Welcome Week 2021 is bringing back start-of-the-semester excitement after a year of online courses and lack of face-to-face interaction. With more than 90 events to attend from Aug. 18-22, this week is traditionally the time for students to meet new friends. This year’s celebration will also keep Cardinals’ safety top of mind.
Additionally, second-year students are invited to join in on the activities to make up for their Welcome Week celebration being held virtually last year.
“Welcome Week is extremely important to our new Cardinal students because it helps them get familiar with their new home,” said Kaitlyn Robinson, assistant director of Welcome Week and Parents Association. “By participating in Welcome Week, they learn about campus resources available to them and make important connections that are going to help carry them during their first year here at UofL.”
With the continued spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Welcome Week staff are making sure student health and safety is a priority during the events. UofL will follow CDC guidelines, including mask mandates, regardless of vaccination status at any indoor event, surface sanitization and hand sanitizer stations at every Welcome Week event.
Welcome Week this year includes events like Late Night Ice Cream Floats, SOUL, Sunrise Yoga and Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity’s Annual Icebreaker. The coordinators have also developed new events for first- and second-year Cards to look forward to, such as the Cardinal Frenzy, Prom and the first-ever Welcome Back Concert.
“I think students are most excited about the Welcome Back concert and Prom this year,” Robinson said.
Prom is for first and second-year students who did not get to experience their high school prom because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The event is about having fun with friends and coming as you are. After five years of trying to get a concert added to the list of events, SHAED will be taking over Cardinal Stadium for the Welcome Back Concert. Students will be able to be on the field for this inaugural event.
With hybrid events offering both in-person and virtual options to join, students can feel safe and included in making those new memories this year. Along with a hybrid event model, Welcome Week staff are introducing a new event that will let Cards experience various cultures from around the world. WorldFest is an opportunity for students to see how their differences are what make them special in this world and UofL.
“There’s never been a Welcome Week like this one before,” Robinson said.