Wesleyan’s 2020 Week of Welcome (WesWOW), held Aug. 31 to Sept. 5, featured a dozen virtual events to help students learn more about campus resources, connect with the community, and with their fellow Wes students. WesWOW is sponsored by the Office of Student Activities and Leadership Development. Topics included speed friending, civic engagement, counseling and psychological services, student employment, health professions, Black Lives Matter, student groups and clubs, and more.
On Aug. 31, Michelle Lei ’21 hosted WesWOW: Speed Friending, an event that allowed students to meet one-on-one through Zoom breakout sessions. “Overall, I think that it is a bit more difficult to facilitate these connections and relationships between students in a virtual environment. However, I think it went very well,” Lei said. “Students came in with a great attitude and at the end of the Speed Friending session; some of them commented on how fun it was to meet some of their peers! Although Orientation looks very different this year, I think everyone has been very great at adjusting to these new ways of hosting events online.”
More than 50 students participated in Speed Friending.
Lei asked students to answer questions such as “How do you spend your weekends? Where do you live on campus? What would you take with you to a deserted island? If you had to become someone else for a day, who would it be, and why?”
On Sept. 1, the Jewett Center for Community Partnerships (JCPP) hosted WesWow: Civic Engagement at Wes.
Pictured top, at left, Rhea Drozdenko, coordinator of community participation for the JCPP, and Diana Martinez, assistant director of the JCPP, spoke about the multitude of civic engagement opportunities at Wesleyan. Also pictured are, bottom row, at left, Charlotte George ’24 and Livia Lund ’22.
On Sept. 5, the Wesleyan Student Assembly hosted a virtual Student Groups Fair as part of WesWOW. New students were able to meet with student representatives from more than 130 groups to learn more about individual clubs. Pictured, students meet to discuss the club Caliente, which aims to expose the Wesleyan community to the diversity of the LatinX community through dancing Salsa, Bachata, Típico, Merengue, Reggaeton, Rumba, Afro-Cuban, Orisha, and Afro-Boricua.
Students interested in the Long Lane Farm club met in a virtual breakout room. Long Lane Organic Farm is a collectively worked and collectively organized farm dedicated to growing food and tending to the environment.
On Sept. 2, staff presented WesWOW: CAPS 101, which focused on the various services and wellness resources offered by Wesleyan’s Counseling and Psychological Services (CAPS). Speakers included, from top, Smith Kidkarndee, assistant director of CAPS; Angie Makomenaw, mental health education and prevention coordinator; and Priya Senecal, psychotherapist. CAPS offers crisis support services, individual counseling sessions, educational workshops, and more.
During the WesWOW: Virtual Pop Up on Sept. 2, students got a sneak peek at several local businesses. Store owners and representatives gave virtual tours of their stores and offered perks and promo codes for those watching. Pictured is Katharine Otis, event coordinator for the Wesleyan R.J. Julia Bookstore.
AS part of WesWOW, on Sept. 4, Student Activities and Leadership Development (SALD) hosted a four-part series of Black Lives Matter-themed workshops celebrating the contributions of the Black community at Wesleyan. Wesleyan students, faculty, and staff attended the virtual event.
Also on Sept. 2, Mildred Rodriguez, Gordon Career Center health professions advisor, pictured second from top, hosted WesWOW: The Health Professions Overview for your First and Second Year. The presentation was catered to first-year students who are preparing for health professional careers including medicine, dentistry, nursing, veterinary science, pharmacy, public health, and other related professions. Rodriguez helps students prepare for entrance to professional schools by offering opportunities to explore interests, skills, goals, and prepare applications for the professional school admission process.
On Sept. 3, the Financial Aid Office and Student Employment Office hosted the WesWOW: Student Employment Fair for students who are interested in working on campus. Staff from several departments on campus were available to virtually meet with students and answer questions about working in their particular department. Pictured are staff from the Fries Center for Global Studies employment fair including, top row, at left, Jennifer Collingwood, administrative assistant; Natalia Román Alicea, assistant director of intercultural and language learning; bottom row, at left, Hannah Parten, study abroad advisor; and Emmanuel Paris-Bouvret, director of language resources and technology.