Welcome Week events greet new and returning students

Dean Vaglia, Staff Reporter

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New year, new welcome week.

As new students enter and old faces return, Oakland University puts out its best and brightest to make OU feel like home. While Welcome Week staples like GrizzFest and the Sigma Pi pig roast return for 2019, a few new events have been added to the calendar. 

On Wednesday, Sept. 4, the Office for Student Involvement (OSI) will be holding a new celebration for all incoming international students. Simply called “Welcome to OU.” The event will run from 4-6 p.m. in Banquet Room A of the Oakland Center to feature student organizations and American foods.

“[Welcome to OU] is just trying to get our students that are on campus to meet and greet our international students and vice versa so that [the students] can develop some new friendships and new connections with American students,” OSI senior director Jean Ann Miller said.

As Thursday morning brings the lively and busy GrizzFest from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., the Oakland University Student Congress (OUSC) plans to knock it back with the first ever OUSC Pours & S’mores Bonfire and BYOB party.

“I wanted to do a bonfire just as a fun event,” OUSC Vice President Julia Alexander said. “I feel like in the past people have thought of Student Congress as a little uptight and a little serious, so we wanted to do something casual like a bonfire as a recruiting event to get people involved in the Congress.”

While the OUSC team found the idea of a bonfire inviting enough, making the event a BYOB seemed like the natural progression. With the party nature of BYOB, Alexander hopes Pours & S’mores opens up OUSC to previously untapped keg-horts of students. 

But the mix of beer, college students and the nighttime has historically produced mixed results. OUSC knows this and has plans for it.

“We are going to have a check in at the front,” Alexander said. “So you will bring your state ID if you want to drink, and then everyone has to bring their OU ID because it is an event for OU students.”

Should things get out of hand, OUSC President Destinee Rule said OUPD would be there to step in. 

“We are trying to set the precedent that we are students trying to have fun and that we want our friends and our peers to be safe,” Rule said, “but also to comply with what the university wants for safety reasons.”

Drinks are limited to non-glass bottles under 24 ounces, and no drinking games are allowed into the event. Pours & S’mores will run from 8:30-11 p.m. at the Recreation and Athletic Outdoor Complex’s bonfire pit and P11 on Sept. 5.

Campus radio station WXOU is also providing a live concert experience for the Student Program Board (SPB) carnival on Sept. 6. From 6-8 p.m., the north side of the Oakland Center will be rocked by two local bands with ties to OU: Duff Raybarb and Tall Boy. 

According to WXOU’s Wade Panizzoli, Tall Boy is an indie-rock alternative group with a sound reminiscent of Beech Fossils and Weezer. The band played its first show in March 2019 and has also played at the Loving Touch in Ferndale alongside grunge band Antighost and Flint-based alt-rock band Baggage. 

Duff Raybarb is a classic rock trio reminiscent of Greta Van Fleet and played a show at The Habitat in March 2019.

A DJ is also planned to play during the SPB carnival from 5-10 p.m.