EDWARDSVILLE - A Wild, Wild Cougar Welcome is underway at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville. During the first week of the semester, engagement activities are all around as students explore how they can become connected with campus life and the local community.

“I think it’s going to be a great year,” said senior Tyrone Johnson. “My plan is definitely to meet new people and continue to find ways to get involved. Doing so makes you feel more a part of the community. Involvement activities help you feel more invested in the whole academic experience.”

“Getting involved on campus offers students expanded opportunities for growth and development that will enhance their academic experience and make them well-rounded, highly-prepared individuals who are ready to shape a changing world,” said Alexa Bueltel, coordinator of Campus Life in the Kimmel Student Involvement Center. “Our Cougar Welcome events bring opportunities to students with the goal of helping them hit the ground running at the start of this new academic year.”

On Monday, Aug. 19, students learned about campus resources during the Resource Fair. A Cougar Welcome Kick-Off energized the Goshen Lounge with free mechanical bull rides, cookies, promotional items and more.

The Resource Fair continued on Tuesday, Aug. 20. Additionally, the School of Business hosted Donuts with the Dean as a welcome back. The evening concluded with a Cougar Welcome Spaghetti Western Movie Night.

“I always like the beginning of a new semester, because you get to attend all of these events, visit with old friends and meet new people,” said senior speech-language-pathology major Brianna Wade.

The annual Dairy Queen Ice Cream Social was held Wednesday, Aug. 21, with Chancellor Randy Pembrook, and Edwardsville Mayor Hal Patton handing out free Oreo and Cookie Dough Blizzards®.

“It’s great to have everybody back,” Pembrook said. “I hope your first few days have been successful.”

“Welcome to all of you,” added Patton. “You picked an excellent school and a wonderful city to be associated with. We hope you enjoy your stay.”

Wednesday’s events also featured a Merchant’s Fair, where local businesses and independent sellers shared fun, entertainment, giveaways and prize drawings.

“At first, I was really nervous,” explained freshman psychology major Destiny Pitt, “but everybody’s been friendly and helpful. I love my campus, and I’m glad I chose SIUE.”

“I just love it here, especially the first week on campus,” added sophomore history education major Evan Howard. “I love my new classes and the teachers I have met. My first week has been amazing.”

The remainder of the Wild, Wild Cougar Welcome will include Panhellenic Council Sorority Recruitment, the Annual Kitty Cookout, Late Night with Campus Recreation, Service Saturday Volunteer Projects and more.

For a complete list of events, visit siue.edu/cab/cougarwelcome.com .

Southern Illinois University Edwardsville provides students with a high quality, affordable education that prepares them for successful careers and lives of purpose to shape a changing world. Built on the foundation of a broad-based liberal education, and enhanced by hands-on research and real-world experiences, the academic preparation SIUE students receive equips them to thrive in the global marketplace and make our communities better places to live. Situated on 2,660 acres of beautiful woodland atop the bluffs overlooking the natural beauty of the Mississippi River’s rich bottomland and only a short drive from downtown St. Louis, the SIUE campus is home to a diverse student body of more than 13,000.

An SIUE student happily accepts a Blizzard® from Chancellor Randy Pembrook during the annual Dairy Queen Ice Cream Social.

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