SVSU celebrated the beginning of the semester with its annual Welcome Weekend.
Jeremy Flood, the coordinator of Programming and Service for the Office of Student Life, said Welcome Weekend begins Welcome Week, which is full of daily entertainment for students.
“Students and the SVSU community as a whole experience a wide variety of social, informational and academic events and opportunities across Welcome Week,” he said.
As the kickoff event, Program Board hosted stand-up comedian Ian Lara, who has been featured on Comedy Central, NBC and other media.
Lara performed Saturday, Aug. 24, at 7 p.m. in the Malcolm Field Theatre. Flood said that adjusting to the college lifestyle can be a challenge for many people. He hoped that Welcome Weekend helped students feel closer to the SVSU community.
“(Lara’s) show was a great chance for students, particularly freshmen, to feel welcomed to SVSU’s campus,” he said. “We wanted students to feel like this university is their home-away-from-home, and getting them to laugh and make connections is a great way to start that process.”
Flood believed students in Program Board handled the responsibility of planning Welcome Weekend and Welcome Week well.
“As any event planner knows, things get stressful during crunch time,” he said. “As their adviser, I’m really proud of the way Program Board came together to prepare for (Lara’s) performance. We’ve had to tackle challenges, but I can say that over the past couple weeks, we’ve given it everything we have.”
Although Flood was excited for Lara’s event, he most looked forward to students interacting with each other.
“I really looked forward to seeing students come together in fellowship, even if it’s for an hour,” he said. “I hope the event energized students for the beginning of a new academic year and set the stage for a great semester.”
Freshman Jori Husar said that Lara was relatable to the students.
“He really made his jokes relevant to today’s life and society and what’s going on in the world with just the comedy,” she said. “Everyone can relate to what he joked about.”
Chris Galloway, an exercise science sophomore, said the event helped students feel connected to SVSU before the new semester.
“I enjoyed how it was (when school was) starting and was a good way to have everyone open themselves up and was a great way for people to … get ready for the school year.”
Galloway also said that the event was a great way for students to get out and do something rather than sit in their rooms with nothing to do, especially for freshmen and transfer students.
“For a lot of kids, it could be their first time away from home, so I think SVSU does a great job giving students the opportunities to get out and do things.”
Husar said that she can be a shy student, but that even people who are shy can get involved on campus and become comfortable with a new semester.
“It’s nice to have events that are held that you just have to go to rather than make (the decision to go) yourself,” she said.