Week of Welcome (WOW) is an opportunity for students to meet, socialize, have fun, and mark the start of the academic year. The Fall 2020 WOW looked like no other! Events were strategically planned to keep students safe by abiding by Denison’ Community Care Agreement and social distancing.
To learn why WOW is so valuable to students, enjoy an interview with Alex Pan ‘24.
Why are social events important for first-year students?
I’m really extroverted. I wanted to get out there and meet people! You can do things alone but what makes the difference is your relationships, connections, and what you have in common. It was a great opportunity to casually meet people, enjoy yourself, and have light-hearted fun. WOW is what you need to break the ice in a more natural way.
How did WOW events help you feel established at Denison?
I knew all the other first years would be there. It’s organized for you, so you don’t have to take the initiative. Just go – you’ll meet plenty of people. I felt a sense of community there — it’s not just for first years. There were upperclassmen students like Aug-O leaders and CAs. I wouldn’t have known where East Quad or Bandersnatch were on campus if I didn’t go to the Movie Night. I would be stuck on North Loop!
What was connecting while still maintaining social distancing like?
I made connections on social media and we chose to go to events together. I trusted the people I went with because I knew they are abiding by social distancing and wearing masks. We can’t be afraid to call each other and ask people to put on a mask. At the end of the day if we’re going to be able to sit on the lawn together and watch a movie, we need to make sure we don’t get COVID. We are building trust slowly and being cautious. It wasn’t that hard to abide by the guidelines.
Which WOW events were your favorite and why?
In terms of socializing, the Sizzle. But in terms of pure fun and adrenaline, Mitchell Night, because of that mechanical bull! I would get thrown off and I would get back on it!
WOW is sponsored by the Alford Community Leadership and Involvement Center (CLIC) and the University Programming Council (UPC), both are great ways to get involved at Denison.