New students were met with a warm welcome as they officially arrived at GW on Wednesday.
By Briahnna Brown
Two words describe Amira Alamin’s feelings on her first day at the George Washington University: confused and excited.
“I guess confused because I don't know everything yet, and I like knowing where things are, but I'll get used to it,” Amira Alamin said. “I'm excited because I made so many friends online, and I just can't wait to meet all of them and get to know people.”
She arrived at Thurston Hall early Wednesday morning with her mother, Lori Alamin, who was trying to figure out how they were going to fit all of her daughter’s belongings in her four-person unit. From Akron, Ohio, Lori Alamin said she hopes her daughter acclimates well to GW and Washington, D.C., and that she focuses on her studies. Amira Alamin said her biggest goal for the year is to get involved with journalism while she studies political communication in the School of Media and Public Affairs.
Move-In kicks off New Student Orientation that provide students opportunities to connect with the GW community, learn about resources available at the university and start to build community and lasting friendships.
Kendra Scott, program coordinator for New Student Orientation, said the five-day program allows students “to gain a sense of belonging and develop their GW story, while we demonstrate GW’s culture and values.”
Nick Frayter, from Greenwich, Conn., sat on a bench outside of Thurston Hall with his mother, Karina Frayter, as they waited for a cart to carry his belongings up to his room. Mr. Frayter said he was a little afraid of meeting new people, and that he knew there were going to be awkward conversations ahead but that it’s all part of the experience.
He said before he graduates, he wants to go to a party at the White House. Ms. Frayter said she is very excited for all the opportunities that await her son at GW, and she said she could not think of a better place for him to be.
“I just hope that he has the time of his life,” Ms. Frayter said. “This is the time to really have fun, to learn, to make new friends.”
Student volunteers worked diligently to facilitate Move-In and help first-year students and their families with some of the heavy lifting as they carried clothing bins and room essentials such as desk lamps and house plants. Faculty and staff volunteers helped families navigate the move-in process and assisted in unloading vehicles that were packed with boxes, bags and bins.
Across the street from Thurston Hall, at the F Street House residence of President Thomas LeBlanc, volunteers gave out plenty of refreshments at the lemonade stand while encouraging everyone to stay hydrated in the summer heat. Presidential Fellows danced to music as they waved signs and encouraged families and volunteers to take advantage of the free snacks and beverages.
At the lemonade stand, Dr. LeBlanc greeted a family moving into Thurston Hall, where he said that the university community is excited to welcome them. He noted to the group that he and his wife, Anne, live right across the street.
As gifts from Dr. LeBlanc and the GW Alumni Association, first-year students picked up GW sweatshirts in the Marvin Center so they can show GW pride on cooler days later in the semester. Former Board of Trustees member Steve Ross, B.B.A. ‘81, and Lori Ross, B.A. ‘84, funded the sweatshirt giveaway this year, as well as a t-shirt giveaway for graduate students on Thursday.
To kick-off Welcome Week, programming for all GW students to welcome them to campus and help them build community and learn about resources, students participated in the annual First Night event at University Yard on Saturday with food, games and giveaways. Other Welcome Week events include late-night fitness activities, an LGBTQIA+ Resource Center Open House, the GW Student Showcase in Lisner Auditorium, the annual Multicultural Student Services Center Block Party and The Vern Cup & Cookout, which is new this year.
Take a look at a photo gallery from Wednesday’s Move-In and other Welcome Week events: