Students Begin Dorm Life, Parents say Their Farewells

Students Begin Dorm Life, Parents say Their Farewells

By Janlyn Thaxton

 

 

 

When Anson High School graduate and Hardin-Simmons University freshman Ashley Fenwick walked up the front steps of Behrens Residence Hall, she carried a purse, three stuffed bags, and a storage organizer under one arm.Ashley is one of nearly 500 new freshman and transfer students arriving on campus a week before classes start to participate in New Student Orientation. But Ashley did not have to move in alone, dozens of sophomore, junior, and senior students were on board to help new students navigate the crowded hallways and deliver boxes and armloads of clothes and shoes to dorm rooms.{{more}}Wearing Sigma Alpha T-shirts, senior Sarah Morris, a biology major from Abilene and fellow club member Jessica Darby, a junior sports/fitness major from Grapevine, TX, were among the students and volunteer church members on campus to help new students feel at home in their new surroundings.Henry Martin, a volunteer from Pioneer Drive Baptist Church, helped guide a dolly loaded with items to freshman Brandi Harris’ room. Brandi’s dad, E. Lee Harris, and the rest of her family from La Mesa, TX, will be in Abilene for campus orientation events all day, ending with a parent’s good-bye time following the President’s Dessert Party in Mabee Complex this evening.But the night is just beginning for the students. Once mom and dad leave, students divide into their new student family groups and move to Behrens Auditorium for the high energy Opening Ceremony. This is just the beginning of a week of activities that include getting to know the campus both physically and academically.While a time for companionship and fun, NSO also serves as aSigma Alpha volunteers Sarah Morris, senior biology major from Abilene and Jessica Darby, junior sports fitness major from Grapevinetime to educate new students about what is expected of them at Hardin-Simmons University. This week students will hear from professors, attend a community fair to learn about volunteer opportunities in Abilene, and participate in a community clean-up day.At information stations, new students are informed about HSU’s policies on academics and chapel, and given valuable information from HSU professors on academic life.University Chaplain Dr. Kelly Piggott tells students about the university’s 80 required chapel credits, but also about the services he and others can provide students, encouraging students not to feel like they have to face things alone. “The university is here for you in times of crisis,” says Pigott.Other professors talked to students about staying focused and stressed the very serious message of academic integrity, encouraging students to keep in mind that from day one, they are building credibility. The most visual event and certainly the messiest event will be Thursday morning when student slip-n-slide in hundreds of gallons of paint and water in an event called The Games. Look for those at 9:30 a.m. on the Intramural Fields.And finally, students will get a chance to make a very tangible difference in the community surrounding HSU. Each year, students put in thousands of community service hours, starting with this Saturday’s Community Outreach to neighbors.This Saturday morning, students fan out across the nearby North Park Neighborhood to help clear trash, clean flower beds, and help with construction at the expanding Friendship House complex north of the campus.