Noah Graves: Experience Welcome Week as a TRI-W
OBU is a campus composed of many traditions, but I truly believe Welcome Week will always be the greatest. Moving to college is not only a life-changing time for students, but it is a monumental moment for parents and siblings. Leaving their loved one with strangers for four years can be an unsettling experience, but that is where OBU loves to intervene. OBU was ranked second in the nation for Student Engagement by the Wall Street Journal, and I believe that Welcome Week was a great factor of that decision. The first week on campus is packed full with exciting events, which would be impossible without our Tri-W’s (Welcome Week Workers; pronounced Tri-Dub).
Tri-W’s are students who end their summer early by moving back to campus sooner and prepare for the chaos of Welcome Week. There are three avenues that our Tri-W’s seve: Small Group Leaders, Student Ministry, or Crew. OBU desires to make a memorable first impression, and that occurs through the actions of Tri-W’s. On Move-In day, all of our Tri-W’s volunteer to help move each student into their dorm. Once a family arrives at their future dorm, they are stormed by students who provide an exciting welcome, which then carry all of their belongings to their room. Tri-W’s truly are the greatest, and each serve a very important role.
Our Small Group Leader’s (SGL’s) serve by devoting their first week to leading a group of 8-12 incoming students alongside a partner. The SGL’s are the direct contact with the new students as they lead them in small groups, teach about OBU traditions (like Ka-Rip or the Alma Mater), hosting students over for games, sharing campus memories and tips, and much more. SGL’s go through Welcome Week alongside the incoming students in events like Serve Shawnee, Stake your State, Spotlight on Shawnee, and Karip Wars.
Our Student Ministry leaders are those who are serve primarily in ministerial aspects of Welcome Week. Goodbye Mom and Dad is an event where families meet in front of Raley, as parents pray over their son or daughter before departing campus. It is a very special time for families, especially as our Student Ministry team is available to pray with families, or step in for parents who are not present. One of the blessings of Move In Day is that OBU provides a service called ‘Textbook Butler’ which is a program that compiles each student’s list of textbooks required for each course, and then rents/purchases the books at a competitive rate. The bookstore then boxes all of the textbooks for each student, to where the Student Ministry team delivers each box into each dorm room. This takes one less thing to stress about when arriving to campus.
Our Crew leaders are our true MVP’s for Welcome Week. Those who serve in Crew work behind the scenes as they set-up and tear down for our events. This is an opportunity to assist and bless OBU in terms of true service.
As a member of the Welcome Week Steering Committee, it has truly been a blessing to be a part of creating a memorable experience for the incoming students, but it would all be impossible without our fantastic Tri-W’s. You can apply and interview to be a Welcome Week Worker in February in the lower GC.