First-year students at Tiffin University and Heidelberg University have recently arrived on campus to kick off the new academic year. And if the universities have anything to do with it, they’d like to keep them here during the long Labor Day Weekend.
TU and Heidelberg are partnering on a series of activities being billed as LaborSTAY Weekend, designed to keep students on campus and meet some new friends at the same time.
According to Jacqueline Sironen, director of Student Engagement at Heidelberg, research indicates that first-year students who stay on campus the first six weeks are more likely to stay at school than those who leave campus to go home for the weekend. “We want to create an environment where students don’t want to get away for the holiday weekend, but stay and have a great Heidelberg holiday,” Sironen said.
Sironen and her team have partnered with Cassandra Eschweiler, coordinator of Student Engagement, and Hannah Tyson, director of Student Engagement at Tiffin University, to plan events on both campuses for both sets of students. TU is hosting Bubble Soccer and outdoor fun at 5 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 31. Heidelberg is hosting its annual karaoke, co-sponsored by the wrestling team and the Student Engagement Office, at 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1. Both universities are providing transportation to students who want to attend events across town.
The culminating event will be TU*HU Palooza, a joint event for students from both schools, featuring free T-shirts, food trucks and lots of entertainment, including a friendly lip sync battle between Chris Abrams, the dean of Student Affairs at Heidelberg, and Mike Herdlick, the dean of students at Tiffin University. The TU*HU Palooza will be held on Labor Day, Monday, Sept. 2, from 6-10 p.m. at the East Green Amphitheater.
The presidents of both universities – Lillian Schumacher of TU and Rob Huntington of Heidelberg – both plan to attend TU*HU Palooza, which also will feature appearances by the Cheer and Dance Team, a mascot tug-of-war competition and a trivia contest.
“LaborSTAY Weekend is a great opportunity for both institutions to collaborate and hopefully encourage students to engage with each other,” Eschweiler said. “Keeping students on campus is a safe way to celebrate the long weekend and it will provide a great opportunity to mingle with our friends from Heidelberg.”
The ultimate goal of the LaborSTAY activities is to help students feel at home on their respective campus and by extension, in their new community of Tiffin. Joint programming, it is believed, will help them feel more connected.
Teams at both universities say they enjoy partnering on activities such as these and plan to work toward more collaboration in the future. “This is just the first in what we hope will be a fun-filled year,” Sironen said. “We can create more programming and more opportunities for our students by sharing resources.”
Here is a schedule of events for LaborSTAY Weekend:
FRIDAY, AUG. 30
- International Coffee Hour (3 p.m., University Commons)
- Hypnotic Intoxication (7 p.m., Wickham Great Hall)
- Welcome Back Bonfire (9 p.m., Campus Center back lawn)
SATURDAY, AUG. 31
- GLC Block Party (11 a.m., Campus Center front lawn)
- Bubble Soccer with Tiffin University (8 p.m./depart from behind University Commons)
SUNDAY, SEPT. 1
- Root Beer Floats with Religious Life (1 p.m., Krieg Hall)
- Karaoke with Tiffin University (8 p.m., University Commons)
MONDAY, SEPT. 2
- Student Org Fair (2 p.m., Campus Center front lawn)
- TU*HU Palooza (6 p.m., Tiffin East Green Amphitheatre)
- Department: Student Engagement Office
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