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SIU will welcome students back to campus in grand Saluki style

SIU Students taking selfie with Saluki dogs
Provided by Christie Mathis
SIU News
Light Up the Lake, a glow-in-the-dark festival, is one of the most popular Saluki Startup events.

CARBONDALE, Ill. — Southern Illinois University Carbondale is rolling out the maroon welcome mat for new and returning students with weeks and weeks of special activities during Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome.

Dawg Days facilitates a successful transition

SIU’s Dawg Days New Student Retreat, set for Aug. 13-16 at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center, is packed with fun and opportunities for new Salukis to learn more about the university and make friends. Organized and led by students, it is designed to help freshmen and transfer students successfully transition to college life.

Participants discover details about Saluki traditions, university services and its support system while networking and experiencing activities such as canoe battleship, duct-tape dodgeball, broomball, kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, a costume party and much more. They also connect with campus administrators, faculty and staff, and their peers.

SIU Volunteers
Provided by Christie Mathis
SIU News
Volunteers will welcome Salukis and help them move in Aug. 16-18.

Moving on in

SIU faculty and staff have been preparing for months to assure all students have a smooth transition to their new campus home away from home. New students move onto campus Aug. 16 and the Saluki Family Association is launching “Sweet Goodbyes” in 2023. There will be food trucks offering free sweet treats for families near residence halls on both sides of campus from 4 to 5:30 p.m. that day. Families can also pre-purchase discounted tickets for the Saluki Family Weekend football game through Saluki Athletics and learn more about joining the Saluki Family Association.

Returning students join the fun on Aug. 18 in preparation for classes to begin Aug. 21. This year various colleges and departments are planning assorted special activities across campus Aug. 17-18.

View the complete Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome schedule online. The schedules are constantly being updated as activities are added. Students can also stay on top of what’s happening by downloading the Saluki Superfan app, their student life portal all year long.

Forging connections through Saluki Startup

Creating a strong Saluki family bond and helping new and returning students get acquainted with one another and campus is what Saluki Startup, set Aug. 17-20, is all about.

One popular highlight is Light up the Lake, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 17 at the Campus Lake/Becker Pavilion. The boat dock literally comes alive with glow-in-the-dark games and activities, slacklining, a climbing wall, a DJ, freebies, snacks and other experiences.

The Saluki Kickoff at 6:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at Saluki Stadium is a giant pep rally, complete with a class photo for new students. Afterward, the action moves to the Student Recreation Center for Late Nite at the Rec, with volleyball, swimming, basketball and much more 9-11 p.m.

The Student Center is the place to be 7-11 p.m. Aug. 19 for a popular SIU student tradition Dawg’s Nite Out. Participants in this fest will enjoy inflatables, laser tag, miniature golf, a balloon artist, food, giveaways and other activities.

The Chancellor’s Welcome Fest, a long-standing custom, returns to the Shryock Auditorium lawn from 1-3 p.m. Aug. 20, complete with a DJ, games, giveaways and the chance to cool off and get acquainted with campus leaders, faculty and staff.

There are also meet-and-greet events sponsored by numerous colleges and groups and various other activities throughout the early days of classes. Find the complete Saluki Startup schedule of events at wow.siu.edu/saluki-startup. For more information about any of the events, email orientation@siu.edu or call 618-453-1000.

Welcoming all Saluki with events galore

The “welcome back” vibe keeps going strong at SIU for several weeks with a diverse variety of activities during Weeks of Welcome, or WOW, as it’s better known.

guy in canoe
Provided by Christie Mathis
SIU News
The Dawg Days New Student Retreat at Touch of Nature Outdoor Education Center gives new students a chance to get acquainted with SIU and other Salukis while having fun.

All incoming students are invited to take part in the Saluki Sprint welcoming tradition. Prior to kickoff at the first home football game on Sept. 2 at 5:45 p.m., all members of the class can “sprint” across the field at Saluki Stadium wearing free Saluki T-shirts.

Other Week of Welcome activities include open houses, movies, a job fair, a backyard campfire, a hiking trip, pickleball tournament, student organization events, and much more.

The university will celebrate Diversity Week 2023 from Aug. 28-31 with guest speakers and other activities as well. Find the full schedule online when it’s ready.

Weeks of Welcome will wrap up with Saluki Family Weekend, Sept. Sept. 29- Oct. 1 featuring a craft sale, Greek Sing, and other activities, including the football Salukis hosting Missouri State Sept. 30 in gridiron action.

New Student Programs, New Student Orientation, Saluki Family Association, with support from units and departments across campus, are sponsoring Saluki Startup and Weeks of Welcome to foster Saluki student success, said Jennifer Phillips, director of New Student Programs.

Visit wow.siu.edu for the complete schedule of events, which is subject to change, depending on weather and other factors.

New students will move into campus residence halls on Aug. 16, and returning students move in Aug. 18. All University Housing buildings except University Hall will be in use this year. During move in, the process typically begins with students and their families dropping off the student’s belongings in designated areas near each residence halls, proceeding to check-in areas to obtain room keys and completing their move-in with available assistance. You are welcome to cover move-in and can find more information online. To arrange interviews or for more information, contact Jim Hunsaker, senior associate director of operations, at 618-453-1067 or 618-201-2211 (cell) or jhuns@siu.edu.

Several opportunities for photos, videos and stories during Saluki Startup and WOW include:

  • Light up the Lake, 7-9 p.m. Aug. 17, Becker Pavilion, Campus Lake.
  • Saluki Kickoff Event, 6:30-8 p.m. Aug. 18, Saluki Stadium.
  • Late Night at the Rec, 9-11 p.m., Aug. 18, Student Recreation Center.
  • Dawg’s Night Out, 7-11 p.m. Aug. 19, Student Center.
  • Chancellor’s Welcome Fest, 1-3 p.m. Aug. 20, Shryock Lawn.
  • Saluki Sprint, 5:45 p.m., Sept. 2, Saluki Stadium.

To make arrangements to visit at other times, contact Jennifer Phillips, director of New Student Programs, at Jennifer.Phillips@siu.edu.


Christi Mathis — student affairs; diversity, equity and inclusion; business and analytics; education; health and human sciences; psychological and behavioral sciences; innovation and economic development; international education.

SIU News is produced by University Communications and Marketing - 618-453-2589. Twitter: @SIUCNews
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