Aug. 19, 1997
KALAMAZOO -- Wednesday, Sept. 3, marks the first day of classes and the beginning of WMU's fall semester. The preceding weekend and the first part of the week are full of activities and highly visual events that provide good opportunities to note the arrival on the WMU campus of thousands of new and returning students. Students will begin moving into the residence halls at 8 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 30, and a large group of volunteer "Bronco Buddies" will be on hand to assist the move. Large numbers of students will be found at the WMU Bookstore and the Bronco Mall in the Bernhard Center and at the Student Employment Referral Service in Ellsworth Hall. The largest and most visual gathering will take place from 3 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, as the campus community celebrates the start of the year with the annual Bronco Bash, a street fair set for the Fountain Plaza near Miller Auditorium.
NEW STUDENTS GET INTO THE SPIRIT OF THINGS -- New students to the University -- including freshman, transfer and international students -- will have an opportunity to learn how to be a better Bronco during a special event just for them. The 11th annual "Gold Rush: An Introduction to Spirit and Tradition" is scheduled for 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 1, in Miller Auditorium. Those students -- who number nearly 3,000 -- will have a chance to hear a welcoming address by WMU President Diether H. Haenicke, sing the alma mater and fight song and prove their mettle by consuming 520 pizzas. The event will feature a slide show presented by Haenicke as well as a multimedia presentation designed to give new students a working knowledge of WMU spirit and traditions. Those attending also will hear from Dean of Students Diane K. Swartz and student leaders. A special appearance by the Bronco Marching Band and Buster Bronco will be included as well as the participation of orientation leaders. Following the program in the auditorium, Haenicke and other administrators will serve pizza to the students on the Fountain Plaza near Miller Auditorium (rain location is Parking Structure II). Music will be provided and students will be encouraged to munch and mingle. For more information about the event, persons should contact Stevan J. Veldkamp, assistant director of student life, at 616 387-2115.
RESOURCES SHOWCASED FOR GRADUATE AND NONTRADITIONAL STUDENTS -- Graduate and nontraditional students -- those over age 25 -- will have a chance to become better acquainted with the University during an event Wednesday, Aug. 27. The annual fall reception for nontraditional and graduate students is scheduled for 3 to 7 p.m. in the North Ballroom of the Bernhard Center. Representatives from about 40 University offices and academic departments will be on hand to meet with students and review some of the services that are available to assist them. This year, the reception is being combined with a resource fair formerly held for teaching assistants. Students also will have a chance to take care of such business as securing a new student identification card and purchasing a parking permit. Child care will be provided on site and refreshments will be served. Door prizes will include a $150 voucher for a course offered through the Division of Continuing Education and three credit hours of graduate tuition. For more information, persons may contact the Graduate College at 616 387-3570.
17th ANNUAL BRONCO BASH IS BIGGER AND BETTER THAN EVER -- Bronco Bash '97 is set for 3 to 10:30 p.m. Tuesday, Sept. 2, in the Fountain Plaza near Miller Auditorium. More than 15,000 students and campus community members are expected to attend the 17th annual event, which is designed to welcome students back to campus as well as introduce new students to campus and community resources. With nearly 300 booths available, students will be able to peruse the wares of area merchants and get information about University departments and student organizations. This year's Bronco Bash also will incorporate WMU's annual Volunteer Opportunities Fair, which seeks to match student volunteers with area nonprofit agencies. Novelty entertainment activities at the bash will include the popular Orbitron, gladiators and bungee run. A festival atmosphere will prevail as students sample cotton candy and elephant ears while they enjoy the entertainment. Three area radio stations will be broadcasting live from the bash and those attending also will hear performances by several popular area bands. For more information about the bash, persons may contact Todd T. Hufford, coordinator of campus programming in the Office of Student Life, at 616 387-2118. For more information about the Volunteer Opportunities Fair, persons may contact Terri Benton-Ollie, coordinator of student volunteer services in the Lee Honors College, at 616 387-3230.
FOOD, FOOTBALL AND FIREWORKS -- Before most of the students return to campus, residents of the local community will help jump start the school year by participating in the fourth annual "CommUniverCity Night" activities in connection with the Thursday, Aug. 28, opening home football game against Temple University. As in past years, the event will feature private pregame tailgate parties and a halftime fireworks show. A Corporate Village with 50 tents will be set up on Hyames Field for the tailgate parties that will begin at 5 p.m. and are expected to attract more than 8,000 people. Entertainment will be provided by the Kathy Ford Band. New this year will be an additional tailgate party for area high school and community college students and their families sponsored by WMU's Office of Admissions and Orientation. It will begin at 5 p.m. at Kanley Track. Participants will receive half-price game tickets and free food and also will be entertained by Packaged Bliss, a WMU student band. In addition, WMU's 1995 and 1997 Sunseeker solar cars and 1997 "Mini-Baja" vehicle will be at the track. Some 10,000 of the fans at the 7:30 p.m. football game in Waldo Stadium will receive free gold "rally rags" that they can use to show their spirit and cheer on the Broncos. For more information on CommUniverCity Night, persons should contact Irene L. Bracken, director of corporate relations in the Division of Intercollegiate Athletics, at 616 387-3062.
