By NICK BUDD
Over the next couple of days, thousands of students at Fort Hays State will commute back to Hays for the 2014-15 school year. Currently, the university is in the process of training several students and faculty who will help facilitate the move.
“All of the preparation and training for student arrivals have been going great,” said Brett Bruner, director of persistence and retention. “Our resident assistants are in full training mode, we’ve trained our peer mentor’s for the learning communities, and our orientation and welcome leaders arrive on Wednesday. … The entire campus is geared up and ready for all of the students to arrive.”
Some students — athletes or part of other campus groups — moved into campus housing as early as last week, but the majority will arrive over the next two days. Students who are part of a learning community will move in on Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with the rest of the on-campus residents arriving Thursday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. A move-in day traffic map can be found here.
“We have a team of three graduate assistants and 70 undergraduate student leaders who play a role in this process,” Bruner said. “Our residential life staff plays a huge role in welcoming students through the check-in process, our Center for Student Involvement plays a role in organizing events throughout the weekend, and our admissions staff are on hand to direct traffic and give give campus crawl tours on Sunday.
“It truly does involve the entire campus to welcome all of our students back.”
The university will begin a new program this year titled the “First Forty Days at FHSU,” where the university partners with various student organizations to help welcome students to campus. Bruner said more than 150 events will take place throughout the first six weeks of school.
“Due to a lot of literature that has been published, we’ll most likely know within the first six weeks whether a student is going to have an amazing time or if they’re starting to have some regrets, homesickness or things like that,” Bruner said. “We want students to really start jumping in and finding their passion or what they’re interested in, and so this program is embedded in our freshman seminar curriculum.”
According to Bruner, planning for next year’s programming will begin in October. A full list of events for returning students can be found here and a list of events for new students can be found here.
Fall enrollment numbers will be available after the 20th day of classes. According to Registrar Joey Linn, projections for this year are “looking really good” and will probably break another enrollment record.