The University of Massachusetts Amherst will welcome thousands of first-year and transfer students over Labor Day weekend as they arrive at the Commonwealth’s flagship campus.
An estimated 5,800 first-year students and 1,050 transfers will begin the 2019-20 academic year with a variety of programs offering opportunities to make new friends and learn more about the campus and surrounding communities.
Highlights include organized visits to downtown Amherst and the Hampshire Mall in Hadley on Saturday; UFest on Sunday; and New Students Convocation, the Class of 2023 photo and a campus-wide barbeque on Monday. Fall semester classes begin on Tuesday.
More information is available at http://www.umass.edu/newstudent/newstudent/fall-nso/schedule.
More than 14,000 students who live in 52 residence halls will move in over the weekend. First-year students will move in Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., transfers on Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. and returning students on Sunday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Students and their families are being assisted by My UMass, a free phone app that includes all the planning steps needed in the weeks leading up to the new semester, as well as interactive guidance for move-in day. The app contains information useful to students and parents all year, including sustainability initiatives, public transit schedules and a service request form that lets students report problems to Facilities and Campus Services.
Welcome Week starts Friday with first-year floor meetings taking place from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in first-year residence halls, along with the Big U Carnival on the Haigis Mall from 8 p.m. to midnight.
On Saturday, new students get more familiar with their surroundings with a tour of the campus permaculture garden at Franklin Dining Commons offered at 11 and 11:45 a.m. Adventure into Amherst to learn about downtown businesses will occur from noon until 2 p.m. For those seeking some exercise, there will be open ice skating at the Mullins Center Practice Rink from 2 to 5 p.m. and UPlay at the intramural fields, which offers tournament-style dodgeball and kickball games among other fun pursuits, from 2 to 5 p.m.
Drawn Together, which brings students together for coloring, card-making and making spirit posters, also takes place from 2 to 5 p.m. in the Campus Center auditorium. Students will meet up outside the Campus Center auditorium at 2:30 p.m. for an hour-long food tour of campus.
Saturday night kicks off with the “Many Voices. One Community.” event in the Mullins Center at 6 p.m., which includes performances and conversations about all the differences that together make UMass a strong and inclusive living and learning community. At 8 p.m., out-of-state and international students will meet up in the Marriott Center of the Campus Center to learn about resources for those from outside of Massachusetts. At 9 p.m., students will venture over to the Hampshire Mall for Mall Madness, which includes discounts from retailers and specials on entertainment. Also at 9 p.m., the Residence Hall Association will present “Hallapoloza” at the Campus Center auditorium, which will include games, crafts and free food.
Sunday begins with the New2U Tag Sale at the Curry Hicks Cage. Doors open at 8 a.m. for students to shop for gently used items, such as TVs, mini-fridges, storage containers, clothing and more. A blissful session of yoga by the Campus Pond is set for 10 a.m. to noon, followed by UFest from 12 to 5 p.m. UFest, a campus festival, features an open mic, interactive displays games, carnival rides, sidewalk chalk and food from the award-winning UMass Dining.
Another session of open ice skating will take place from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center Practice Rink, followed by a chance to get more familiar with the W.E.B. DuBois Library from 7:30 to 10 p.m. with “Get Your Game On,” which features games and prizes. At 7 p.m., transfer students will gather for a welcome reception on the 11th floor of the Marriott Center in the Campus Center. Sunday wraps up with the LOL @UMass Comedy Show on the Haigis Mall at 8 p.m.
From 11 a.m. to noon, off-campus students will have a meet-up at Goodell Hall. Starting at noon, deans from the various schools and colleges will welcome new students at events around campus. Students then head to the Mullins Center at 2:30 p.m. for the New Student Convocation, where they will be officially welcomed to campus by university leaders. Following convocation, the Class of 2023 will gather for their class photo, and then join the UMass Marching Band for the traditional Minuteman March to the Fall Welcome Barbeque on the Haigis Mall. Students can top off their day with more ice skating from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Mullins Center Practice Rink.