Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

Fresno State's student-run newspaper

The Collegian

‘Big Bulldog Welcome’ celebrates students finding a new home at Fresno State

Both new students and old share a common space to mingle and socialize during the “Big Bulldog Welcome” in the RSU. (Wyatt Bible/The Collegian)

Fall 2023 semester has finally arrived! Fresno State kicked off the first day of instruction with Welcome Week by welcoming its students, new and old, with free food, giveaways, live entertainment and a resource fair.

In a span of 30 minutes, free food vouchers and T-shirts ran out as the line into the Resnick Student Union stretched almost all the way to the University Student Union.

On Monday, Aug. 21, from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., Fresno State Student Involvement hosted the Big Bulldog Welcome, giving away free goods at the RSU with live music accompanied by a resource fair of the various opportunities on campus for students to get involved.

One of the objectives of Welcome Week is to help students develop a sense of belonging. Through the event’s lively atmosphere, students are provided with a place to interact with one another and meet new people.

Students received their free meals and swarmed to take seats to enjoy the free food, or convened with other students for the first time.

“I’ve been looking forward to meeting new people. This is actually a friend I met today,” said Jimmy Flores, a Fresno State freshman who pointed to another student that he was sitting next to.

“We had a class together, he asked a simple question and it just went from there,” he said.

Flores said that he’s excited for the diversity in cultures since he comes from a small town.

Mana Uchida, an international student from Japan, said she was also looking forward to meeting new people.

“So many people!” Uchida said enthusiastically when comparing it to her time in Japan.

Kana Sugimoto, a senior, said that everyone’s attitudes here are a lot more open compared to Japan where everyone keeps to themselves out of politeness.

According to Jerry Gomez, the program coordinator for Student Involvement, the first week is crucial because it gives students the opportunity to network and connect with other students.

“A lot of our student population identifies as commuters so it’s very hard to engage our commuter students. By having these events, it’ll not only improve their mental health but also heightens their success,” Gomez said.

Christen Martinez, the event coordinator, said that her favorite part about planning for Welcome Week is finding things that students can relate to. She wanted to find people who would be excited about the same things.

“That’s what we want. We want students to get excited, make them feel like they have a place and that’s why I feel like events like these are essential to gain those experiences,” Martinez said.

DJ Kay Rich provides music as students wait in a long line that extends toward the University Student Union. (Wyatt Bible/The Collegian)

The resource fair intended to give students a variety of outlets to expand their social network around campus to get involved.

The Fresno State Esports team was there promoting its upcoming tryouts for games such as Valorant, Overwatch, League of Legends and Rocket League. Tryouts will take place from 6-7 p.m. on Aug. 23 and Aug. 24 in the USU gaming area. Students interested in trying out are encouraged to join the club’s official Discord.

The Richter Center for Community Engagement and Services and Fresno State’s Project Rebound representatives informed students about its services and advertised future events that students can get involved in.

The Cross Cultural and Gender Center were also present to inform students about their Affinity rooms on campus. The Affinity rooms are divided by different inclusive groups and identities, inviting students to connect with each other based around their respective communities.

Along with a variety of opportunities and networking, Fresno State mascot Victor E. IV came to visit students on the first day.

On Wednesday, Aug. 23, bowling and billiards will be free from 7-10 p.m. Once again, Victor E. Bulldog will make an appearance during the event for students to take pictures with.

Thursday, Aug. 24, is Fresno State Night at Campus Pointe, a place to hang and partake in fun activities while making new friends as well. Neon attire is encouraged.

A sunset picnic with food and yard games with country themed entertainment will take place on Friday, Aug. 25 on the field just south of the RSU outside.

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