Hurricane Harvey disrupted the scheduled plans for the Houston Baptist University freshmen and transfer welcome events as well as the first days of school. But it didn’t dampen the spirits of students moving into residence halls at the start of their HBU experience.
“I feel a lot of excitement,” said freshman Taylor Igo as she set up her belongings in her beige dorm room two weeks before classes began. “I love being home but I felt I needed to do my own thing. I love that HBU has a really good nursing program, and I’m looking forward to joining Greek Life and Husky Hype.”
Igo’s roommate, Veronica Aldino, said, “I chose HBU to be closer to home and be on a pre-med. track. I’m looking forward to Rush Week and I plan to be in the Red Cross Club.”
Students like Igo and Aldino filed into their dormitories amidst shouts of upperclassmen yelling, “Hooray, move-in day!” Student athletes pitched in to help new arrivals and their parents carry boxes, clothes and furniture in the heat.
HBU head football coach Vic Shealy said, “These athletes are tired and sore from practice, but they still do this enthusiastically. Students here care about giving. Character is valued and expected here, and we’re proud of them.”
The HBU Student Life department organized events to kick off the school year, ranging from the traditional Welcome Dinner for families to the convivial Beanie Ceremony for freshmen.
Mon’Sher Spencer, director of student involvement and leadership experiences, said the welcome events all help students begin to feel at home as Huskies.
“Welcome Days make the transition to college life as smooth as possible through learning about traditions, making new friends and having fun,” she said.
Whit Goodwin, associate provost for student life, said HBU strives to create opportunities for positive student experiences.
“We want students to feel like they belong and they matter,” he said.
Resident assistants Paul Arce and Alexi Bell were on hand to kick off the start of the 2017-2018 school year.
“I’ve commuted and now I live on campus,” Bell said. “What I like about HBU is there is a place for everyone.”
Arce said his advice to freshmen is, “Don’t be afraid to get out there and come out of your shell. There are lots of opportunities to talk to people and create friendships.”
Freshman Benny Garcia said he is looking forward to making the most of his first year on campus.
“I took a tour two years ago and everyone was happy and genuine. It hooked me in and that’s why I came to HBU,” he said.
Garcia’s mother, Alejandra Garcia, said she is proud of her son for being a first-generation college student on his way to reaching his goal of becoming a history teacher.
“It’s a bittersweet moment to have him leave for college,” she said. “But the family supports him and we’re glad he’s here.”