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Weeks of Welcome events help students engage with campus life

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Weeks of Welcome events help students meet UNG deans and leaders while also learning more about how to plug in on campus.

From goat yoga to fireworks to student organization fairs, Weeks of Welcome will have a little bit of everything for University of North Georgia (UNG) students.

UNG designed the events, scheduled around the first two weeks of classes, with an eye toward students engaging campus life, which leads to a higher likelihood of retention and graduation.

"This is for all students to come and see the different ways they can get involved outside the classroom," said Stacie Rowley, associate dean for student life.

Convocation ceremonies will mark the official kickoff of the school year (see box for dates and locations).

"Convocation is where we want them to really feel like this is their home," said Michelle Eaton, director of enrollment management for student success. "We want them here and we want them to be successful inside and outside of the classroom."

Convocation

Blue Ridge: 12:30 p.m. Aug. 20

Cumming: Noon Aug. 28

Dahlonega: 5 p.m. Aug. 19 at Convocation Center

Gainesville: Noon Aug. 19 at Hugh Mills Gym

Oconee: Noon Aug. 21 in Quad

For the first time, students can participate in goat yoga from 10:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Aug. 26 on UNG's Oconee Campus at an event that will also feature wellness literature. Another new event this year for the Oconee Campus is a pool party set for 2-5 p.m. Aug. 23 at the Georgia Aquatic Center at 1545 S. Bishop Farms Parkway in Watkinsville, Georgia.

A "Cookies and Consent" table will offer information on sexual consent from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. Aug. 29 on the Hoag Patio on UNG's Dahlonega Campus.

UNG's Gainesville Campus will host "Donuts with the Deans" from 9-10 a.m. Aug. 27 on the Student Center Quad. Rowley appreciates the way this makes deans more accessible.

"Weeks of Welcome provides an invaluable sense of belonging not only to our new students, but to our returning students also. Donuts with the Deans is one piece of that 'welcome puzzle,'" said Dr. Richard Oates, vice president of UNG's Gainesville Campus. "Students get to meet and talk with the academic leaders on campus to discuss a variety of topics related to the student's academic experience. What a wonderful opportunity for both the students and the deans."

The Starlight fireworks celebration is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Aug. 24 at the G.W. Bailey Amphitheater on the Gainesville Campus, 3820 Mundy Mill Road in Oakwood, Georgia. UNG students can enter for free with a valid UNG student ID card.

The celebration will feature performances from UNG's Low Brass Collective, Jazz Ensemble and Gainesville Theatre Alliance. The Patriot Choir will perform the national anthem, with the Color Guard presenting the colors. Clay Christy with Brick House DJs will be the event DJ.

The annual UNG Student Block Party set for 5-7 p.m. Aug. 22 will showcase local businesses and familiarize students with downtown Dahlonega. Festivities will include music, scavenger hunts, giveaways and prizes.

A full list of events is available on the Weeks of Welcome website.

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