New student convocation promotes freshmen involvement (PHOTOS)


Daily Egyptian file photo

By Marnie Leonard

The rousing refrain of the Marching Salukis ushered in new students to SIU Arena on Friday for the annual convocation ceremony.

Hundreds of people filled the arena’s seats for the welcome ceremony meant to introduce new students to the university and help prepare them for their new lives as Salukis. The running theme of the night focused on getting the freshmen involved on campus.

Ally Maltry, a sophomore studying healthcare management, said she regretted not being more involved as an incoming student and decided this year to work as an orientation leader for events such as this on campus.


“When students feel like they’re a part of a community they’re more likely to stay at SIU because they don’t feel out-casted,” she said. “The first 10 days on campus are crucial.”

Maya Hall, a sophomore studying computer science, agreed.

“It’s really important to make the new students feel welcome on campus,” Hall said. “These events are geared towards getting freshmen up and active on campus and out of their dorms, which I think is really helpful.”

Freshmen also heard from student leaders and university administrators, giving them advice about how to be successful at SIU.

Assistant Dean of Students Jeff McGoy encouraged the new students to learn as much as possible from the opportunities SIU would present them. He compared the college experience to his favorite Olympic event, track and field.

“Enjoy this race, because what you put into it, you will receive from it,” McGoy said. “We have a responsibility to make this campus and this community a better place.”

Interim Chancellor Brad Colwell echoed this sentiment about the “transformational undergraduate experience” freshmen could look forward to.


Student Trustee Naomi Tolbert and Undergraduate Student Government president Jared Stern further asserted the importance of campus immersion and involvement in their speeches to the freshman audience and their families.

Donning matching maroon T-shirts and paper-made sunglasses, the new students gathered on the SIU Arena steps and posed for a class photo following the ceremony. The rest of the night’s festivities included a Welcome Fest, Pep Rally, a Play Fair with icebreakers to get to know each other, and a late night showing of “Captain America”.

Staff writer Marnie Leonard can be reached at [email protected] or on Twitter @marsuzleo.

To stay up to date with all your SIU news, follow the Daily Egyptian on Facebook and Twitter.