students gathered around a fire, roasting marshmallows

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August 10, 2022

SIU welcomes students to back to campus, announces upcoming events

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale will roll out the maroon carpet to welcome new and returning students to campus in grand Saluki style with a host of special activities during Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome.

Students move onto campus Aug. 18 and 19, with classes starting Aug. 22. Preparations have been underway for months to ensure a smooth transition for students to their new campus home away from home. View the online schedule, which is constantly being updated as activities are added. Students can also stay abreast of what’s happening by downloading the Saluki Superfan app, their portal to keep tabs on student life throughout the year.

Dawg Days helps create a successful transition

SIU’s Dawg Days New Student Retreat, set for Aug. 15-18 at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, is an action-packed week. Organized and led by students, it is designed to help their new student peers successfully transition to college life. 

move-in-21-v2-sm.jpgParticipants learn about Saluki traditions, services and the support system as they network and engage in fun activities, including battleship games in canoes, duct-tape dodgeball, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, canoeing, themed evening socials, a costume party and much more. They will also connect with campus administrators, faculty and staff, as well as with one another.

Forging connections through Saluki Startup

Creating a Saluki family connection is what Saluki Startup, set for the early days of the semester, is all about. During special activities on Aug. 18-21, the university will help returning and new students get acquainted with one another and the campus.

A recent popular addition to Saluki Startup is Light up the Lake, set for 7-9 p.m. Aug. 18 as the boat dock will be glowing all evening. Campus Lake/Becker Pavilion will come alive with glow-in-the-dark games and activities, slacklining, a climbing wall, a DJ, freebies, snacks, a pottery throwing wheel and other fun Saluki experiences.

A Resource Fair provides information about what’s available and how to connect with the campus departments or units as well as community organizations 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m. Aug. 19, in Ballroom D of the Student Center. The Saluki Startup Kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 19 at Saluki Stadium is a giant pep rally, complete with a class picture for new students. Afterward, the action moves to the Student Recreation Center for Late Nite at the Rec, with volleyball, swimming, basketball and a host of other activities from 9 to 11 p.m.

2018-DawgDays-sm.jpgThe Student Center is the place to be at 7 p.m. Aug. 20 for the popular Dawg’s Night Out student fest as participants enjoy arts and crafts, inflatables, games, food and assorted revelry.

A favorite tradition, the Chancellor’s Welcome Fest, will be 1-3 p.m. Aug. 21, complete with a cookout, DJ, climbing wall, yard and watermelon games, giveaways and the chance to get acquainted with campus leaders, faculty and staff.

There are also meet-and-greet events sponsored by numerous colleges and groups and various other activities throughout the early days of classes. Find the complete Saluki Startup schedule of events at For more information about any of the events, email or call 618-453-1000.

Welcoming one and all with events galore

At SIU, the “welcome back” vibe continues with a variety of diverse activities during five Weeks of Welcome, or WOW, as it is called it on campus. Highlights of the fall schedule include some very special guests you’ll want to see.

SIU will celebrate Diversity Week during this time. Juan Manual “John” Quiñones, ABC News correspondent/journalist and longtime host of “What Would You Do?,” will speak during the kickoff on Aug. 29. The diversity commemoration from Aug. 29 to Sept. 1 will also feature a discussion of military culture, a disability support and accessibility presentation, jazz ensemble, a Women’s Equality Day celebration and a jazz and hip-hop seminar, mural painting, SAFE Zone and DACA training and more. The full schedule will be available online when finalized.

You can also “Meet Kevin and Oscar from ‘The Office’” in the Student Center Ballrooms at 6 p.m. Sept. 22.  Oscar Martinez and Kevin Malone, portrayed by Oscar Nuñez and Brian Baumgartner, will share about their time on the NBC Emmy-winning series “The Office.” Students and the general public are welcome to attend the free presentation; no tickets are required and admission is on a first-come basis. A book signing will follow, and some fortunate guests will have the opportunity to meet the pair at a reception following the moderated event.

Other Week of Welcome activities include open houses, an involvement fair, movies, a job fair, a bonfire, barbecue, workshops, student organization events, and a free Family Carnival at the Student Recreation Center’s west gym from 10 a.m. to noon Aug. 27 featuring a bounce house, games, snacks and more. Geared toward non-traditional families, the event is designed to help them learn about campus and the community and connect with resources and other people.

Weeks of Welcome will wrap up with Saluki Family Weekend, Sept. 23-25, featuring a craft sale, Greek Sing, and other activities, including the the football Salukis hosting North Dakota in gridiron action.

Visit for the complete schedule of events, which is subject to change, depending on weather and other factors.


Media Advisory

Reporters, photographers and news crews are welcome to cover many of SIU’s Dawg Days New Student Retreat, Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome activities.

Opportune times to capture good stories, photographs and video at Dawg Days, set for Aug. 17-18 at the Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, include:

  • The Saluki Welcome Fest, 4:30 p.m. Aug. 15, featuring the SIU spirit Squad and other fun along with various guest speakers, including Tena Bennett, assistant vice chancellor for auxiliary enterprise; Jennifer Jones-Hall, dean of students; and Jeffery T. Burgin Jr., vice chancellor for student affairs.
  • Participants will rotate among various active games, 9 a.m.-noon Aug. 16.
  • New students will be enjoying a costume party at 9 p.m. Aug. 17.

All activities take place at Camp 2. For more information or to arrange a visit to Touch of Nature at another time, contact Brian Croft at 618-453-1121 or

You can also find great opportunities for stories, photographs and video on the SIU campus during numerous Saluki Startup and WOW, including:

  • Move-in, which begins 18 for new students and continues Aug. 19 for returning students. For more information, visit For details, contact Jim Hunsaker, senior associate director of operations for University Housing, at 618-453-1067, 618-201-2211 (cell) or
  • Light up the Lake, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 18, Becker Pavilion, Campus Lake.
  • Saluki Kickoff Event, 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 19, Saluki Stadium.
  • Late Night at the Rec, 9-11 p.m., Student Recreation Center.
  • Dawg’s Night Out, 7-11 p.m. Aug. 20, Student Center. Arts and crafts, games, inflatables.
  • Chancellor’s Welcome Fest, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 21, Shryock Lawn, climbing wall, yard and watermelon games, and more.
  • Involvement Fair, 5-7 p.m. Aug. 25, Faner Plaza. Students can find out what’s happening on campus, learning about campus resources and registered student organizations as well as community organizations as they meet fellow Salukis. Contact or 618-453-5714.
  • Family Carnival, 10 a.m.-noon Aug. 27, Student Recreation Center.
  • Diversity Week, 29-Sept.1. The full schedule will be posted online when finalized.
  • “Meet Kevin and Oscar from ‘The Office’” 6 p.m. Sept. 22, Student Center Ballrooms.

The complete schedule of events for Weeks of Welcome is at For more information, contact Jennifer Jones-Hall, dean of students, at or 618-453-4846.