Kansas University will come alive next week, when thousands of new and returning students gather to prepare for the fall semester.
As upperclassmen ease back into the campus scene, new students will be anxious about finding their classrooms, baffled by fee payment and worried about how they will fit in on the Hill.
Hawk Week, which kicks off next Monday, precedes classes and is planned to help acquaint students with KU. The new Jayhawks will learn how to "wave the wheat" and find out where the infamous "Wescoe Beach" is.
(Hint: Wescoe Beach actually is a concrete area in front of Wescoe Hall where students gather between classes.)
Although participation in Hawk Week is not mandatory, it comes highly recommended. Kathryn Kretschmer, KU's director of new student orientation, knows first-hand how difficult it can be to adjust to new surroundings.
KRETSCHMER isn't new to KU she and her four sisters graduated from the Big Eight school but she is in a new job.
Formerly the associate director of admissions at KU, Kretschmer took over her new duties last Monday. Her predecessor, Sally Bryant, left KU to become director of admissions at the University of Missouri-Kansas City.
Kretschmer is confident that students' first week at KU will be a positive experience.
"We have excellent programming for Hawk Week," Kretschmer said during an interview in her Strong Hall office, adding that a universitywide orientation planning committee was responsible for many of the week's activities.
She hopes all new students will participate in the core programs of Hawk Week, such as Traditions Night on Monday and Beach 'n' the Boulevard Night on Friday.
"WE KNOW that the involved student is a successful student," Kretschmer said. "The first week of college can be intimidating, but if you become involved, it's easier."
Hawk Week activities are divided into Hawk Days and Hawk Nights. A variety of hourlong programs will be offered each day of Hawk Week, and Hawk Nights will give students a chance to get to know each other in informal social settings.
In addition, students also will pay tuition and receive their class schedules next week.
KU's residence halls open at 8 a.m. Sunday, and the annual convocation will start at 3 p.m. Sunday in Hoch Auditorium. Fee payment begins Monday and continues through Wednesday.
Highlights of the week include class schedule tours at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. New students should meet in front of Strong Hall with their class schedules, and orientation assistants will give them a tailored tour of campus.
TRADITIONS Night will begin at 7 p.m. Monday in Memorial Stadium. Members of the KU cheerleading squad, marching band and Student Senate are scheduled to participate in the program, which introduces new students to longtime university traditions.
Playfair, an icebreaking activity for up to 1,000 students, will start at 6:30 p.m. Tuesday on the Allen Fieldhouse lawn. Non-competitive games and other activities will be featured.
An ice cream social will be sponsored by the Alumni Association at 7 p.m. Wednesday at the K.S. "Boots" Adams Alumni Center, and Student Union Activities will show "Caddyshack" at 8:30 p.m. Wednesday on Campanile Hill.
Beach 'n' the Boulevard Night is scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday on Wescoe Beach. It will feature performances by the KU Marching Band, a gospel choir and other groups. A dance will begin about 8:30 p.m.
TO HELP students secure part-time jobs, a job fair will be offered all day Thursday and Friday on level four of the Kansas Union.
A complete schedule of Hawk Week activities is available at the new-student orientation office in room 7 of Strong Hall. For more information, call 864-4270.