A collaborative effort has been made to welcome Ferris State University students and their families back to campus as the Spring 2019 semester begins Monday, Jan. 14.
Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services Director Angela Roman said they have organized Spring Welcome events for the University Center and North Campus Quad with hopes to augment the university’s athletic schedule. Bulldog hockey was featured on Jan. 11 and 12 against Minnesota State, to be followed by Ferris’ basketball teams hosting Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference opponents on Thursday, Jan. 17 and Saturday, Jan. 19.
“We encourage students to bring their families, along with faculty, staff and the Big Rapids community to Spring Welcome,” Roman said. “We know that cooler weather and changeable travel conditions can complicate plans to get together and enjoy each other’s company.”
As the spring semester opens Monday, Jan. 14, CLACS will host a Winter Wonderland event on the North Campus Quad from 7 to 9 p.m. Roman said that this will be a family-friendly event.
“We will have special lighting on the Quad, so we hope that everyone will turn out to see how that transforms the view of that area,” Roman said. “There will be an ice sculpture artist working on site, a bonfire with hot cocoa, and a snow globe display that everyone can enter for pictures. We will have staff on hand to print out these fun photos of individuals or groups.”
Other activities during the first week of classes include Ferris Unplugged, musical acts on the UC stage from 9 to 11 p.m. on Tuesday, Jan. 15 (This event postponed due to inclement weather, no makeup date is currently available), a bonfire with warm cider on the North Campus Quad beginning at 12 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan 16 and a welcome reception for the LGBTQ+ community and allies from 5 to 7 p.m., which will be held in University Center, Room 203 that same day. Students can learn about the wide variety of registered student organizations from 4 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 17 with the Spring RSO Fair set for the University Center Ballroom.
University Center Director Mark Schuelke said students across campus and around the Big Rapids community are welcome to participate in their Anniversary Party celebration on Friday, Jan. 18, which runs from 9 p.m. to 12 a.m.
“There will be a giveaway of Bulldog license plates, which students can personalize,” Schuelke said. “Those will be available to the first 200 students who seek them, and the first 500 who visit the center’s information desk can also get a UC anniversary gift. That is also where students can sign up for giveaways, with drawings starting at 9:30 p.m., which will continue each half-hour thereafter. Our top prize is an Apple Watch, which will be given away during the last drawing.”
The entertainment arranged for the anniversary party includes karaoke in the Rankin Atrium, a donut bar, two virtual reality flight simulators and air hockey. Schuelke said that they considered some options for their main activity area, but decided to bring in a glow-in-the-dark roller rink, which will be in the ballroom area.
“It proved to be very popular with students two years ago, as they get glow necklaces, with a DJ for the rink, and special lighting,” Schuelke said. “We are proud of the University Center building, and what it means to campus. Celebrating the UC’s anniversary is a great fit with the schedule of Spring Welcome activities.”
On Thursday, Jan. 24, there will be a feature appearance by magician and hypnotist Mat LaVore. Roman said the 8 p.m. show in the University Center Ballroom is sponsored by Entertainment Unlimited and LaVore calls himself as an “astonishment artist,” because of his combination of mind reading and magic.
“I am looking forward to his show. Mat should bring us a very enjoyable and exciting evening,” Roman said. “We plan a full schedule of events throughout the spring semester, to entertain and inform our students.”
Those with disabilities who wish to attend Spring Welcome Events in the University
Center should contact CLACS by calling (231) 591-2685. Entertainment Unlimited staff will support those with
similar requests for the Mat LaVore performance, they can be reached at (231) 591-2610.
PHOTO CAPTION: Ferris State University students will have the opportunity to enjoy karaoke and other entertainment on Friday, Jan. 18, during the University Center’s fourth-anniversary party. That 9 p.m. to 12 a.m. event is part of the Spring Welcome schedule, offered by the Center for Leadership, Activities and Career Services.