Wheaton welcomes students with quartet of events

Welcome Back Weekend may be officially over, but various campus groups continued to host events throughout the following weekend and continued celebrating the beginning of another school year for both new and returning students. The quartet of main events included a dinner for students returning from abroad, a DJ showcase, a bonfire, and the always-popular midnight a cappella induction at Slype. 

The weekend kicked off with the Welcome Back Dinner for students who studied abroad during the past academic year. About 50 students attended, having spent parts of last year in many countries, including Bhutan, England, New Zealand, and Senegal. Wheaton’s study abroad program offers a variety of unique abroad opportunities, as showcased by the returning students’ experiences.

“Wheaton students have lived and studied in a remarkable number of places around the globe,” said Ashley Trebisacci, Administrative Assistant at the Center for Global Education.   Students interested in studying abroad should visit the Study Abroad Fair Friday at 11 a.m. in the Balfour-Hood Center.

The dinner not only functioned as a welcome back, but also presented students with valuable post-abroad advice. “We also had Senior Associate Dean of Studies Alex Trayford and Marianne Singer from Academic Advising talk about how students can market their study abroad experience as they apply for jobs, scholarships, graduate school,and life post-Wheaton,” explained Trebisacci. 

The Dean of the Center for Global Education Mark Hoesly, also participated in the dinner, leading a forum on Reverse Culture Shock, talking with students about how to best transition back to Wheaton after a semester or year abroad.

The weekend of events continued Friday evening with a DJ Showcase and house barbecue co-hosted by the Together We All Prosper house (T.W.A.P.) and Balanced Environment & Absolute Respect for All Sexes house (B.E.A.R.S.).

Later on Friday, at midnight, three a cappella groups on campus inducted new members. The Blend, The Whims and the Gentlemen Callers all welcomed new students to their groups at energy-filled Slype performances. The Blend added six members: Aaron Peckham ’17, Alex Cilley ’14, Ian Curran ’17, Madeline Sullivan ’17, Becca Shin ’17 and Jenna Desteph ’17. The Whims added three members: Morgan Johnston ’16, Katie Elliott ’17 and Camille Buffington ’17. The Gentlemen Callers added two members: Sam Evans ’17 and Colin Coco ’17.

Slype night proved to be an exciting and enthusiastic evening for all, providing a first glimpse of the groups with their new members. “This year is definitely going to be different and new,” said Alison Beattie ’15. “Each group has a different sound, as each year, but this year the groups have a bigger dynamic than normal.”

“I think it was an extremely successful night,” added Blend President Teikyo Mowchan ’14. “The audience that came out was overwhelmingly positive, and as far as the new members go, I think that they’ll usher in a wonderful new era of a cappella at Wheaton.”

Another event this weekend was the International Cultural Board (ICB) bonfire on Saturday night. The bonfire started out with Chair of the ICB Nicole Iwunze ’14 greeting everyone and explaining the plan for the night as well as the role of the ICB. The ICB advises the international and cultural clubs and plans similarly themed workshops.

The main goal of the bonfire was to help students get to know the different clubs, ask questions and get involved. “It was the perfect night for a bonfire. It was also a good informational night for letting people get the information they need to join the club and hear what it’s all about” said Cam Williams ’17.

Iwunze also expressed an interest in turning the bonfire into an annual tradition at the beginning of each year. Each semester the ICB plans to run one big event; for the first ICB bonfire of Wheaton’s history, Iwunze was happy with the turnout, and is excited for the upcoming events.

Overall, the weekend was very diverse and full of fun activities for all, continuing an enthusiastic start to the new academic year.