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Two Weeks-Plus of Activities Planned for Bulldog Beginnings 2017

Ferris State Universitycamera Click the link to view the Bulldog Beginnings preview video.

Ferris State University’s 2017-18 academic year opens with more than two weeks of activities designed to bring students together, and feature facilities across campus, as Bulldog Beginnings 2017 runs from Friday, Aug. 25 through Saturday, Sept. 9.

Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services Director Angela Roman and Associate Dean of Student Life Kevin Carmody co-chaired the Bulldog Beginnings committee. Roman said all those organizing the schedule were intentional about helping new and returning students understand the university is their home away from home.

"We try and offer them many things to do and a number of things to learn while making students aware of all the resources available to them so they can be successful," Roman said. "This year, orientation leaders will be actively involved throughout the schedule as they are the first contacts on campus for many new students. We hope that presence gives new students a sense of place, as they become more familiar with the buildings and people on campus."

Friday, Aug. 25 will see all residence halls open on campus with the Bulldogs in Action program offering volunteer students and Ferris athletes to assist in moving belongings into dormitory rooms. Roman said there will also be guided tours of classrooms, that afternoon, along with the chance to hear from campus and university leaders, at the Bulldog Welcome, which begins at 7:30 p.m. at Top Taggart Field.

The Residence Hall Association caps the evening with a showing of "Guardians of the Galaxy 2," beginning at 9:30 p.m. in the South Quad. Students are advised to bring a tarp or towel to sit on, and a light jacket or sweater to wear.

Saturday, Aug. 26 activities begin at 11 a.m. with Playlists and Popsicles in the North Quad, which provides a chance to play games, enjoy music and become familiar with the Panhellenic, Interfraternity Council and Black Greek Council. Roman said students are invited to pick up needed items and experience the hospitality of businesses in the city of Big Rapids, and Big Rapids Township.

"Alumnus Rex Schuberg has done a great job organizing the second annual Big Rapids Beginnings, which welcomes students to downtown businesses, from 3 to 6 p.m., offering them sidewalk sales and an open mic, with a Ferris wheel in the middle of it all," Roman said. "There will be transportation available for Meijer Mania, from 7 to 10 p.m., with bargains and giveaways planned throughout that event."

Sunday, Aug. 27’s events focus on the beginning of classes the day after, with #BulldogReady set from 2 to 5 p.m. in the University Center’s Barnes and Noble Bookstore, and the chance to Dine with Professors starting at 5 p.m. in The Rock Café. Roman said those in residence halls will also have social events that evening to help them make connections with other students.

“All these activities are intended to help students enter the academic year with confidence that they get what they need to succeed,” Roman said. “Whether they require last-minute supplies, or hope to find a new friend, the opportunities will be offered to them.”

On Monday, Aug. 28, First Impressions stations will be staffed across campus, to help those students and staff hoping to identify academic buildings, dining halls and facilities such as the Campus Bookstore. The Student Recreation Center will host Rec Fest beginning at 6 p.m., to help students become acclimated with the facility, its staff, University Recreation and club sports programs.

Roman said the Interdisciplinary Resource Center will host a Grilled Cheese in the IRC luncheon from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 29 and that evening the Headphone Disco event begins at 9 p.m. in the North Quad.

“It offers students the chance to come together, while enjoying their favorite type of music, thanks to the DJs we have hired for the event,” Roman said. “It is an annual favorite on the Bulldog Beginnings schedule.”

Wednesday, Aug. 30 has Get Acquainted Day offered in the North Quad, and that gathering from 5 to 7 p.m. serves as the annual multicultural student welcome event. Coordinator of Activities for CLACS, and Student Organization Center Director Nick Smith said that evening, Entertainment Unlimited’s annual Bulldog Beginnings event features comedian Eric O’Shea, who will entertain starting at 8 p.m. in the University Center ballroom.

“It will be a great chance for students to get out, meet other people and enjoy a great comedian, as Eric is hilarious,” Smith said. “We’re expecting a full house that night, as he is a veteran of the college circuit, and will present students great routines based on awkward childhood memories, including a very unique take on Elmo from ‘Sesame Street.’”

Thursday, Aug. 31 is Founders’ Day, and Roman said there are activities from late morning to late evening, which are designed to celebrate the core values of the university, while celebrating the diversity, mission and history of the institution.

“President David Eisler will have his Founders’ Day remarks in the University Center, at 11 a.m., and we look forward to the celebration that afternoon, on the North Quad, starting at 4 p.m.,” Roman said.

Katie Thomas, from the CLACS office, said a variety of groups will have informational tables at that event, while celebrity servers offer their time at an Ice Cream Social.

“Our servers will have plenty of Jones Ice Cream available that afternoon, and a variety of five-star Registered Student Organizations will be on the Quad, to explain what they offer,” Thomas said. “Community organizations will take part to present volunteer opportunities, and the entire event is free and open to the entire community.”

Friday, Sept. 1 offers the chance to play 18 holes of disc golf, inside the Ferris Library for Information, Technology and Education, beginning at 1 p.m. A disc will be provided, and prizes will be awarded to the winning two-member teams in each of three divisions, in FLITE. There will be home volleyball matches for the nationally-ranked Ferris women’s team, with Missouri Western State providing the opposition at 2 p.m., and Cedarville University of Ohio, at 6 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 2, Roman said there will be an opportunity to visit Michigan’s Adventure during its next-to-last weekend of operation, along with fellow Ferris students.

“For a $15 fee, we will provide transportation to and from the amusement park, along with snacks and a lunch, in what should be a fun-filled day,” Roman said. “They will be responsible for also purchasing their ticket to enter Michigan’s Adventure. We are happy to offer students a choice and encourage them to stay on campus for the holiday weekend.”

Monday, Sept. 4 will see a euchre and spades tournament held in Room 217 of the University Center, with prizes awarded to the winning teams.

On Tuesday, Sept. 5, the Academic Support Center will host an open house, beginning at 9 a.m. and offering snacks, games and prizes. Teresa Fogel, of the CLACS office, said the University Center is the site for the Bulldog Bonanza, from 4 to 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 6.

“The Mecosta County Area Chamber of Commerce registers the businesses that participate, and their title sponsor is Real Property Management Solutions,” Fogel said. “We have 70 student organizations registered for the Bonanza, so many groups that we will be placing them in areas of the University Center beyond the main Ballroom.”

Roman said there are a number of events during the remainder of the week, highlighted by the Intensity Game Show Friday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. in the North Quad, and the EU Comedy Competition, at 7 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 in the UC’s Rankin Lounge.

“Intensity is a challenging, trivia-based game show that involves all kinds of audience participation,” Roman said. “It’s fast-paced and fun, and the winner will get a cash prize. Saturday, we hope any ‘closet comedian,’ whether they’re students, faculty, staff or Ferris alumni will turn out to enter the competition. Entrants need to sign up using OrgSync, as our winner will be the opening act for the Homecoming Comedy show, one of the biggest events on the annual entertainment schedule.”

The entire Bulldog Beginnings calendar is available online.

PHOTO CAPTION: Bulldog Beginnings 2017, as organized by the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services at Ferris State University, includes the annual Ferris Founders’ Day. The event schedule runs from Friday, Aug. 25 through Saturday, Sept. 9.