The Ferris State University campus will be abuzz with activity this week as a new class of Bulldogs and returning students arrive for the fall semester that begins Monday, Aug. 27.
More than 3,200 students will live on campus this fall, including 59 percent who are new to Ferris, said Lisa Ortiz, assistant director of the Office of Housing and Residence Life.
Residence halls will open at 8 a.m. Friday, Aug. 24 for new and returning students living on campus. First-year honor students and peer mentors began moving in on Thursday, Aug. 23 as well as the nearly 280 residents of East Campus Suites.
Bulldogs in Action, which includes student volunteers from the university’s Registered Student Organizations and Bulldog football, basketball and women’s soccer players, will be available to help students move in. Welcome Wagons with free water for parents will be available on Friday, the day most students move in, Ortiz said. The halls also will be open Saturday and Sunday for students to move in.
A host of programs and activities offered by several Ferris organizations and departments also are on tap this weekend to welcome new students to campus. On Friday, Birkam Health Center is having a “Healthy Dawgs” open house from 2 to 4 p.m. with pizza, a prize drawing, free instant blood typing and clinic tours. At 9 p.m., the Residence Hall Association will show “The Avengers” in the South Quad, and Dining Services will provide popcorn and pop.
Saturday’s events include the Bulldog Nation Backyard Blast from 2 to 6 p.m. in the South Quad featuring inflatables and live music, and the Multicultural Freshman Mixer from 5 to 7 p.m. for freshmen and student leaders that includes a skit performance by T.O.W.E.R.S., back-to-school giveaways and other resources. That event will be held in College of Business Room 111.
Saturday also is Meijer Madness at the Big Rapids store on Perry Avenue from 7 to 10 p.m. The event includes giveaways, raffles for prizes, a photo booth, music and offers students a 10-percent discount on back-to-school supplies. Shuttles provide transportation from campus and back.
On Sunday night, residence halls will offer activities ranging from trivia to games to dancing, as well as floor meetings.
“All of these things are to welcome students to Ferris, to welcome them to being a Bulldog,” Ortiz said.
Other welcome-week activities for new and returning students include a carnival on Monday, Rec Fest on Tuesday, Founders’ Day Celebration on Thursday and the Office of Multicultural Student Services’ Transitions to Success programs throughout the week.