For most students on campus, Advantage Week is known as a four-day welcoming program with the purpose of helping freshmen adjust to college.
The week had both required and optional events for students to attend which included a speech from award-winning speaker Joe Martin, a session on campus safety and sexual harassment and convocation led by President John Jasinski. It was full of activity, engagement and social interaction for all involved.
Freshman Natalie Mason had mixed emotions when attending Martin’s speech.
“It’s gonna be stupid, I shouldn’t go, and I should ditch,” Mason said before attending his speech.
Mason sat wide-eyed on the edge of her folding chair, giving Martin’s motivational words her full attention. During the speech, Martin prompted the new students to yell with him, “I’m ugly.” Mason participated in this exercise along with the rest of the students.
Being a native to Maryville, Missouri, Mason knew a lot of students on campus before arriving on move-in day.
“I’m really hoping to meet new people and kind of branch out from my friends that already go here,” Mason said.
While making friends and being more social is a big part of attending any university, Advantage Week specifically provides activities for students that encourages social engagement.
“Me, personally, it has helped a lot. Like I said, I’m from town,” Mason said. “I thought I knew it. But then I got here and realized I don't know anything.”
Mason said that University seminar classes and campus safety courses with University Police Chief Clarence Green were effective in helping Mason feel comfortable on campus.
As useful as this might seem, those who have attended Advantage Week seem to have mixed feelings on how effective it truly was.
Freshman Tayton Stagner said the week wasn’t everything he hoped it would be.
“I didn’t feel like Advantage Week brought anything to the table for me,” Stagner said. “It was more of a common sense rehash in a way.”
Stagner said that Advantage Week was helpful in making new friends, but not in helping to learn the campus and how it works.
“You know, like I was lost on campus all week and no one gave me a map once,” Stagner said. “It’s kind of weird how they teach you how to act at parties, but not how to get to my first class on Wednesday.”
Stagner said he felt that the campus safety course helped him feel more comfortable on campus.
Sophomore Koley O’Neill agreed with Stagner.
“I didn’t see a use for it,” O’Neill said. “We already had S.O.A.R. and summer visits before S.O.A.R.; like, what else do we need to know about campus after that?”
While Advantage Week has been an annual ritual for students and staff on campus, many have varying opinions and thoughts on it. Those opinions aside, another successful Advantage Week wrapped up, kicking off another school year at Northwest.