DOBSON — Organizers of Surry Community College’s Week of Welcome for new students say the effort has been well received, in spite of weather earlier in the week literally raining on their best-made plans.
Vice President of Student Services Randy Ledford cited recent studies indicating student involvement with activities and higher graduation rates as one reason behind the event.
“We are trying to engage students through activities because the more they are involved the better their college experience is and the more stay and complete their degrees,” Ledford said. He explained the proposition is different for community colleges with a more diverse student body, in contrast to four-year schools.
The middle of WOW week was capped off with a noon showdown Wednesday between Ledford and College President Dr. David Shockley on an informal slip-n-slide down the hillside in front of the Richards Building. The two appeared pleased for the contest to end in a tie.
“The important thing about today and all week is to get students engaged and let them have fun,” Shockley said. “It’s not all about the academics.” He said he was learning proper slip and slide technique “on the fly” and was looking forward to trying a unique and penguin-like sliding posture favored by Ledford.
Ledford said the effort was taken from similar weeks focused on getting essential information to new students and sets the stage for the return of the school’s annual college fair and carnival day which has been slated for Sept. 16, which is aimed at high school juniors and seniors.
The week opened with an ice cream social for Sundae Monday and lawn games on Toss It Tuesday. Throw Down Thursday and To Give It Forward will wind up the week. The theme days also include specialized, 15-minutes sessions on topics which will make students’ transition easier. Student Government Association President Marshal Eddleman drew from earlier experience at home to construct the slide.
Eddleman said critical components of a good slip-in-slide included the geography, type of tarp (dark colors attract heat), water flow and a sufficient ratio of soap to the course’s surface (oil stays in clothing).
“The rain was tricky for us but we adapted for success. Next year we are going to make it better,” said Eddleman. “The turnout was great and once we tweak it a bit more next year will be awesome.” He said input from participants has already convinced them to schedule more events between classes.
David Broyles may be reached at 336-415-4739 or on Twitter@MtAiryNewsDave.