Valencia welcomes students back for a new year

“Aloha!” was the first word that came to mind when attending the Sept. 4 event for Valencia Colleges’ West Campus “Week of Welcome.” The Hawaiian theme brought out various clubs and activities to promote themselves at the SSB Patio.

“I like the idea of a Hawaiian theme because of the welcoming feel to it. We want to welcome the Valencia students back,” said Marsha Clark, student development advisor and one of the main people in charge of hosting the event.

There were several performances to go along with the theme of the event, including hula dancers, who taught some of our own Valencia students some of their moves, basket weavers, who wove not only baskets but braided headbands made out of palm tree leaves, and fire dancers, who seemed to be a big hit with both the faculty and students.

Although the students were drawn in by the entertainment, they stayed because of the clubs. Various tables were set up, each run by a different Valencia program or organization.

“It gives students an opportunity to come out and see what kind of programs we have out there available for them and how they can work for [those programs] for their advantage,” said Evan King, president of the Student Government Association’s (SGA) west campus chapter.

There was free food at the event, but in order to get the food, the students had to get a stamp card and get stamped from whichever booths they visited. Students were not only fed food, but also useful information.

Some of the clubs that were there included Valencia Volunteers and the SGA. The Peer Educators were there promoting Valencia’s new smoke-free campus policy. The Study Abroad program had its own table as well.

“I definitely wanted to check that out because they’re going to London over spring break this year, so I think that would be pretty cool to go to,” said King.

This event was the first of two big events for the Week of Welcome. On Thursday, Sept. 6, Valencia hosted the Welcome Back BBQ. These events will be the first of many to come this semester.

“We have events a lot to keep [the students’] eyes open. We got free food, free popcorn, free snow cones, so come on out!” said King.