WOW 2022 welcomes UConn’s newest undergraduate class

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After dealing with two years of COVID restrictions, the University of Connecticut’s class of 2026 may very well be the first freshmen to experience an academic year that resembles life before the pandemic. But amongst the first year buzz, it’s also normal for new students to encounter bouts of existentialism — along with pre-college anxiety. To combat these feelings, while also helping to gain an outlook of the college lifestyle, UConn’s annual Weekend of Welcome is an ample solution.

Hosted by UConn Student Activities, WOW Weekend is a scheduled itinerary specially curated for first year students. The schedule includes a multitude of events including welcome tents, open houses, a kickoff party at the Rec Center, SUBOG’s annual Comedy Jam and, perhaps most significantly, a convocation ceremony. From today, Aug. 26 through Sunday, Aug. 28, this year’s WOW is jam-packed with opportunities to meet new friends and to get to know the university as a whole.

The William Benton Museum of Art is a staple aspect of UConn’s campus, and is known to provide a plethora of activities and events throughout the semester. For WOW, the Benton will be hosting a museum open house from noon to 4 p.m. today through Sunday, where visitors can indulge in free T-shirts and stickers, along with gallery scavenger hunts and patio chalk-drawing. To participate, just bring a student ID.

The university’s cultural centers and programs will also be hosting open houses in the Office for Diversity and Inclusion Commons today from 1:30 to 3:30 p.m. By visiting, students can receive more information about these services, as well as ways on how to get involved. Individual events for specific cultural centers are also scheduled. On Saturday, the Asian American Cultural Center (AsACC) will be having its own open house from noon to 3 p.m. in McHugh Hall 101, while on Sunday, the African American Cultural Center (AACC) will be hosting a pizza and game night from 4 to 7 p.m. at the Student Union, room 407.

Tomorrow, from 1 to 5 p.m., is the UConn Rec kickoff party, where games, music, T-shirts and other merch will be made available outside the building’s north entrance. It also makes for an opportune time to learn more about the recreation center, including information about its facilities, programs and future events.

As for late night entertainment — if 9 p.m. is considered late — SUBOG will be hosting their annual Comedy Jam tomorrow at the Jorgensen Center for the Performing Arts. They announced through an Instagram post on Tuesday that comedian Chris Distefano will be

performing. Admission for students is free, so long as they bring their student ID and their UConntact QR code. Doors are scheduled to open at 8 p.m., an hour before the show starts.

Among others, tonight’s torch lighting convocation ceremony is an event that no freshman should miss. Set to begin at 7:45 p.m. on the Student Union Mall, UConn’s annual convocation ritual is a tradition meant to commemorate the new academic year. Prepare for speeches to be delivered, candles to be lit and a core memory to be made. As this is likely the only time that the same undergraduate class gathers as one — with the exception of graduation — convocation ultimately represents a collective beginning for all who attend.

Despite the number of aforementioned events, this list is nowhere near covering the entirety of this year’s WOW schedule. Other activities include fire pits, glow swings and various outdoor paraphernalia on the Great Lawn, a photo-op with Jonathan the Mascot and campus tours for anyone in need of a refresher on how to get to their first class on Monday. To catch a glimpse of everything to do, make sure to visit the Husky WOW website for more.

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