The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

The independent voice of the students of Penn State Harrisburg

The Blue & White Journal

Penn State Harrisburg Welcomes New Students to Campus

Matthew Wynkoop
New Students Take a Selfie

Penn State Harrisburg’s special events team conducted several events to usher in the new semester for new students heading into their freshman year. There were a bunch of events held, including a parent ice cream social, a Playfair, and a new student convocation. This was done as a precursor to the Fall 2023 semester. 

Beginning college can be an exciting yet overwhelming experience for incoming students. The events held were designed to help new students make friends with fellow classmates and to just get used to a collegiate atmosphere. The Playfair and new student convocation were mandatory events for all freshmen. 

The new student convocation was the most notable event that Penn State Harrisburg held for its incoming freshmen. 

RebeccaAnn Klug, Events and Planning Coordinator for Penn State Harrisburg, gives a brief explanation of what the convocation is all about. 

“Convocation is an annual event held at the beginning of the fall semester to welcome the incoming class of students to campus,” Klug explained. 

“It marks the beginning of their academic journey in higher education and allows them to take a moment to reflect on their accomplishments thus far,” she added. 

While convocation was a more formal welcoming of new students, the Playfair granted new students an opportunity to enjoy themselves and have a good time. 

“Essentially, Playfair is a giant ice breaker meant to allow students to meet a large number of their peers in a small amount of time,” Klug described. 

“Students are generally having fun and laughing so much they don’t realize they’re potentially making lasting connections. The importance and main idea of Playfair is that the more connections students make, the stronger sense of belonging they’ll feel on campus,” she added. 

During the Playfair, a DJ hyped up the incoming students with several bonding exercises, such as creating a personal handshake. This was done with the purpose of these students potentially making friendships with one another. 

While the campus devoted most of its events to students, the Alumni Association wanted to hold an event devoted to parents. In order to accomplish this, an ice cream social was held where parents and alumna were able to come together and socialize while enjoying ice cream from the Penn State Creamery. 

Megan Bennett, Associate Director of Alumni Relations, provides more information about the event. 

“We realized there was nothing for parents during move-in weekend, so we thought we would create a space where they can socialize, meet other members of the alumni board, hear about their college experience, and then get to meet campus administration as well,” Bennett explained. 

“I think that parents are going to get a sense of a piece of mind that they know their students have chosen the right place, that they’re going to be okay, that they’ve gotten some extra information that they have questions about, and that they know they’re going to have a successful year,” she continued. 

All three of these events were just some of a slew of events the Office of Student Engagement held to welcome students. The office and its special events crew will be planning events throughout the semester. Be sure to keep an eye out for the Student Engagement Weekly Newsletter for updates on future events. Students and faculty can also visit the calendar of events to get more information. 

Three Staff Members Serve Ice Cream (Matthew Wynkoop)


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