When New Roo Weekend started, the majority of incoming freshmen probably had no idea how much The University of Akron had to offer.
Events were held all over campus during the weekend of move in week to make their first steps into college easier. It started with group exercises that helped the incoming freshmen become more acquainted with their peers.
“New Roo Weekend really gave me the chance to meet new people and I actually met more people than I thought I would,” Joe Ruccella said.
E.J. Thomas was a major venue for New Roo Weekend. Comedian Josh Blue performed Friday evening to give students a laugh after a stressful day of moving in. Blue is a winner of Last Comic Standing and has also performed on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
On Saturday night, E.J. Thomas Hall was transformed into a casino by the Emerging Leaders organization. The Emerging Leaders organization is a group of carefully selected students that go through special training to become leaders among their peers.
There were hundreds of students playing blackjack, craps, and slot machines. Tickets were rewarded instead of cash, which could be entered into raffles to win prizes like a television or gift cards. Face painting, caricature artists, photo booths and many more activities were available at the event.
The Student Union was also a venue for many of the events for New Roo Weekend. Saturday night Zips Programming Network held “Welcome Back Late Night”, which was a black light themed party throughout the ballrooms. It featured glow-in-the-dark volleyball and mini golf. ZPN handed out T-shirts, glow-in-the-dark shutter shades, glow sticks and Insomnia Cookies.
Sunday, there were over 250 student organizations throughout the union with representatives showing incoming freshmen how to become involved in the community at UA.
Nicholas Keaton who is a part of the Intervarsity of Christian Fellowship was astounded at the eagerness of freshmen to get involved. “We signed up about ninety eight freshman to come to one of our barbeque events, which is about five times more than the previous year,” Keaton said.
The Student Recreation and Wellness Center also held some events over the weekend. The recreation center stayed open late from Wednesday through Saturday, so students could become familiar with all the amenities within the enormous facility such as the pools and weight equipment.
Courts were also reserved for soccer, basketball, and volleyball during the whole weekend. The recreation center also held dive-in movies Friday and Saturday night in the leisure pool area, where movies were featured. Students could relax in the lazy river as they enjoyed the movies.
New Roo Weekend’s Twitter page and hashtag, #NewRooWeekend, were very popular during all of the events. The hashtag was used hundreds of times by students throughout the weekend and even became a top ten trending hashtag on twitter.
The Week of Welcome and New Roo Weekend started off the 2014-2015 school year great and did an amazing job of showing new students what The University of Akron can offer the community.