Celebrations, activities mark beginning of fall semester

contact: Cara Barnes
| WMU News
Photo of students walking on campus.

Fall semester begins Sept. 8.

KALAMAZOO, Mich.—While classes at Western Michigan University begin Tuesday, Sept. 8, fall opening activities officially began when new students arrived on campus Tuesday, Sept. 1, to participate in pre-semester Fall Welcome activities. Other welcome-back celebrations and activities continue into the beginning of the fall semester.

Fall Welcome and move in

Students who are beginning their careers at WMU this fall have an opportunity to get the hang of campus life early by attending Fall Welcome, a four-day program that assists first-year students with their academic and social transitions to college life. A total of 3,090 new students signed up for the Tuesday through Friday, Sept. 1-4, event.

Fall Welcome allows students to move in early, learn about the Kalamazoo community, get grounded in campus traditions and start socializing with their fellow students. This year, Fall Welcome partnered with the campus Invisible Need Project's student food pantry and encouraged families to bring an item on move-in days to donate to the pantry.

The residence halls officially open for all students from 8 a.m. to noon Friday, Sept. 4. Due to the WMU-Michigan State University football game traffic, students who can't arrive by noon will need to wait and move in any time Saturday, Sept. 5, through Monday of Labor Day weekend. Student volunteers, dubbed Bronco Buddies, will be available during much of that time to help both new and returning students move in. Most residence hall students are expected to be settled in their rooms by the end of Saturday.

One Stop Center

A temporary, one-stop service center remains open in WMU's Bernhard Center, through Friday, Sept. 11. The center will close at 2:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 4 and remain closed throughout Labor Day weekend. The Center offers a smorgasbord of business services in one, convenient location. Situated on Bernhard's second floor, the One Stop Center lets students and their parents take care of last-minute business associated with starting the new academic year. Those visiting One Stop will be able to get new Bronco ID cards, pay bills and purchase campus parking permits.

They also may obtain information about a variety of topics, including financial aid, and immunizations and other campus health-care services. The center is being staffed by representatives from the Registrar's Office, admissions, accounts receivable, financial aid and scholarships, parking services and information technology. In addition, attendees may peruse information tables for Parent and Family Programs and the Sindecuse Health Center.

Graduate Student Resource Fair

All graduate students are invited to attend the Resource Fair for Graduate Students, set for 3 to 6 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 10, in the Bernhard Center's South Ballroom. Representatives from offices across campus will be on hand to present information about the resources and services available to both new and returning graduate students. The fair will be open during the same hours as the One Stop Center.

Bronco Bash

Bronco Bash logo.

Bronco Bash returns for its 35th year.

More than 25,000 students and other members of the University community are expected to gather for the annual Bronco Bash on the pedestrian mall at the center of campus in front of Sangren Hall from 3 to 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 11. The event is a huge celebration welcoming students to the campus and to Kalamazoo. It features games, music and more than 450 booths, where students can peruse the wares of area merchants and get information about WMU departments, WMU student organizations and local volunteer opportunities.

Bronco Bash also provides live entertainment in the form of local bands and national recording artists. Novelty attractions are available free of charge and food is available for purchase. It is a way for students, especially first-year and transfer students, to connect with Western and the Kalamazoo Community. Visit wmich.edu/broncobash for more information.

Fall Fab Fest

Local organizations have joined forces with the WMU Office of Lesbian, Bisexual, Gay and Transgendered Student Services to stage the fourth Fall Fab Fest from 1 to 4 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 13, in the indoor tennis courts of WMU's Student Recreation Center. Open to all local students and community members, this free event celebrates community as well as welcomes LBGT people and their allies to Kalamazoo, particularly area students who are arriving in town for a new school year.

In addition to food, games and giveaways, it will feature information about supportive resources and services that are available locally, music by DJ Disobedience (Dr. Michelle Johnson), performances by Queer Theater Kalamazoo, creative and expressive activities, spoken word-featured artists, and an open mic session. Fall Fab Fest is sponsored by the WMU Office of LBGT Student Services, Kalamazoo Gay Lesbian Resource Center and Kalamazoo Community Foundation with support from other local organizations. For more information, contact WMU's Jennifer Hsu at lbgt-director@wmich.edu or (269) 387-2133.

For more news, arts and events, visit wmich.edu/news.