Google Play or the Apple App Store, to access the complete guide and schedule for Saluki Startup, Weeks of Welcome and other activities throughout the year. The app also incorporates interactive maps, search capabilities, access to upcoming event notifications, student networking and social media interaction, and the opportunity to post pictures from events. Individualized daily schedules can be created. An online version of the guidebook is available at

Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover the numerous Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome events. Find the complete event schedules and additional details online at and

Saluki Startup, a unique opportunity for new students to become acquainted with SIU and its people and services, begins with Saluki Basecamp from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.  Aug. 16 and 17. This resource fair - highlighting the university’s departments and programs - will take place at the east entrance of the Student Center. A scavenger hunt will follow from 4 to 6 p.m. on Aug. 16 in downtown Carbondale, giving students a chance to learn more about their new community.

Plans call for a big Saluki Startup Kickoff event on Aug. 17. It will include an eclipse preview, the Saluki Spirit Pep Rally, the group photo of new students, and the Welcome Fest at the SIU Arena. The doors open at 5:30 p.m. and the event begins at 6 p.m. SIU Arena. The fun continues at Saluki Stadium with fireworks and music at 8:30 p.m. followed by an outdoor viewing of the movie “Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.”

The last day of Saluki Startup includes Saluki Success Day at Morris Library from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., Watermelon Fest on the library lawn at 2:30 p.m. and Dawgs Nite Out at the Crossroads Festival. Located south of the Arena parking lot, the gates open at 5:30 p.m. and students with a valid student ID ride free to the festival from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

This year is particularly special because in addition to the usual full schedule of welcoming events, SIU is hosting a celebration of celestial proportions. The first total solar eclipse over the country since 1979 will reach its point of longest duration on Aug. 21 a few miles south of campus. Totality will come at 1:21 p.m. and last for 2 minutes and 38 seconds. Numerous special activities planned in conjunction with the eclipse include a guided eclipse experience emceed by Mat Kaplan of Planetary Radio and featuring NASA, the Adler Planetarium of Chicago and the Louisiana Space Consortium at Saluki Stadium.

Weeks of Welcome start Aug. 19 with the Campus Ministries “Fun in the Sun” event at 11:30 a.m. on the lawn of the Necker’s Building, and continue with special events almost daily until Sept. 9. A few of the highlights on Aug. 26 include the Family Carnival at 10 a.m. at the Student Recreation Center and a “Beat the Heat Block Party” at 11 a.m. at Sam Rinella Field. There will be an inflatables tourney on Rinella Field at 5 p.m. The Student Programming Council Ice Cream Social is at 7:30 p.m., Aug. 29, in the Student Center’s Corker Lounge.

Mitch Matthews and the Big Dream Gathering come to Student Center ballrooms C and D at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 30. Dawg Fest, a big free concert, is at 7 p.m. Sept. 8 on the steps of Shryock Auditorium. Keeping the school spirit going, students can join in the Saluki Sprint, a big student run across the Saluki Stadium football field prior to the Sept. 9 kickoff against Mississippi Valley State.

Additional information, including the complete schedule of events, is available for Saluki Startup at and for Weeks of Welcome at Contact New Student Programs at 618/453-1000 for details.