HITTING THE BOOKS -- For students still thinking about taking a class this fall but not sure where to sign up, it's not too late -- if they act soon. And it's easier than they might think. First, students need to fill out an application available in the Office of Admissions and Orientation in the Seibert Administration Building and allow five business days for processing. Then they can register by telephone using WMU's touchtone registration system. Students can register, drop or add classes through Tuesday, Sept. 9. However, students who do not register for at least one class before the first day of the semester on Sept. 3 will incur a late registration fee. Senior citizens (persons aged 62 or older) can take one class each semester tuition-free through Project SCOPE (Senior Citizens' Opportunity Program in Education). Participants will be assessed enrollment fees and special class fees, and enrollment is on a "seats available" basis. For more information on application, persons should contact the Office of Admissions and Orientation at 616 387-2000. For more information on registration, persons should contact the Office of the Registrar at 616 387-4300.
FRENCH FRIES AND ORANGE JUICE AMONG THE TOP CHOICES OF WMU DINERS -- The 1990s has brought many healthy choices to the menus in the WMU residence halls, but students still demand some of the old favorites like French fries. Each year WMU diners devour 134,316 pounds of French fries, according to James R. Dean, director of WMU dining services. Perhaps they wash those down with another favorite choice -- orange juice -- consuming 476,434 glasses each year. "Of all the food items we buy, orange juice is probably the largest dollar volume item," Dean says. "In one year alone we could go through $75,000 to $80,000, just for orange juice." Other popular items include: bagels and English muffins, at more than $120,000 a year; more than 40,000 pounds of turkey; and enough bacon to stretch from Kalamazoo to South Haven at 47 miles. WMU diners are also neat, using more than 10 million napkins a year or 1,832 per student. To talk with Dean about dining facts or trends in college dining in general, contact him at his office at 616 387-4846.
NEW WMU BOARD GAME AIMS TO IMPROVE STUDENT SUCCESS --The WMU Division of Minority Affairs has created a new game that students can play with the ultimate prize of college success. The concept of Dr. Martha B. Warfield, director of the division, the game challenges students to complete a variety of tasks, including meeting with instructors during office hours, joining a professional organization related to their major, volunteering and even attending multicultural events. For each task completed, the student are awarded prizes, such as WMU pens, T-shirts and more. The more tasks the students complete, the more prizes they win and unwittingly, the closer they come to accomplishing those things that have been determined as crucial for a successful college experience. "We've opened this game up to all students, not just minorities," Warfield says. "The retention behaviors and strategies are the same for everybody." Warfield says players will use a game board similar to a Monopoly board, but this one coincides with the minority affairs calendar of events. Her hope is that this will encourage students from all backgrounds to participate in multicultural activities. Students interested in taking part in the game can contact the Division of Minority Affairs at (616) 387-4420 or pick up an entry form during the Bronco Bash. For more information about the game, contact Warfield at her office at 616 387-4429.
WMU RETENTION EFFORTS MAKE A DIFFERENCE -- Customer service, convenient class schedules and innovative support programs have become a major part of WMU's efforts to improve student success. Dr. Lynne C. McCauley, director of WMU's Center for Academic Support Programs, says WMU and many other universities are carefully examining their internal processes and services. "We've restructured our entire registration process and made it more user friendly to students," she says. WMU also has instituted a number of programs targeted to a variety of students, whether they're considered high risk or highly talented. "We have data that shows that many of these academic support programs actually work," she says. "When students are passing their courses, they're happy and they tend to stay in school." Based on the latest figures from the 1995-96 academic year, WMU compares favorably against the national attrition rate, losing 22.4 percent of new freshmen compared to 29 percent for all public universities in the nation. McCauley can be reached at her office at 616 387-4411.
STUDENTS IN CAMPUS RESIDENCE HALLS WILL INTERACT WITH 'COPS' THIS FALL -- Students living in WMU's Goldsworth Valley residence hall complexes this fall will have more than resident advisors and hall directors to help them adjust to campus life. They'll also have COPS -- Community Oriented Policing Services -- to help reduce the causes and fear of crime. A $75,000 award from the U.S. Department of Justice's COPS program to WMU will be used to put Officer Ronald E. Ware in Goldsworth Valley full time to form partnerships with students, offer programs and use problem-solving tactics to promote safety awareness and to cut back on property crimes. Ware, a seven-year veteran of WMU's Department of Public Safety, may have an office in the valley and will work hours designed to maximize contact with students in the dining halls, in the public living areas and at the recreational facilities. The justice department's funding, which is available to any municipality, will underwrite the community policing program at WMU for three years. "We need to get out where the students are and make an impact," says Robert J. Brown, director of WMU's Department of Public Safety. "A lot of universities are taking advantage of this program and it's perceived to be very effective. We're going to try it on a small scale and may expand it to other campus areas in the future." Brown says Ware was selected for the program because he's already well known and well liked by students and has a reputation as a "people person." For more about community policing on campus, call Brown or Ware at 616 387-5555.
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