By Mallory Sherwood, Features Editor
People scream. Signs with numbers can be seen from every section of Moody Coliseum.
New faces silently sit in the stadium seats offering shy smiles, while current students cheer and clap for the wary-eyed newcomers climbing the stairs.
Welcome Week will come again.
Students who have been there before remember, and now it is their turn to give back to ACU.
The First-Year Program is accepting Steering Committee applications and Peer Leader or Mentor Group Leader applications until Friday. More than 200 positions are open for Welcome Week 2005.
More than 1,100 new students are expected to participate in Welcome Week on Aug. 16 through Aug. 20.
Welcome Week is a tradition that has continued for nearly 20 years, said Eric Gumm, assistant director of the First-Year Program.
However, the tradition could not have continued without the help of volunteers, said Kathleen Pi¤a, one of four Welcome Week chairs.
“We really need volunteers,” said Pi¤a, senior political science major from San Antonio. “Welcome Week couldn’t have happened for you if other students hadn’t volunteered to help out.”
Students can apply for three volunteer positions.
The Steering Committee needs 20 to 25 students to organize the week and make sure it runs smoothly. The volunteers must attend a retreat and weekly meetings in April and come to Abilene a week early to finalize plans.
Students can also apply to be Peer Leaders for each of the 50 University Seminar classes. The leaders will partner with a faculty mentor and stay with the group all semester for class, working alongside the professor to teach and mentor to the new students.
Peer Leaders will receive a $300 stipend instead of class credit for the three hours per week they work.
Interested students must turn in their application by Friday and be at least a junior next fall.
One hundred Mentor Group Leaders are also needed to work with the Peer Leaders during Welcome Week. They can be any classification, and they must turn in their application by March 16.
“These students are folks that are just really excited about ACU,” Gumm said. “They like meeting new people, they want to be a part of Welcome Week and they had a great time themselves.”
The Welcome Week chairs urge students to volunteer.
“It is a great way to give perspective to others about what ACU is about,” said Sarah Woodroof, Welcome Week co-chair and junior history major from Brentwood, Tenn.
“You can think back and remember what it was like coming in with new eyes and not knowing what to expect here,” she said. “It gives you the opportunity to both serve others and remind yourself of why you are at ACU.”
Students from any involvement level with ACU can participate in Welcome Week. Those interested can find the applications online at www. acu.edu/academics/fyp/leadership.html.
“I would just encourage people to apply to help for Welcome Week,” said Kristina Anderson, Welcome Week co-chair and junior Spanish major from Canton. “It is personally fulfilling when you can give back to ACU.”