Saluki Startup and Week of Welcom

August 12, 2019

Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome activities greet students at SIU

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale is welcoming new and returning Salukis to campus with scores of special activities during Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome this fall.

The semester starts Aug. 19 but the fun begins even earlier.

“Preparations for Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome have been underway for months,” Emily Spann, director of New Student Programs, said. “We are very excited to be hosting so many great events and activities to welcome and acclimate our students to campus. There truly is something for everyone!” 

Connecting the Saluki family

Inclusiveness is a tradition at SIU and from day one, an assortment of events are scheduled to assure everyone feels welcomed in grand style.

New students are the focus for some activities, giving them a pleasant and smooth transition into the Saluki family. The Dawg Days new student retreat began Sunday at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, giving freshman and transfer students an introduction to life at SIU with assorted games, team-building events and more.

The Center for International Education (CIE) is also hosting a variety of events to welcome the university’s diverse international student population, including a World of Welcome event (on Wednesday at 4:45 p.m. at Morris Library’s John C. Guyon Auditorium) followed by a party at CIE, the International Student Summer Picnic on Saturday (11 a.m.-2 p.m. at the Bucky Haven on Campus Lake) and the International Coffee Hour, 3-5 p.m. on Aug. 23.

The LGBTQ Welcome Picnic is Aug. 23, 6 to 9 p.m. at the Becker Pavilion on Campus Lake.

The Welcome/Bienvendios Estudiantes, set for noon to 4 p.m. Aug. 25 at the Student Services Building, is a great opportunity to enjoy food, music, games and get acquainted with the campus Latinx community, courtesy of the Hispanic/Latino Resource Center, the Hispanic Student Council and the Latino Cultural Association.  

The Black Experience Event, a cross-campus collaborative celebration with the theme “The Great Adventure: Leaders of Tomorrow,” includes three gatherings, each for different groups. Undergraduates will meet noon to 3 p.m. on Aug. 24 and graduate students from 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 27, all at the Student Services Building pavilion. Faculty, staff, administrators and students are welcome at the 4-6:30 pm. event at the Saluki Stadium Club inside Saluki Stadium on Aug. 29. RSVP is required for the final event. Refreshments will be served and those in attendance will learn more about the SIU experience and how to succeed as well as how to navigate student life and seek academic counseling as needed.  

It’s all about giving each and every student a positive introduction to campus life, faculty, staff and their fellow students. 

Saluki Startup

Saluki Startup is a three-day celebration that kicks off Thursday and runs through Saturday.

One of the highlights is Light up the Lake at Campus Lake on Thursday, 7-10 p.m. Participants will enjoy gourmet s’mores and other taste treats, a climbing wall, inflatables, a bungee run, pottery wheel and other crafts, a DJ, yard games, free reusable water bottle giveaways, glow-in-the-dark volleyball, free boat rentals, prize drawings and more. The 2018 inaugural event was very popular with students.

The big Saluki Kick-Off event on Friday evening begins with the quad party at 6 p.m. on Shryock Auditorium lawn, complete with food, games, photo ops and other party fun. Afterward, it’s time for new student convocation, the university’s formal “welcome to SIU” event followed by a group photo outside Shryock Auditorium. New students will receive special commemorative SIU 150th anniversary T-shirts for the festivities. Then it’s time for the Saluki Spirit Pep Rally, with representatives and coaches from the fall athletic teams and the Dawg Pound. The night wraps up with a showing of “Pokémon Detective Pikachu.” 

Additional highlights of Saluki Startup include:

  • Saluki Basecamp, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Thursday and Friday at the east entrance of the Student Center. This is an information and resource fair, connecting students with what’s available on campus and in the community for them, complete with giveaways, music and more.
  • Saluki Spirit Zone, 1-3 p.m. on Friday on agriculture building lawn. Students can make tie-dyed T-shirts and banners on a first-come basis while supplies last.
  • New Fulbright Student Meet and Greet at CIE at 2 p.m. Friday.
  • Open house for SIU’s new Esports Arena, 3-5 p.m. Friday at the Student Center. The ribbon cutting is at 4:30 p.m.
  • Saluki Service Day at Touch of Nature Environmental Center, with students signing up in advance to participate in a variety of service activities 9:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. on Saturday.
  • Dawgs Nite Out, a back-to-school celebration with games and prizes, food, giveaways and other activities from 8 p.m. to midnight on Saturday at the Student Center.

Six weeks of WOW

And that’s just the beginning. Weeks of Welcome run from Aug. 18-Sept. 28, offering numerous opportunities for new and returning students to engage with one another and get acquainted with faculty, staff, programs and various aspects of campus and within the greater community.

Studies have shown that students who get involved are more likely to complete their college educations, as well as enjoy college life more. Weeks of Welcome and Saluki Startup are a great introduction to the countless ways students can get involved, on- and off-campus.

Also, there are numerous college connections events set for Aug. 21-28 as the various academic units throw out the red carpet with food, giveaways and information just for their students.

The calendar is packed with special happenings; here’s a sample of what’s available in the first few weeks of school:

  • Aug. 18
    • Watermelon Fest – 2-4 p.m., Morris Library Lawn. SIU administrators, faculty and staff will be serving up watermelon and introducing students to watermelon bowling and watermelon eating and exploding contests. Campus classroom tours are offered as well during SIU’s longest-standing campus tradition.
  • Aug. 19
    • Transfer student eat and greet breakfast, 7:30-9 a.m., Student Services Building.
    • Saluki Stop Shops – 7:30 a.m.-2 p.m. in front of the Student Center and on the lawns of the Agriculture Building and Morris Library land near the walking bridge by Anthony Hall. Informational booths tents will be set up set up, staffed by faculty and staff ready to help with maps, snacks and answers to any questions students may have.
  • Aug. 20
    • Saluki Stop Shops, 7:30 a.m.-2p.m.
  • Aug. 21
  • Aug. 22
    • Taste of SIU, 2-5p.m., Student Center Ballrooms. Students get to enjoy a wide variety of free food samples courtesy of various vendors and help choose fare that could be served on campus.
    • Involvement Fair, 5-7 p.m., Faner Plaza. SIU boasts hundreds of registered student organizations. Find out about many of them, as well as other groups you can participate in, during this event.
  • Aug. 23
    • Welcome Fest, 4-6 p.m., Student Recreation Center. Carbondale area businesses throw out the welcome mat for students, offering lots of free swag. A local scavenger hunt is also planned.
  • Aug. 24
    • Family Carnival, 10 a.m.-noon, Student Recreation Center. Fun and games for Salukis and their families are on tap.
    • SIU grocery Bingo, 2-4 p.m., Student Center Roman Room.
  • Aug. 26
    • Go Greek BBQ, 5-7 p.m., Becker Pavilion, Campus Lake. 

Excitement continues in September

The flip of the calendar page doesn’t put a stop to the festivities. A wide variety of activities are planned in September as well, including the Student Abroad and Passport Fair on Sept. 11. Preparations are well underway too for Saluki Family Weekend, set for Sept. 13-15, featuring football, Dawg Fest and the famous Saluki Sprint.

Saluki Con, featuring a host of celebrity guests, is happening Sept. 28-29. 

Get the APP or look online for details

The complete event schedule and more details about Saluki Startup, Weeks of Welcome, and what’s happening all year long are available on the MySIU app.  It’s a free, interactive app available at the Apple App Store and on Google Play and it even allows you to build your own schedule and much more.

Additional information is also available online at salukistartup.siu.edu or wow.siu.edu. For more details, or answers to specific questions, contact New Student Programs at orientation.siu.edu or by calling 618/453-1000.