It’s the first week of school for students at Purdue University Northwest (PNW), and students and staff have an exciting year ahead of them. The excitement started with a welcome rally and will continue over the next six weeks to ensure new and returning students feel at home. At PNW, it’s all about getting involved and giving students a place to belong, and the welcome rally was a great place to start featuring 106 student organizations in attendance.
The welcome rally produced a great turn out with hundreds of students stopping by to learn about involvement on campus. According to Andy Pettee, Interim Dean of Students, this event is what could help shape a first-year student’s college career.
“This is a key event for our first-year students because this is their first exposure to the student organizations we have and the academic colleges they’re going to be talking with,” Pettee said. “It’s a really huge welcome to make sure that students know this is a warm and openhearted place that is going to get them involved and help them be successful.”
Joy Colwell, Interim Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management and Student Affairs, couldn’t have been happier with the turnout, especially with the increase in applications and admissions they’ve seen.
“I have to say, what we do is change lives and give people opportunities to have a great education and future,” Colwell said. “We’re seeing a really terrific increase, and I can’t tell you how pleased we are to see all the energy here.”
While involvement in student organizations was a big part of the welcome rally, learning about the resources that PNW offers to students was a large goal, too. Jennie Garcia-Pruitt, Assistant Director of Student Support and Advocacy, wants students to know how PNW is there to help.
“Today gives us an opportunity to provide students with the information on what is available to them throughout the semester,” Garcia-Pruitt said. “My role is to make contact with the students because our office provides advocacy, support, and resources and the more our office is out in different events, the more encouraged [students] are to come in and ask for assistance.”
Magdalena Madrigal, graduate student and Student Life Coordinator, was given some extra time this year to plan fun events to get students involved, like bingo and movie nights and visits with guest speakers to help students learn about life after college.
“What’s really great is that, after the first week, I have planned out five more weeks of events going on,” Madrigal said. “Student life and getting involved is going to help you figure out what you’re good at, what you like and don’t like, and it’s going to help you prepare for what you’re going to be doing after college."
For new freshmen, the welcome rally was an opportunity to see what PNW is all about. Lydia Ruiz, PNW Freshman, was able to find out just how diverse the student organization list is and meet some new friends.
For more information on Purdue University Northwest, visit their website.